Men’s Hockey – Match Report

28th March 2010

Under the floodlights of Beeston hockey club was where Men’s Varsity Hockey was to take place after having watched the Women unfortunately succumb to an unfairly heavy defeat in a game that proved to be much scrappier than expected. All eyes fell upon the main event of the evening and a decent crowd had appeared to line the sidelines and the balcony. Everything was to play for as as it stood if Trent won they would be crowned CRY Charity Varsity 2010 Champions with the series standing as it did 7-5!

So pressure was on Uni as the game at its frantic pace with both teams on the looking to achieve the early advantage with Uni coming the closest hitting the crossbar early on! The game then settled down from this end to end stuff into a situation where Trent had the majority of possession (just) but where unable to use it as effectively as Uni were, resulting in them being pinned back into their own half.

This pressure then culminated in Uni earning a short corner followed by a well worked corner which allowed Uni to take the lead spectacularly, finishing the move by placing the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal. Leaving the goalkeeper stunned and inspecting his broken stick!

Trent responded with an aggressive period of play trying to level the scores however Uni quashed any such attempt with their solid defense. Soon the tables had turned and Uni were back on the attack only being prevented by some great last ditch defending from the Trent side and more athletic Trent goalkeeping. Trent’s downfall came as Nick Catlin was through on goal and subsequently fouled giving Uni a penalty to double the score. Uni were unable to capitalize on the penalty but were still in control of the game apart from the sporadic Trent breaks all of which resulted in nothing. Uni’s pressure was finally rewarded as with a great goal, Uni played the ball tactfully to the byline then a well placed cross was met by a diving Doug Mill’s stick which sent it past the helpless Trent GK.

The rest of the half was evenly matched as Uni seemed content with the 2-0 lead going into half-time. As the second half began the first piece of excitement came as handbags were exchanged between the two sides resulting in both the offending players being sent to the bin. The play was static to start with and took time to adjust the second half but what a treat we were in for!

Trent started to make opportunities and soon snatched an opportunity to pull the lead back to within one goal by nutmegging the Uni GK. Trent were not going to go without a fight and they started testing the Uni defense with a few close chances which were unfortunate not to result in goals especially after their build up. Then a lose pass by Trent cost them as Uni countered and once again took the ball to the sideline followed by a shot that was well saved by the Trent GK but Uni was well placed to put the parry away into the net to restore the two goal cushion for Uni at 3-1.

Trent were justifiably not amused as the game had seemed to be going in their favour and then the 2 goal mountain had reappeared! They channelled their frustration well and were reward immediately! 3-2 Uni as both teams looked to go for it all! Their joy was short lived though as an outstanding single hand run and shot resulted in a spectacular goal. He gained possession at the half-way then moved majestically through the Trent D to face the GK with a tight angle but nothing stopped the rampage as he positioned his shot perfectly between keeper and the near post, 4-2 Uni!

After the rapid fire goals played settled with Uni in control of possession as they looked to shut out the game with their two goal advantage but Trent kept at it and were awarded a short corner that allowed them, with a nicely executed move, to bring the score to 4-3 with about three to go!

Uni reverted to attack as the best form of defence for the last few minutes as Trent threw everything they had at Uni! Uni pushed forward and nearly sealed the game only denied by the post once again, Trent retaliated with a great passage of play that got them a short corner as the final whistle went. So Trent had a short corner, the next time the ball went out it was over, if they scored it went to penalties and the Varsity series got ever closer to Trent, if they missed Uni’s best hope was for a drawn series.

The short corner came in, Trent shot…great save by the Uni keeper and the ball was cleared away rapidly. The whistle went again leaving Uni the victors and the team surrounded their deserved keeper, as Uni won Varsity Hockey 2010 4-3.

Overall it was a solid performance by Uni who just did exactly what they needed to to win, as they were the dominant attacking force but they went to sleep at 2-0 and let Trent get back into it but they were able to control the situation!

by Tom Ryan