Harrogate hockey have extended their unbeaten run to three games in North Division One after fighting back to claim a hard-earned 1-1 draw with Sheffield Hallam last Sunday, writes Rob Stanworth.
The game was the only one of two planned fixtures to go ahead over the weekend for the Granby outfit, with snow on Friday night failing to thaw away in time for Saturday’s match against City of York.
It means that Graeme Bevington’s side will now welcome table toppers York on Tuesday February, 24 (7.45pm push back), but before then ‘Gate face a trip to second place Sheffield Bankers on Saturday (1.45pm push back) and the skipper is expecting a tough test.
Bankers have been something of a bogey side for Harrogate in recent years, and the promotion-chasing Steel City outfit are still unbeaten this season, boasting the meanest defence in the league.
“We know that Saturday is going to be a tough game for us, but we can go to Sheffield with no fear and look to cause a bit of an upset,” said Bevington.
“Bankers and City of York are the two stand-out sides in our league and as hockey players we should look forward to the challenge of trying to upset the odds and grab and win.
“We’ve shown in the past few weeks that we can create plenty of chances, and the desire to fight back from a goal down against Hallam on Sunday was great to see.”
Joe Horne was the man who grabbed Harrogate’s only goal of the game midway through the second period against Hallam in what was a fiercely fought fixture. The visitors had earlier taken a deserved lead right at the end of the first half as ‘Gate struggled to find an opening to goal. However, the Granby side came back into the tie in the second half, and on the back of an improved defensive display against a mobile attack, were able to salvage a point.
The Harrogate skipper believes that the result was a fair one in the end, but ‘Gate almost snatched all three points in the dying moments as Will Rogers’ shot hit a post and agonisingly flew across goal.
Harrogate’s ladies side also fell victim to the freezing overnight conditions last Saturday and had their game against Newcastle University called off. They are back in action this weekend at Kirkby Stephen.