Varsity Hockey Pre-Match Report

11th March 2013

Friday evening will see a Varsity double-header as the Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams of the two Nottingham Universities will face off at Beeston Hockey Club for a Varsity Point apiece.

The Uni men will be hoping to put the demons of last year’s defeat to rest, after they were cruelly denied victory by some very questionable decisions by the match officials. However, they come to face this game off the back of a very profitable season, which saw them finish a respectable third place in the elite BUCS Premier League North, the highest level of BUCS competition in field hockey. In contrast, the Trent 1sts compete in the lower Midlands 1A Division, in which they finished second, narrowly losing the Division Championship to Birmingham 2nds by a single point. This does however mean that Uni and Trent have not played each other at all so far this season, so despite their lower league status Trent could spring a surprise or two come game day. The Uni boys will be hoping that their experiences from a season which saw them duel with such University sporting superpowers as Birmingham, Sheffield Hallam and of course Loughborough will leave them ready for anything Trent might throw at them. Both teams also boast international-level players amongst their ranks (most notably Team GB’s Harry Martin), and they will be hoping that they are released from club duty with Beeston in order to take part in the game.

Like their male counterparts, the Uni Women’s 1st Team also compete at the highest level of BUCS competition, in the BUCS Premier League North. Although their season might not have been quite as successful as the Men’s, having to settle with a 4th place league finish, they can still look back with pride on some hard-fought results, the most memorable of which was their 4-0 demolition of Leeds Carnegie. The women are in a very similar position to the men, in that they are also yet to face their Trent counterparts this season. The Trent Ladies compete in the equivalent division to their male counterparts (BUCS Midlands A1 Division), in which they mirrored their cross-town rivals by finishing fourth. Although they may have spent the season playing at a lower level, there’s no question that the Trent ladies will be absolutely pumped on game day, and will constitute a serious threat to a Uni side who have shown a tendency to leak goals this season. All in all, the women’s game is set to be a very open match.

Last week on the Sport Show we were delighted to be joined by representatives of the University’s Men’s & Women’s Hockey Teams, who talked us through their buildup to their seasonal marquee clash versus Nottingham Trent. If you missed that interview, you can listen to it now to hear about the upcoming match from the players themselves:

Varsity Hockey always proves to be an entertaining, fast-paced and exciting affair. Not only that, with all of the two Universities’ Hockey Teams playing each other throughout the day, there’s a great atmosphere as the entire clubs get involved with the action, with the lower teams making for a large (and vocal!) crowd by the time the 1sts face each other. We thoroughly recommend you get down there on Friday night!

Varsity 2013 – Hockey at Beeston Hockey Club
Friday 15th March
Women’s push-off 5:30pm
Men’s push-off 7:30pm

Michael Gaffney