Harrogate one game away from Div Two league title dreamland

hsb   Ben Hotham playing for Harrogate against Huddersfield.  (130202M3c)
hsb Ben Hotham playing for Harrogate against Huddersfield. (130202M3c)

Harrogate will clinch the North Hockey Division Two East title on Saturday if they beat bottom-of-the-table Leeds Adel Carnegie.

The Granby outfit require just two points from their remaining three matches to secure promotion to Division One ahead of rivals Lincoln Roses.

‘Gate produced a battling display last weekend to claim a 4-1 victory over Leeds, putting them a step closer to realising their ambition which was marked out at the start of the season.

They now go into this weekend’s tie against relegation-threatened Adel Carnegie (1.30pm push back) with a warning from coach Gary Nash to avoid any form of complacency.

“We have a really professional job to do on Saturday and must maintain our determination over the finishing line to avoid any hiccups,” he added.

“ Training and preparation will remain focused for Saturday. It is important not to rush ahead and think the job is done, especially as we play the bottom of the league side.”

Against Leeds the hosts weathered an inauspicious start in freezing-cold conditions to eventually come away with the three points.

‘Gate took the lead mid-way through the first half with Russell Bowen pouncing on a loose ball in the ‘D’ before Josh Lyon, who stepped up from the second team, then raced clear to slot calmly past the ‘keeper.

Captain Pete Shipston converted a penalty flick after Graeme Bevington was barged over when about to shoot on goal to put Harrogate three goals to the good at half-time.

The league leaders’ attempts to claim their first clean sheet of the season were blown away within the first five minutes of the re-start, but after a fiery 20-minute spell Lyon put the game beyond doubt with his 30th and Harrogate’s 99th goal of the campaign.

“We were good value for the win on Saturday controlling most of the play. I was pleased with the way the players adapted and accommodated to the tactics as the game developed.

“I was delighted with Josh Lyon who demonstrated he will be a first team regular next season but old boy Russell Bowen was the outstanding man of the match,” said a delighted Nash.