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Play-off crown for City of York Hockey Club U16 girls
9:37am Saturday 28th April 2012 in Junior sports
A LAST-GASP goal saw City of York Hockey Club under-16 girls ‘A’ crowned Yorkshire Youth Hockey League play-off champions.
The ‘A’ team were joined in the play-offs by the club’s ‘B’ side after both finished in the top-six after the qualifying rounds, held every month from September.
The York teams were drawn in separate leagues for the play-offs, with the ‘A’ team taking on top-ranked side Doncaster, Ben Rhydding and Rotherham, while the second string were up against U16 national champions Wakefield, plus Harrogate and Thirsk.
The ‘A’ and ‘B’ ranks both finished as runners-up in their groups to qualify for the semi-finals.
York ‘A’ beat Wakefield 2-0 with goals from Ellie Martin and Molly Willerton, and then faced York ‘B’s last-four conquerors Doncaster in the final.
Doncaster were seeking revenge for their earlier group defeat by York ‘A’, but Willerton fired a cross into the ‘D’ for Martin to open the scoring.
York quickly went two up when Willerton deflected the ball across the line after a cross by Olivia Kirby.
Doncaster then scored twice to set up a tense finale.
In a fraught last few minutes, Annabel Fawcett and Emily Carman worked the ball down the left to Merry Foster and she smashed the ball between the ’keeper and the near post to clinch the play-off trophy.
Earlier, in the groups stages, York ‘A’ had beaten Doncaster 1-0 thanks to a goal from Olivia Kirby, who found the back of the net from the top of the ‘D’.
A slow-paced match against Ben Rhydding resulted in another 1-0 win courtesy of a solo effort from Martin.
With two wins, York ‘A’ had to win or draw against Rotherham to finish top of their group.
Although York dominated for the majority of the game, Rotherham scored from a goalmouth scramble and won the game 1-0.
That left York in second place on goal difference.
The ‘B’ team, who included some U14s players in their line-up, beat Harrogate 3-1 and Thirsk 1-0 in the pool stages.
They lost 1-0 to Wakefield but reached the semi-finals, where they bowed out 2-1 to Doncaster in a tight match.