VICTORY in the North League premier division continues to elude City of York Hockey Club first XI after they fell 5-1 at home to Preston.

Like most weeks York started off well, but went behind to a well-taken short corner.

However, York responded rapidly and replied when the ball ended in a favourable position for Alex Cockram to flick past the Preston goalkeeper.

This was to be the last positive news for City as the visitors capitalised twice on poor marking to lead 3-1 by half-time.

York enjoyed the bulk of the possession in the second half, but Preston menaced with each counter attack and showed the way to finish with another brace of unanswered goals.

City of York II were swept aside 7-1 at Sheffield Hallam II in the Yorkshire League premier division.

The opening goal came when an aerial ball evaded the City defence and, although captain Jonathan Doyle got down to block the initial strike, the ball rebounded back to the Hallam striker who fired a reverse stick shot into the top corner.

City were soon level when Alex Fletcher scored from a rebound off the ’keeper, but a deflected goal gave Hallam a 2-1 half-time lead.

A storm delayed the restart, but Hallam quickly went 3-1 up and the final 15 minutes saw the hosts plunder four more goals.

City of York III turned in an outstanding performance at promotion-chasing Lincoln I in division two, but came up just short in a 3-2 defeat.

Lincoln broke the deadlock late in the first half, despite their player appearing to kick the ball three times in the build-up.

There were no further goals in the first half as York’s Sam Baker, Joe Moisley and Hugh Richards defended well, with Tom Norman offering support from the middle of the park.

York went close with a couple of Tim Lister efforts and a fine first time shot from Ben Foster that was saved by the Lincoln ’keeper.

York started the second half brightly but Lister and Foster were denied.

A deflected goal gave Lincoln a 2-0 lead and they added a third from a rebound with time ticking away.

Lister and Foster linked up and Lister’s run into the ‘D’ was halted with a foul and York were awarded a penalty corner and Mark Moisley scored to give York hope.

Man-of-the-match Lister was again fouled and he calmly despatched the resulting penalty flick in the final five minutes.

Despite a frantic finale, City were unable to force an equaliser.

City of York IV let slip a 1-0 lead as they lost 3-1 at home to Halifax II in division three.

Phil Hughes slotted home a Danny Vaughan cross late in the first half, but they gave the ball away in attack and Halifax scored on the break to level at the break.

In the second half, York applied a lot of pressure but were unable to apply the finishing touch and Halifax scored twice to win the match.

In division four north, City of York V beat visiting Boston Spa II 5-2.

Another good performance saw York forge into a two-goal lead twice in the first half, only to be pegged back by conceding two soft goals.

York were skilful in creating short corner opportunities which were clinically put away by Tony Brimble and Nick Carter before Spa scored on the break.

A good conversion by Andy Richardson gave City a third goal, only for Spa to score again through a lapse of concentration.

In the second half, clear distance between the teams was restored when Graham Mackfall scored from another good short corner and the result was made safe when Neil Reader put away a loose ball.

Also in the same division, City of York VI paid for missed chances to crash 5-0 against Bradford II.

In the opening five mninutes Bradford bagged two goals to prompt a spell of York pressure which never found its due reward because of a lack of a ruthless touch.

The second half started in mirror-like fashion, Bradford again hitting a double to effectively seal a victory which was confirmed by a late strike.

Despite monsoon conditions worsened by a hail storm, City of York VII prevailed in a division five north encounter against hosts Airedale II.

City turned in one of their best performances of the season with only an inspired performance by the Airedale ’keeper maintaining the deadlock at half-time.

York continued to dominate in the second half with excellent fluid forward movement from Andy Wilson, Richard Tanner-Smith and Paul Rowntree.

The visitors’ excellent play was finally rewarded when James Gibbon slipped the ball under the Airedale ’keeper at a well-worked penalty corner.

City of York Badgers enjoyed a deserved 3-1 victory over Slazengers.

City took the lead when Sam Nicholson opened his account for the club on the breakdown at a short corner.

Ben Mould increased the lead before half-time and added his second after the break.

Hamish Broadbent and Callum Green both went close to scoring before Slazengers managed a consolation goal.