Men’s Hockey – University of Birmingham 3rds 2-1 Warwick 1sts
Lions win the battle for third place against Warwick 1sts in the last game of the season.
The Midlands 1A season was coming to an end. The Lions were sitting joint third with Warwick and only just ahead by goal difference. The Lions may have had no chance of moving up the table. However, it was all still to play for as they could finish the season in their current third place position with a win over the opposition.
The final game of any league campaign always has the possibility of being a dull one with tired legs, aches and pains accumulating over the long campaign. However, this was not the case for the Lions as they were determined to solidify their third-place position.
It didn’t take long for the Lions to take the lead after a tremendous piece of play that started right from the back. The Lions’ defender flicked the ball out to the right winger. The right wing back then miraculously kept the ball in play with a dive for the ball and a pass down the right wing. The dive was certainly one for the cameras. The Lions’ right winger dribbled into the striking circle, laid it off to an incoming Birmingham runner who calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner. 1-0 to Birmingham.
After a brilliant solo dribble from the Lions’ number thirty down the right wing and a good pass into the striking circle, the Lions received a short corner after a foul by Warwick. The short corner was fizzed out to the sixteen-yard line, the ball was stopped dead and the shot was on target. The Warwick keeper made a good save but the shot was followed up with a rebound and the ball sailed into the goal. This determination from the Lions’ forward painted the picture of the first half as the Lions were quick to every ball, while Warwick looked lack-lustre. The first half ended 2-0 to Birmingham.
The second half saw the Lions come out with the same passion and determination. They were having most of the possession leading to a lot of chances in front of goal. The Lions arguably should have scored two more goals in the first half of the second half. In both cases however they could not get their shot away; if they did it would have been a certain goal. There might have been some frustration from the Birmingham players because of this as one of the players did receive a green card for a swinging stick.
The game was getting heated with arguments between the referee, players and coaches. The Lions then received another green card for a dangerous challenge which caused uproar on the opposition bench. Soon after this, the Lions’ forward was through on goal but the Warwick goalkeeper was quick off the line, he got to the ball but took out the Lions’ player in the process. It was a nasty collision as the Warwick keeper suffered a nose bleed. This challenge once again caused arguments to spread across the pitch but the referee said it was a fair challenge.
Warwick elected to play an extra outfield player instead of their injured goalkeeper. This tactic paid off as with a few minutes to go the opposition scored from a short corner. The game certainly became tense as Warwick were piling on the pressure to get an equaliser. However, the Lions held on and took the victory. The game finished 2-1 to Birmingham which meant the home team took third sport in the league. It was a relatively successful season for Birmingham 3rds and hopefully they can build on this in their next league campaign.