Durham put a dent in Civica’s title hopes

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A TALE of two corners resulted in Sheffield Hallam Civica’s title hopes suffering a serious setback at fellow high fliers Durham University.

After a goalless first half, indiscipline in the Civica ranks led to the home side taking the lead from a short corner but Hallam responded almost immediately when a short corner of their own ended with a Mike Shaw drag-flick equaliser.

It looked as though the game was destined for a draw but cue controversy over a disputed short corner which followed brave defending by Matt Gough who took the full force of the ball in his face. Civica’s complaints were ignored and Coultas fired home an unstoppable flick.

In the final minute indiscipline in the Durham defence resulted in a short corner but Roper’s drag flick was saved by the keeper and Hallam’s over-exuberant attempts to win the ball back in front of goal were penalised.

There will no doubt be more twists and turns in the North Conference title race and the Abbeydale squad have not given up hope of winning their final four games and regaining top spot.

Surprise table-toppers and South Yorkshire rivals Doncaster are the vistors on Sunday and a positive result for Civica could throw things wide open once again.

In the end it was all about Sheffield Hallam second team’s attack and derby rivals Chapeltown’s defence.

The attack won the day as the Abbeydale side pocketed the points in a 3-0 victory that moved them back up to fifth in North League Division 1.

Hallam’s fourth penalty corner provided their first goal via Will Sides and although Chapeltown responded with penalty corners of their own they were unable to capitalise on them.

They were made to pay when Hugh Bagley’s speculative reverse stick shot that would have gone straight past the face of goal was deflected in by the keeper.

Danny Berry was unlucky not to add a third when his ferocious reverse-stick shot cracked off the bar but Hallam did eventually break through again in the final five minutes when Rhys Gowman flicked home the second of four penalty corners.

The victory completed a perfect weekend for the team as 24 hours earlier they had crushed City of Manchester 5-1 with two goals from Dave Meason and others from Piers du Boulay, George Popple and Man of the Match Bagley.