Steelers are off the bottom of the league for the first time this season
It was high fives all round as Sheffield's Welsh under 19 International Rob Hopkins led the charge on Saturday at Abbeydale with five goals as Steelers comfortably saw off fifth placed Boardman and Eccles to move away from their bottom place in lacrosse's Premier Division.
The 10 - 5 victory took Steelers post Christmas unbeaten run to four, following wins over Manchester Waconians 6 - 5, Rochdale 10 - 6 and a thrilling 9 - 9 draw, last week against Timperley
Despite missing first team regulars, injury victims Dave Alcock, Rhodri Evans and Martin Garner, Steelers were strengthened by the return of England gold medallist Mark Colton.
Fresh from his hat trick in the draw against Timperley, Hopkins started where he left off with an early goal following good ground ball play from Doug Homan. Ben Lyon added a second before George Ievers and Hopkins took the score to a 4 - 1 lead at the end of the first quarter. Boardman raised their game at the beginning of the second quarter and sneaked a goal from a defensive mishap, Hopkins then fed skipper Sam Glover for a snapshot to steady the Steelers and Lyon from a drive by Dan Ievers, followed by a wonderful individual goal from Hopkins, for a first half hat trick, eased out Steelers to a 7 - 2 lead at the half time whistle.
Boardman came out fighting and the third quarter and scored from a good attacking move to move to 7 - 3. Winning the resulting face off Rhys Jeffrey and drove up field to set up the classic fast break, he found Dan Ievers bursting through on the right hand touch line who fed Hopkins who didn't miss from close range, all over in 20 seconds. Sheffield's dominance took the wind out of Boardman's sails and Doug Hopman opened up their defence with a reverse pass for George Ievers to score. With Boardman on the ropes Steelers attacked incessantly and Hopkins picked up his fifth after excellent team play from steelers midfield.
At 10 - 4 a frantic final quarter saw Sheffield hitting the post twice and Boardman coming more into the game as Steelers tired; Goalie Ethan Jeffrey pulled out a string of saves and with the back three of Mills, McDermott and Broomhead saw out the late challenge for a resounding victory.
MoM Rob Hopkins