In the overcast conditions down at the Bournbrook Pitches the UoB Men’s 2nds and 3rds Hockey teams competed against each other and it was intense from the start. Playing against your own club team can often result in quite a relaxed match but not this time. Both teams were out to win as demonstrated by a member from both sides receiving green cards and warnings from the umpires throughout the match. UoB hockey is one of the University’s strongest sports, which was clearly displayed in this tight match-up as nothing could separate them throughout the match.
Both teams played with a combination of high intensity and incredible skill. However, the 3rds capitalised on their opportunities in the final third especially in the first half. The first short corner of the game enthused the gathering crowd as pot-shot by Howard took a deflection and nestled in the top right corner of the goal, giving the 3s an early lead. Although the 2s contested the goal with the umpire stating that it should’ve been disallowed it was controversially still given. Shortly after the first short corner that led to the opening goal, the 3s again attacked and a nasty stick tackle by the 2s defence gave away yet another short corner. This time a beautiful drag flick sailed into the net, giving the keeper no chance to make the score 2-0. Both teams were playing well, however the 3s exploited every opportunity they got whereas the 2s, who had as many chances as the 3s, just couldn’t seem to get the ball past the keeper and into the goal no matter how hard they tried. Rather surprisingly, the 2s lacked a little bit of quality and finesses in the final third. However, towards the end of the first half the 2s finally got short corner and they brilliantly dispatched it to get them back in the game with the score reading 2-1 at half time.
The 2s came out fighting at the start of the second half showing great character and a desire to prove their superiority over the 3s. It was this constant pressure and intensity that resulted in the 3s making a multitude of errors, which blotted their otherwise good performance. After constant pressure Gosford picked up the ball for the 2s and smashed a shot towards the goal and the opportunistic Krum dived spectacularly to deflect the past the keeper and into the goal. The 2s kept up the aggressive nature throughout the entire second half with great effect, forcing the 3s into making more and more mistakes, which eventually led conceding a short corner following a miscommunication between two defenders. This allowed the 2s to score again take the lead for the first time. The scoreline remained unchanged for the remainder of the match, meaning the match finished 3-2 in favour of the Men’s 2s who showed their superior class after a plucky performance from their friends in the third team.