Sitting top of the Northern Premier League, with eight wins from ten, UoB’s Women’s 1s would have been confident going into this on. Add into the mix that they already beaten their opponents, University of Nottingham 1s, previously 6-1 in the league at fortress that is Bournbrook. And on a crisp, bright day at Bournbrook once again Brum’s confidence shone as they struck six to beat their opponents effortlessly, to progress into the semi- finals of the Championship.
Birmingham made their quality clear as they dominated possession and territory through superior skill, communication and composure in the opening moments, a trend which continued throughout the first half and the match. And Brum’s dominance showed on the scoreboard as they went into the half time break leading 3-0. Captain Hannah Martin scored the second in their rout, with a sublime, mazy run passing three Notts’ defenders before lifting the ball over the oncoming keeper with a delightful dink to make it 2-0. Erica Sanders got the third of Birmingham’s goals, and the first of her brace, with a powerful strike from a short corner which proved too much for the Notts’ keeper yet again, as it passed underneath her despairing dive.
Another excellent performance from the Women’s hockey under the watchful eye of the ever-present Old Joe
At half time my co-commentator, Chief Hockey Correspondent, Benjamin Giblin, commented how relaxed the Brum ladies looked. And they may have been slightly switched off at the beginning of the second half as a result, as Notts began to grow into the game. Though this reformation from Notts was not long lived, as about 15 minutes into the second half, Birmingham’s Number 14, a replacement player, scored to make it 4-0, followed great work down the left hand side from Holly Hunt and the aforementioned Martin, who once again performed admirably. But Birmingham did not stop there, much to the dismay of the Nottingham coach; his side shipped two more goals to eventually lose 6-0. With Hunt grabbing the fifth and Sanders getting her second, and Brum’s sixth, to round off another sublime performance from UoB’s Women’s Hockey 1s.
Birmingham play Loughborough in the semi-finals of the Championship, and having smashed them 6-0 last time they played, they will go into the tie as overwhelming favourites once again.
Matt Bullin – Head of Sport