The women’s first team have eased their way into the quarter finals of the cup after a dominant display against the Universety of Surrey, coming out 89-25 winners.
From the start, Birmingham looked dominant and racked up a large lead. So prominent was their dominance in both attack and defence, that it was 5 minutes before Surry scored their first point. The early signs from Birmingham were good, loving the ball quickly, and exploiting the height mismatch they had at goal shooter thanks to the stature of the 6’5.5” Katarina Short.
This early dominance never really ended. There were standout performances from Hannah Leighton (GK/GD) and Lucy Lister (Centre), with play seeming to pass through them whenever Birmingham won the ball. Moreover it tended to be Leighton who was winning the ball back, fighting hard for every rebound. By half time, the score was 46-11; a lead of 35 points for Birmingham, and to be honest, this game was over long before half time.
Despite Birmingham clearly having the clinical edge on the day, they never became complacent and impressively, they maintained their intensity during the second half. Player rotation was a key part in this, providing fresh legs, but credit to Birmingham for having such depth in their squad to allow them to take players like Short off the pitch and still dominate in attack. Even without their best offensive weapon, Birmingham increased their staggering lead to 48 points with a score line of 65-17 at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was much of the same and thus a bit less entertaining; sports fans want to see a contest and at this point, Surrey were just playing for pride. However, the Brummie faithful fans never stopped chanting and cheering on their team whenever they won it back in defence or scored up the other end. The atmosphere was electric from start to finish and it was great to see the team making the most of their home advantage.
Birmingham will face Hertfordshire in the next round of the cup and will be in high spirits after such a fine display. Hertfordshire will be a much bigger challenge though, having themselves beaten Surry 110-20 in the league already this year. They’re much stronger opponents with two scores in the triple figures this year, and Birmingham will have to be at their best if they want to progress.
But, if Birmingham play like they did against Surrey, I see no reason why they cannot go deep into this cup competition, and I hope their run of form can continue.