City of York Hockey Club men’s first XI crashed 8-4 at home to North League premier division high-fliers Deeside Ramblers at Huntington to stretch a run without a win to six games.

It was the hosts, led by the excellent Alex Cockram, who started the stronger producing some of their best hockey of the season, with the whole team playing with an intensity and confidence lacking in the last few weeks.

They opened the scoring after only two minutes when a reverse stick shot from Cockram was tipped into the net by skipper Chris Wilson.

Striker Lee Cuffe then came agonisingly close before Cockram seized on a misplaced pass to double the score.

Midfielder player Ben Bull was dominant, but the hosts’ hold was eased when Deeside, who have rattled up more than 70 goals in the league this season, scored from their first penalty corner after ten minutes. York knew it was imperative to limit their opportunities in front of goal.

But Deeside proved too much to handle, hitting two more to lead 3-2 at half-time. The score would have been much higher but for a couple of excellent reflex saves by Jon Chappell.

City of York contained Deeside for a while in the second half but then the floodgates opened and the away team scored a further three goals without reply to take a 6-2 lead.

York won two penalty flicks, Cockram converting both to complete his hat-trick. But, in between the penalties, Deeside scored twice more to put the game beyond the home side.

City of York II are on the brink of an immediate return to the Yorkshire League premier division after a 4-2 triumph over thier Harrogate counterparts.

After hosts Harrogate notched an early penalty, York struck twice on the break in quick succession.

Dan Tompkins beat a couple of defenders before coolly slotting under the ’keeper. Then York broke from defending a short corner, and a Tompkins’ effort was touched home by Will Broadbent.

A frantic second-half saw Harrogate level with a deflected own goal, but York kept their heads and, in the closing stages, Matt Tipper lashed home on the half volley.

As Harrogate pressed, York hit them on the break again, with Dave Navin bundling the ball home.

Victory over second-placed Hull this coming Saturday – starting at 1.30pm at Huntington School – would not only clinch promotion, but also crown York as champions.

Visiting Brigg bagged a goal in the opening spell of both halves to beat City of York III 2-0 in Yorkshire division two.

City of York IV never looked back from Greg Sykes opening their account at Thirsk in Yorkshire division three.

Also on target for York in a comfortable 4-1 triumph were Zach Moore, Nick Casterton and Will Bowen, with ’keeper Tom Swift excelling to limit the danger from the hosts.