HOCKEY: Good weekend for Bankers as James Cozens strikes twice in 4-0 win over Kingston-upon-Hull

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Sheffield Bankers’ men’s second team enjoyed an emphatic 4-0 win over Kingston-upon-Hull’s firsts, with strikes from James Cozens (2), Mark Watts and Toby Howard.

With just two points on the board, it would have been expected for the Home side to start tentatively against a Hull team much higher up the table.

But this was not the case as Bankers dominating the first 35 minutes with skillful hockey which belied their lowly position. However some profligacy and astute keeping kept the scores level until the 14th minute when the Hull keeper made a save - which fortunately deflected to Cozens who gleefully snapped up the gift-deservedly ahead.

There was no change until the second half but, it should be noted that when player/coach Northcott made his home debut, the urgency from the rest of the team was lifted - although chances still went begging.

The second period saw much the same with just sporadic attacks from the visitors though King in the Bankers net was called upon twice.

On 22 minutes Cozens again struck from short range following a speedy run from Northcott down the left, to the byline. The best goal of the day was a five-man move, started by Howard from the 23-metre line in defence, transferred to the midfield, then out to the right wing and sublimely converted by Howard [30] at the top of the circle. Interspersed on 26 minutes was the 3rd strike by Jack Watts which more or less sealed the fate of Hull.

This was Bankers best performance, by far, and they can now move up the table with confidence with outstanding efforts from veteran Walker and new boy David Long, in defence and Ashton in midfield.

Bankers travel to Doncaster HC and play the bottom of the table team next weekend.

Meanwhile in the big derby of the day, Bankers’ firsts and Sheffield Hallam’s seconds drew 1-1, with Bankers’ goal from Jimmy Osborne

Bankers made the short journey to Abbeydale looking to maintain their unbeaten record and secure joint top spot.

Despite the high intensity level, concerted pressure and domination imposed on the home side, no goals followed - though if an advantage had been played prior to a short corner being awarded then Bankers would have been justifiably ahead.

As is often the case, the home side weathered the storm, came out and attacked the Bankers defence with a swift move which resulted in a smartly taken goal [2 mins]. Apart from this strike and one 5 minutes from the end which was superbly saved by Hibbert, the visitors continued to play the attractive fast moving hockey with Hallam relying on long range, route one hockey which tended to peter out over the back line but the home keeper and a resolute defence kept out all-rather predictable 9 penalty corner strikes.

However, with 10 minutes to go and the visitors having struck a post, Osborne pounced on a loose ball some 3 metres in front of goal to square the match, much to the delight of the large visiting contingent and Osborne himself!

One last one on one chance fell to Jack Coulson to seal the deserved win but the Hallam man of the match saved the day.

All in all an excellent evening where praise must be given to Kamal Matharu and David Elworthy, the umpires,who were also on top of their game.

Bankers entertain bottom club Crewe Vagrants this Saturday , with a PB of 1.45pm.

This weekend sees a full set of fixtures taking place.

See Friday’s Grass Roots for more.