In the last 32 of the BUCS trophy, the minimum expectation for Birmingham Women’s 2nd XI Hockey Team would be to advance to the next round – and this is exactly what they did, if in a slightly inglorious manner.
Needless to say, Birmingham will not care much for the quality of the performance as they are into the next round – as is the nature of cup fixtures. Indeed, it was clear Brum were the technically superior and better drilled side. However, they just lacked a cutting edge up top- a combination of good last ditch defending from the visitors and complacency in front of goal.
Their build up play was assured, and they cut through the palatinate purple of Durham frequently. A source of great frustration for the home side was their inefficiency at converting short corners, of which they had a staggering seven. They were far too slow at getting their shots off after the tee-up, and this allowed the Durham defenders time to rush out and block well. Additionally, credit must be given to the Durham keeper, who made numerous saves to keep her team in the tie.
Ultimately, it was their composure that won it for the home side, as the girls confidently dispatched their flicks to win the match and advance to the last 16. Work on their short corners, and this side truly will be a force to be reckoned with.