Halifax Hockey Club firsts relegated

Halifax Men’s first team lost 6-3 at home to Wakefield seconds on Saturday, confirming their relegation from the Yorkshire Premier Division with two fixtures left.

Thursday, 14th March 2019, 8:32 am
Updated Thursday, 14th March 2019, 8:33 am
Halifax's Michael Jones

The next-to-bottom side headed into the game feeling confident against a young Wakefield team they almost beat earlier in the season but their failure to convert chances, after good build-up play, came back to haunt them.

Halifax started promisingly and went 1-0 up after Josh Foreman slipped a lovely weighted pass to Michael Jones, who applied the finish.

Alex Belshire, who had a good game, burst away from central defence into the opponents’ 22, only to lose the ball, leading to a break away goal for the visitors.

Wakefield quickly followed it up with two more goals after some misplaced passes at the back from Halifax to take a 3-1 lead.

A second Jones goal breathed life back into Halifax as his miss-hit shot looped over the keeper.

After a first half of positive hockey, Halifax hit the self-destruct button.

Tensions were rising in the home ranks and defender Jakob Morley was sent from the field, quickly followed by Jones for a professional foul in the opposition D.

The away side jumped on the two man overload and Halifax were soon 5-2 down.

A late surge saw Halifax score a third through Elliott Bullick’s deflection but it wasn’t enough as Wakefield picked them off again to finish comfortable winners.

Halifax travel to play a Rotherham side just above them in the table next and with only pride to play for they will be looking to finish a disappointing season on a positive note from their final two games.

Halifax Ladies firsts had a fine 2-1 win away to second-placed Boston Spa in the North League and now share third spot with those opponents in Division Two South East.

They have been let down by their form on the road this season but made some amends to continue their winning streak.

Both teams attacked strongly from the start and Lauren Vials went close from Halifax’s first short corner.

Boston Spa won two of their own and when Katie Love cleared the second of them to Amy March, the visitors broke and won another short corner. Vials passed a deceptive ball to the left of the goal and a deflection from Boston gave Halifax an interval lead.

The Halifax defence came under pressure after the break but quick passing between March and Lauren Wright released Emma Crawford, who ran at the keeper before slipping the ball to Danielle Parker, who made it 2-0 from what looked an impossible angle.

Love put her body on the line and saved a goal with her leg, earning Boston a penalty flick. The ball was sent high towards the right hand corner but Cassie Barker reacted superbly to save.

The teams attacked in turn with Rebecca Camp sending in long balls to Crawford and Parker.

Boston set a high press on Halifax’s defensive hit outs and an interception earned them a goal.

Wright took a Boston stick to the head and had to go off but Halifax held firm with every player in their own half at times.