The University of Birmingham Sport (UBSport) Korfball first team attended the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) sponsored BSKA National Championships this weekend with high hopes of success, and the possibility of a medal in the back of their minds.
Having lost a significant number of players from the previous year’s bronze medal winning team, Birmingham had already shown great promise by achieving top seed from the BSKA Southern Championships held earlier in the year.
Birmingham battled their way through a shaky start against Leeds to win the first group game 9-3 and put any nerves to bed, with Jess Beale and Andy Davies scoring well.
In their second group game, Birmingham showed finesse in attack putting sixteen past Reading, whilst showing resilience in defence, conceding only two.
The last game of the morning saw a closely fought contest between UBSport and St. Andrews, with Birmingham leading 6-4 at half time. Unfortunately, the later voted male MVP, Andrew Hall, turned on the magic in the second half and St. Andrews came out victors at 11-7. Though, coming second in the group, UBSport were still through to the quarter finals.
A 10-6 victory over Edinburgh in the quarter finals meant that UBSport were through to the second day with a place in the semi-finals against favourites, and defending champions, Nottingham.
Birmingham came out, relaxed and quietly confident of causing an upset.
Nottingham took an early three goal lead, which was met instantly by three quick goals from UBSport. As the first half finished, with Nottingham only two goals ahead, it was clear that UBSport were not going out without a fight. However, in the second half, the experience of Nottingham’s two full England international boys showed, and the game slowly crept away from UBSport, who went out and into the 3rd/4th play-off to a flattering score line of 14-7.
With a solid defensive performance by the quartet of Stephen Carter, Peter Jones, Jess Beale & Kim Munro, Hallam were kept quiet in attack. At the other end, well-timed goals by Andy Davies and Rebecca Kjaedegaard, assisted perfectly by Andy Bovey and Laura Pacey, enabled Birmingham to comfortably beat Sheffield Hallam 8-3 and claim the bronze medal.
Jess Beale won female MVP and female Top Goal Scorer to add to the accolades of a successful weekend.