On Wednesday, February 29, the University of Birmingham Sport (UBSport) Men’s and Women’s first hockey teams enjoyed a fantastic day in the spring sun, comfortably defeat their Durham counterparts in front of a huge of spectators.
The women’s side opened the big event as they faced up to an inexperienced Durham first team who have already taken the league crown. It was the visitors who struck first, after Brenda Moore turned away from a defender to sweep it into the bottom corner. But this only spurred Birmingham on, and after missing several opportunities, the hosts got back into the game when Sarah Haycroft finished on a flowing move.
This momentum continued into the second half, where Birmingham took the lead when Becky Slater slammed in from close range. Anna Griffiths then made the points safe when she finished superbly giving Birmingham a 3-1 on the day. Victory keeps Birmingham in second spot in the league, five points behind their opponents, as they go into the final round of matches next week.
Following victory for the women, the men’s side looked to make it a double celebration over the Durham sides. Birmingham got off to the perfect start, with Pete Jackson smashing home from a short corner. However, Durham grabbed a scrappy equaliser through James McCarthy to draw them level.
But Birmingham soon had the advantage again, when Sam Hiscock fired through the legs of the keeper. Durham goalkeeper Lewis Ankress was forced in to making a number of fine saves, but was unable to prevent Birmingham going further in front, as two goals from Nick Bandurak and another from Jackson handed Birmingham a 5-1 win.
Norman Stott, manager of the men’s Birmingham team said after the game: ‘It would have been good if we could have gone into the second half with more than a one goal advantage, but considering that’s all we had I think we played very well in the end. I know it’s a cliché but I’d like to think it was a genuine team performance. We have 16 players and everybody came on and played their part.’