Halifax open season well

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Halifax Boys under 16 hockey team opened their campaign in the Yorkshire League with five matches and a largely rebuilt squad.

With several key players now in the under 17 age group, Halifax had four players making their debuts at 11-a-side hockey. Oliver Stokes, Daniel Sorice, Casey Marshall and Harry Greenwood. All found the going tough initially but started to find their feet and began to make useful contributions.

Stand in goalkeeper Connor Sutcliffe had very little to do in the first game against Harrogate as the midfield of Josh Sutcliffe, Kristian Mayfield and Matthew Bairstow totally dominated. Matthew Bairstow scored from two excellent penalty corner strikes following reverse stick strikes from Matthew Ward.

Halifax also dominated their second game against Huddersfield with Peter Garside having few difficulties in the heart of defence. Cameron Hellowell caused the Huddersfied defence all sorts of problems with controlled running as was Mayfield, the latter opening the scoring with a superb strike from a narrow angle. Hellowell scored late on to seal a 2-0 win with a fine individual goal, calmly beating the sweeper and the keeper before slotting home from close range.

An end to end clash with Rotherham saw the South Yorkshire side edge a deserved 1-0 win after which a tired performance against Wakefield saw them secure a narrow 2-1 win.

Josh Sutcliffe scored a simple goal after good approach play by Daniel Sorice. However, Halifax were caught cold when Wakefield scored on a rare breakaway. Kris Mayland sealed the victory with another sparkling run and fine shot into the corner.

The final game against Ben Rhydding, the strongest team in the league, ended in a 3-0 defeat although Halifax never gave up despite tired legs.