Old Malton fell 3-1 at lowly Slazengers to lose ground on the Yorkshire League division one leaders.

Slazengers had only won two of their previous 12 matches but a disorganised and patchy Malt performance on their return from the festive break contributed to their victory.

The opening quarter saw both sides find their feet after Christmas over-indulgence before a missed tackle allowed Slazengers to take the lead.

A quick counter and a short-corner goal from Tom Brough got the Ryedale side back on terms, but it was their only highlight.

The remainder of the half was to and fro, both sides playing some flowing hockey, but the second half belonged to the hosts.

It was 10 minutes old when a home striker was allowed to run unchallenged into the ‘D’ and strike a low shot home. Malton then lost their way and far too often the ball was given away too easily.

Strong words between team-mates and a reshuffle saw Malton take the game to the hosts but finishes were rushed or, more often, the ball was lost. As they over-extended themselves they were left exposed at the back and a counter attack, with four on two, brought Slazengers a third goal.

Pickering fell to ninth in Yorkshire Women’s League division five after a 2-1 defeat to Harrogate V. Pickering do have games in hand, however, with which they can climb the table.

Pickering II also lost, 4-3 to Wakefield V who thus went above them at the top of division six Yorkshire. The Ryedale ladies are now two points behind but have three games in hand in the race for the title.