Relegated City of York Hockey Club men’s firsts – playing only for pride for the club – secured their first North League premier division win of the season.
Up against long-time rivals Timperley HC, York secured a 5-3 win in the last home game of the season and the penultimate match of an ill-starred campaign.
The hosts hit solid form from the off, regularly opening up the Timperley back line time after time with impressive attacking.
They went ahead when Ben Bull finished off an impressive move at the back post with a reverse stick strike.
After a goal was disallowed, a quick-fire turn and shot from Alex Cockram was only just saved at the near post.
Timperley then drew level for a 1-1 half-time score.
It was the Cheshire side who went ahead in the second half, but parity was quickly restored when the excellent Bull crossed for Patryk Karamuz to deflect high into the Timperley net.
Another goal soon followed when Mike Carter and Maciej Wieczorek combined for Wieczorek to slam his shot in the bottom corner.
With ten minutes remaining, City paid for retreating into defence when the visitors levelled.
But it proved a brief setback. A cross from Bull was deflected in off a defender, and then the hosts produced the move of the match when left-back Matt Redwood fed Cockram who, under pressure, skillfully avoided three defenders to send a pass to Tom Feasby.
He found Bull with a first time pass that cut out the on-rushing ’keeper for Bull to slide in and convert for a well-deserved win.
Malton drew two early saves from City captain and goalkeeper Jonathan Doyle before Dan Tompkins and Jonny Kilmartin were denied by the Malton ’keeper.
Malton took the lead before half-time with a reverse stick shot, but City took control after the break, with both Dan Ellwood and Rich Chandler excelling.
Chandler crossed for top-scorer Alex Fletcher to find the bottom corner for the equaliser.
A Malton player, who had earlier been green-carded for dissent, was then shown a yellow for another show of dissent, before the umpire upgraded it to a red card.
As part of the same incident, a second Malton player was sin-binned.
As City tried to make their numerical advantage count, Malton dug deep, threatening on the counter.
The crucial winner came five minutes from time when man of the match Chandler pulled the ball back for Pat Herriott. His shot was saved, but Fletcher kept the ball alive before finding the net.
The win moved City up to eighth, five points clear of the drop zone.
City of York III were 1-0 winners at home to struggling Scarborough I in division two of the Yorkshire League.
York’s early pressure was rewarded with a Ben Forster penalty corner saved. The ball dropped to Chris Dutton and he flicked it hard at a tight angle high into the net.
Tim Lister, Alex Herriott and Chris Dutton all went close, but York were made to endure a nervy finish before securing three points.
Man of the match was Joe Lancaster.
In division three, City of York IV were 3-2 winners over Leeds IV.
Russell Bowry gave York the lead midway through the first half from a well-worked short corner.
After the break, City man-of-the-match Nathan Wilson saved a penalty flick and then York started to dominate.
Phil Hughes had a strong penalty appeal turned down before slotting home the equaliser at the far post from a Greg Sykes cross.
Hughes then earned a penalty flick which Sykes coolly finished.
In division four north, City of York V won 4-1 at Harrogate IV.
York bossed the first half and bagged goals from youngsters James Fitton and Andrew Brewster before Gate pulled one back. Tony Brimble converted a short corner to make it 3-1 at the break and Nick Carter added the fourth.
In the same division, City of York VI lost 5-0 to Harrogate III.
City of York VII lost 2-1 at Huddersfield Dragons IV in division five north.
Huddersfield went ahead after ten minutes and held the lead at half-time. City were denied a clear penalty stroke and Jack Harrington hit a post.
York equalised when Andy Potts picked out Andy Gray with a crossfield pass and Gray drove into the ‘D’ before slotting in his first ever goal.
Huddersfield scored a late winner from a counter attack.
Paul Rowntree, Gray and goalkeeper Tom Swift were exceptional.
City of York VIII lost 3-0 at Wakefield V in division six north.
York were disciplined in defence against the table-toppers until a mistake let in the hosts a minute before half-time. Wakefield scored twice more in the second half.