Comfortable Rotherham win marred by Baylis injury
RHC V's Leeds
Rotherham 1’s travelled to Leeds this weekend for a late 15:00 push back against Leeds 5’s, who they’d previously beaten 11-1 back in October. With last week's loss to Doncaster marking the end of their undefeated record, Rotherham were keen to bounce back and maintain the number one spot.
Leeds pushed back, commencing the first half, but Rotherham were quick to turn this over and maintained possession well with some patient hockey around the back. Several breaks later and Rotherham’s swift attack down the left wing made them first on the scoreboard, with a cross from Andrews, finished by Benton. However, this was shortly followed by a counter-attack allowing Leeds to equalise with their first attack. Rotherham soon found their feet though and it wasn't long until they found themselves with their first penalty corner. A quick routine, switching the ball from Fraser Andrews at top D to James Thomas who played the ball across goal for Mathew Webb to deflect in. Rotherham continued to apply pressure throughout the half and were awarded yet another short corner - the shot was saved but Thomas was on hand to pick up the deflection and ensure it found the back of the net. The final goal of the half; a mixture of stick skills and quick passing from Joshua Towers and Webb allowed Jack Hartley to tap in, making it 4-1. Sadly though in the latter stages of the half a defensive clearance from David Baylis left him down injured. The ball to the hand had split open his finger, ending his afternoon with a trip to A&E.
In the second half, Leeds appeared to change to an unusually defensive formation considering the score line and their league position. This suited Rotherham, as they continued transferring the ball around the defensive line until they found a gap. One such attack picked out Webb in space who charged through on goal only to be fouled in the D which lead to a penalty corner and Thomas’ second goal. Leeds were able to double their goal tally though, a lapse of concentration enabled them to find the long ball, leaving the defenders outnumbered and allowed for a successful strike past Tony Cooper in goal. A final short corner for Rotherham, the ball was slipped to right to Ben Davis from Graham Ibbotson and deflected in by Hartley, finishing the game comfortably for Rotherham at 6-2.
Rotherham wish David Baylis all the best for his operation on Monday and hope he makes a speedy recovery. Next week they face University of Leeds at home and with only 6 games to go they hope to continue this form to secure first place in the league.
Man of the match: Mathew Webb
Match report by Ricky Benton