With the league season wrapped up, the Men’s Hockey 1sts put in a wonderful second half display and dispatched the University of Reading 4-0 in the cup at the Bournbrook pitches.
With Reading having finished bottom of the South A league, and Birmingham finishing 3rd, 1 point away from the title, in the North A league, it was somewhat expected that the hosts would triumph in this cup match, and the crowd were not disappointed as the Lions grabbed a goal within the first minute. It looked to be going from bad to worse for Reading as some good play in the final third led to a shot in the D and only a fantastic save from their goalkeeper denied Birmingham a 2-0 lead within 2 minutes.
The Lions attack continued to excel, with No. 13 dancing through the Reading defence from deep and creating a chance for himself. Unfortunately, he could only shoot straight at the keeper whilst falling, but the signs were there for Reading. The away side then conceded a short corner, but the shot from Birmingham on the edge of the D flew just wide.
Reading grew into the game towards the end of the half, and a lapse in concentration at the back saw an opportunity for a clear shot open up, but this chance was wasted. Birmingham then gave away a short, and their keeper made a great save to keep the hosts in the lead at the break.
The late Reading pressure seemed to suggest they were not going to roll over in this match, and this was recognised by the Lions as they once again scored within the opening minute of the half. A bit of a scrappy goal, but exactly what the team needed. Birmingham kept the early pressure up, and successfully converted a short corner routine into the top corner with a lovely shot to quash any fears of a defeat.
It was attack vs defence for a large portion of the second half as the hosts continued to dominate, and scored another goal to put the result beyond all doubt. Without question, the Lions demonstrated the quality to score a few more in the second half, but with the result so far gone there was little need for them to overexert themselves.
The match finished 4-0 to Birmingham, who deservedly advance to the next round of the cup, where they will play away against the University of Bath on February 28.