The Birmingham Men’s 2nd’s secured a 2-1 victory over Sheffield 1st’s (of the division below) at the Bournbrook pitches on Wednesday evening, courtesy of a late winner. They will go on to face the winner of Oxford vs Cardiff in the semi-finals.
The Birmingham men have had an impressive season, and came into this cup match in good form, unbeaten in six. Their confidence was evident in the opening quarter of the game, as they set up camp in the Sheffield half, and pressure told on the 15-minute mark, as the ball was crossed low and hard, and stabbed in to the roof of the net. 1-0 to Birmingham. It could have been better, but the home team found the Sheffield keeper in good form; one save in particular from a short corner was outstanding. Come half time the score remained 1-0.
Sheffield had posed little threat in the first half, looking primarily to use fast counter attacks as opposed to Birmingham’s sustained probing. However as the second half began it was they who looked the more dangerous, with the Birmingham’s level dropping. The Lion’s offence had much less incision and their defence was sloppier, with the keeper called into action several times.
Despite Sheffield’s threat the game seemed to be petering out in the final quarter, but then with just under 10 minutes to go, the away side powered a shot low to the keepers right from a penalty corner. 1-1 and game on.
This spurred Birmingham back to life, and they got out of jail with just 2 minutes left, with a clean strike into the bottom right of the goal from a short corner, delighting the considerable home support.
The victory moves them one win away from a cup final, and the team still harbour slim hopes of league glory too. They sit 6 points behind Edinburgh with two games in hand, although their goal difference is greatly inferior. Should they win both remaining games of the season, and somehow overhaul the goal deficit of 9, they would be North B champions.