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Among the early kick offs at Varsity 2017 were the Women's football matches, with the A game contested between Derwent of York and Trevelyan of Durham, and the B game between Langwith and Collingwood.
The Derwent match was being watched by close to 100 of the College's travelling players and supporters, and they witnessed a lively game between two attack minded sides. Trevelyan gained the lead early on as their attacker received the ball behind the defensive line and side footed the ball past goalkeeper Ellie McLaughlin.
Despite the early goal, Derwent dominated the early phases with their opponents struggling to maintain possession. Particularly effect were the long throws of right-back Georgia Wilkinson which confounded the Trevelyan defense, scrambling to clear the ball away from the danger zone.
Derwent's defense, marshalled by captain Rachel Crewe, put in a commendable effort, forcing Trevelyan to take snap shots from distance. Towards the end of the first half, Trevelyan got a second goal with a speculative shot, completely against the run of play, as their central midfielder lobbed the entire Derwent team. The home side celebrated as the ball bounced into the back of the net, stunning the visiting supporters.
Derwent went in at the break 2-0 down, a scoreline that was arguably unreflective of their strong performance. The second period began in lively fashion. Derwent forward Molly Beazley made an instant impression with a number of shots on goal but was unable to get the ball past the home side's goalkeeper.
Wilkinson came to the rescue with a spectacular sliding tackle to deny Trevelyan a goal mid-way through the half, but as the game went on the team from York found themselves under greater pressure. With minutes to go a scuffed shot from the Trevelyan striker found its way to the post and was rebounded into the goal.
Both goalkeepers (Ellie McLaughlin and Ellie Meagher) made a number of impressive saves, and the Derwent attack put a lot of pressure on their opponents, but in the end Trevelyan were better able to convert the chances handed to them. Seconds before full time they scored again, giving them a 4-0 victory and providing Durham with points on the board early in the day's proceedings.
In the B fixture, Langwith faced off against Collingwood. Langwith found it difficult to deal with the raft of speedy players at the Durham side's disposal, and were without possession of the ball for much of the game. Despite the final score being 8-1 to Collingwood, the highlight of the match was undoubtedly Kate Blair's spectacular goal early on in the second half for the visiting team. Receiving the ball in the middle of the pitch, she rounded her marker and then dummied the last defender before striking the ball into the top of the net from 15-meters out. A breathtaking score which left players on both sides amazed.