Men’s Hockey – University of Birmingham 1sts 1-6 University of Loughborough’s 1sts
Hockey Lions Crash Out in the Cup Semi-Finals
The Lions took on Loughborough Men’s 1st last night, both eager to advance to this year’s Championship cup final, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be as the home team suffered their biggest defeat this season, losing to their visitors 6-1.
This was always going to be a tough match for the men’s 1st team having never won a cup match against Loughborough, drawing 3-3 and losing 4-2 in their most recent ties. The match got off to a slightly delayed start, but Loughborough were quick off the mark with two short corner penalties in quick succession, one of which they scored from to open the scoring. The frustration at Loughborough’s early success was clear on the Birmingham player’s faces, one team member complaining that the home team’s basic skills were letting them down. It was clear for all to see that sloppy passes were giving Loughborough extra opportunities to gain possession which they were then capitalising on.
Another goal to Loughborough left the Lions trailing behind in their wake. The pressure from Loughborough meant that even when the Brum boys went on the attack they kept being pushed back into Loughborough’s third. The Lions defence was strong and managed to hold the opposition off for a little longer, but eventually another two quick successive goals made the score 4-0 to the away team. The match was not going Birmingham’s way much to the dismay of the home crowd and delight of the Loughborough supporters, both of which had turned out in force.
The next two attempts on goal from Loughborough were sloppy, one aerial shot missing the goal entirely and flying out of the pitch boundaries! This could have been the turning point for the match, as shortly after Birmingham were awarded a short corner for a stick-on-stick check, unfortunately however, the Loughborough goalie saved it. In the last few minutes of the half Birmingham were definitely putting up more of a fight, and making Loughborough work hard to maintain possession.
The first few minutes of the second half saw the one and only goal scored by Birmingham. The ball was deflected up by the Loughborough keeper who saved the initial attempt, then when he went to pass it out to his team, an expertly-placed Birmingham player slid in to score. The score stood at 4-1. A few minutes later saw one of the Birmingham player take a nasty hit to the head, he was down for a good few minutes and quickly received medical attention and thankfully he got up and walked off under his own steam, but was benched for the rest of the match. With only fifteen minutes of the game left and another quick goal from Loughborough, the scoreline now read 5-1 to the visitors and Birmingham’s chances of advancing to the final were looking increasingly unlikely. This was followed by another goal for Loughborough, basically a one-on-one with the keeper, almost impossible to save. This brought us to the final score of 6-1, however in the last few minutes of play Birmingham really stepped up. The keeper expertly saving two more attempts from Loughborough, but unfortunately it was too little, too late, for the home team. The final score stood at 6-1. Good luck to the boys next season!