The University of Birmingham Sport (UBSport) Women’s Lacrosse team suffered a heart-breaking 10-9 defeat at the hands of Cambridge in the 2012 BUCS Championships final at Mount St. Mary’s College, Sheffield on Thursday, March 15.
Both teams preparation for the match was hampered by traffic problems, with the Birmingham team arriving over an hour after the game was planned to kick-off.
This seemed to disrupt Birmingham’s flow early in the game, which did not get off to the best start when Emily Hughes left the field of play with a nasty injury.
Cambridge were able to take full advantage by going into a quick-fire two goal lead as the Birmingham team appeared to be feeling the effects of losing one of their main attacking threats.
Despite Alice Bruynseels fine solo effort, Cambridge looked as though they begin might run away with the match as two goals from Alana Livesey gave them a 4-1 lead.
However, the Birmingham comeback began as Hollie Harrington teed up Kirsten Lafferty to power home, before Brunyseels grabbed her second to reduce the deficit to just goal.
Georgie Pritchard then made it 5-3 to Cambridge, but this only seemed to spur Birmingham on, as they sought to avenge defeat in the 2010 final at the hands of the same opponents.
Harrington took another assist as she laid on Verity Harrington-Green to score before Nicole Patterson equalised for Birmingham to send the travelling fans wild.
The momentum appeared to be with the Birmingham side, and they took full advantage as they completed the miraculous comeback when Brunyseels grabbed her hat-trick, before Lafferty made it 7-5.
However, Cambridge rallied once more, and scored three goals in quick succession to restore their lead. But Harrington would not let her team go down without a fight, and slammed home the equaliser to make it 8-8 before Lafferty smashed in her hat-trick goal to give Birmingham the upper-hand once more.
There was a late twist in the tail, though, as Cambridge, who had equalised minutes before, survived a scare when Jess Adams hit the post, before counter attacking and scoring the all-important winner through Laura Plant to leave the Birmingham team distraught after falling at the final hurdle once more.
Following the match, Coach Dave Abini was delighted with how his team played, but gutted that they could not pull off a late victory: ‘It was an exceptional performance. We worked hard throughout the game, it was 4-1 at one stage but we got it back. It was just a great game.
‘Both teams deserved to win that match. We worked hard this year, had a pretty good season and we have to come back stronger next year.