With both EUMHC and EULHC in action on Wednesday in their Varsity fixtures, Sport Editor James Beeson previews the event as both sides vie for a place in the BUCS semi-finals.
The University of Exeter Men’s and Women’s Hockey Varsity is set to take place this Wednesday, with both sides taking on Loughborough and Nottingham respectively on the water-based astro. With eight internationals between the two Exeter sides, it is set to be a stellar day of hockey, with BUCS championship semi-final places up for grabs for the winners.
The event holds particular significance for EULHC with the day marking their first ever Varsity fixture. Under the leadership of England representative Kathryn Lane, they have held off the likes of Cardiff, Bristol and Oxford to finish first and unbeaten in the BUCS Premier South this season.
The ladies will now face Nottingham at 3pm on Wednesday. Their opponents finished fourth in BUCS Premier North and the Green Army will go into the game as strong favourites to reach the semi-finals.
For EUMHC, this year is their fourth varsity fixture, and the prospect of a win against fierce rivals Loughborough (5pm push-back) means this is a game not to be missed. The Exeter team will go into the game full of confidence, having enjoyed an excellent season, finishing second in the Premier South division, only one point behind winners Bath.
Loughborough, however, will be no pushovers, having won the competition last year. This time around they finished third in a tough Premier North division, just behind Sheffield Hallam and Durham. Indeed they have already been in BUCS knockout action, beating Oxford Brookes 5-0 last week to progress to the quarter-finals.
With both matches being knockout fixtures, the games could go to penalty flicks should the sides be level after normal time. Also taking place on the day are two other BUCS quarter-finals involving the Men’s 2s vs 3s and Girls 2s vs Cambridge, starting at 11am and 1pm respectively. All in all it looks set to be a veritable feast of hockey.
Players To Watch:
Meg Crowson- The skillful forward has been EULHC major threat this year. Her silky stick work and emphatic finishing make her a handful for any defence.
Izzy Grigg- EULHC’s vice-captain marshals the defence with aplomb. Her thunderous slap shot is also a real weapon come short corner time.
Ed Fleet- EUMHC’s captain pulls the strings in the middle of the park. His ability to dominate proceedings may prove pivotal against such tricky opponents.
Matt Richards- The forward knows where the net is. Fresh from a cracking goal at the weekend, he will want to wow the crowds with his top notch ‘tekkers’.
In addition to the hockey, food will be available from the Timepiece burger van and equipment sponsors Stage Engage will provide musical entertainment. There will also be numerous giveaways taking place on the day, with prizes up for grabs from Young Ones, Subway, Red Bull, Monarch and Woodworm Hockey.
Tickets for the event are priced at £5, include entrance to both fixtures and are available online at http://eumhc.fatsoma.com/ , as well as on campus all week.
EUMHC Varsity squad: Ed Fleet (C), Mark Philpot (GK), Matt Richards*, William Baker, Alexander Thompson, Mark Loughrey*, Lewis Burnham, Noah Sharples, Ian White, Jack Simmons, Alex Robey*, Ben Francis*, Ali Williams, Jamie Sones, Alex Manton-Jones, Tom Watson, Tom Whitworth
EULHC Varsity Squad (probable): Kathryn Lane* (C), Ella Jackson* (GK), Lori Gleeson, Izzy Grigg, Roberta Burkin, Clare Poole*, Katie Taverner, Frankie Maffei, Hannah Griffiths*, Megan Crowson*, Nat Capel, Vanessa Sharman, Rebecca Cadwallader, Harriet Davies, Naomi Gay.
* indicates player has performed at international level.bookmark me