Department of Sport

University of Nottingham Women's Hockey crowned 2022 BUCS Champions at BUCS Big Wednesday

 

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BUCS Hockey Women’s Championship - University of Nottingham v University of Birmingham

The temperate had risen throughout the day and when the players took to the field the sun was beating down on the synthetic pitch at Beeston Hockey Centre. The home support were also making themselves heard with a huge amount of supporters arriving the cheer on the Women’s team.

When the much anticipated game finally got underway it was Nottingham who looked to impose their possession based style first.

It took less that 5 minutes to see flashes of the quality from UoN Sport Scholar, Nike Lorenz, who used all her experience to weave her way through the Birmingham midfield and drive towards to D.

Nottingham nearly took the lead inside 10 minutes when Jordan Homan saw her shot fire just over the bar much to the relief of the Evie Wood in the Birmingham goal.

The pressure was telling and began to draw defensive mistakes from the Birmingham defence.  Nottingham failed to take advantage though and the home team spurned an early penalty corner opportunity when they were adjudged to have not received the ball outside of the D.

Despite dominating possession in the first quarter, UoN couldn’t find their breakthrough thanks to some resilient defending from the Lions deep in their own territory.

Katie Curtis continued to be a menace in the second quarter and drew a number of fouls as she worked her way through the Birmingham squad. The direct approach right through the heart of midfield was causing some real challenges for University of Birmingham.

Nottingham’s second big chance came from some fantastic defensive work from Sally Sime . The captain expertly won the ball back to shutdown a Birmingham opportunity with the resultant counter attack forcing a save low from Evie Wood. The follow-up on the goal line was impeded and produced the second penalty corner.  Katie Curtis fired it in but the chance was pushed wide right by Lorenz who made good contact with her strike.

Birmingham enjoyed a spell of possession just before half time and forced a penalty corner of their own. The chance was shut down quickly and time expired to keep the scores level at the break.

Half Time : University of Nottingham 0 – 0 University of Birmingham

With nothing to separate the teams at the break it was clear that Nottingham needed to find an extra gear and be more clinical.  

Birmingham started to build some momentum and possession of their own in the game and nearly took the lead. A trick play for a penalty corner picked out Millie Giglio’s. Her low shot made its way through a number of bodies but was well saved by the feet of the Nottingham keeper.

There were some nervy moments towards the end of the quarter with the game openingup and both teams attacking with pace and intent. One team needed to get some control, with neither side wanting the game to head to penalties.

Maddie Axford picked a huge aerial pass out of the sky with some beautiful control which set her up 1-on-1 in acres of space.  The chance was expertly saved by Wood low to her left to deny a certain scoring opportunity with with keepers outstretched stick.
 

There was still time for Birmingham to deny Nottingham at another penalty corner chance and with the game on a knife-edge the fans in the stands were getting increasingly nervous.

Up-stepped Maddie Axford.

With just 5 minutes to spare, Axford had a ball fizzed into her inside the D. Her control was exceptional and she pulled the ball back across her body to open up a shooting opportunity and smashed the ball home to send the crowd into raptures.

There was some real urgency from Birmingham to get back into it but when the seconds ticked out University of Nottingham were crowed as the 2022 BUCS Women’s Hockey Champions.

Head Coach, Matt Taylor will be delighted with his Nottingham team who have flirted with the Championship title in recent years but not managed to pick up the gold medal.

There were jubilant scenes in the front on the crowd as Sally Sime finally got her hands on the BUCS Championship Trophy.


For more information on Performance Women’s Hockey at University of Nottingham  click here.

You can re-watch the Women’s Championship victory  in full here.


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BUCS Hockey Men’s Championship - University of Nottingham v Loughborough University

University of Men’s Hockey team headed into the final in imperious form having chalked up some fantastic results in the BUCS regular season and the National League.

They carried this form into the final and started well applying pressure early to the Loughborough defence.

With 18 minutes on the clock the biggest chance of the game was missed by Loughborough with a wide-open goal missed at the back post. The Loughborough forward got his feet all wrong and couldn’t get a clean connection with the ball. Any kind of meaningful contact would have broken the deadlock but the score remained goalless and Nottingham had a let-off!

A short corner for Nottingham brought up the first score of the game with Louis Tipper deflecting the initial strike past the keeper.

It didn’t take long for Loughborough to draw level with a fantastic response from Ellis Robson whose trickery brought him into the D and he slotted it home to make it 1-1.

Nottingham restored their advantage in the 2nd quarter with a penalty flick but their lead didn’t last for long and Loughborough pegged them back once again through a goal from Tom Moorehouse.

Half Time : University of Nottingham 2 – 2 Loughborough University

The second half was a nervy affair with both teams playing some fantastic hockey and it was Loughborough struck who struck the killer blow with a well-timed penalty corner and a low shot from Stuart Rushmere.

There were nervy moments with less and a minute on the clock as Nottingham were awarded a penalty corner. The visitors held firm and blocked the final chance of the game and when the ball was recovered the whistle had been blown to crown Loughborough as champions for 2022.

Speaking to UoN Sport after the game Men’s Captain Jonathan Lankfer said,

“Our heads are high after that, we said before the game just how lucky we are, because first and foremost we are 16 really good mates playing hockey and that’s been our mantra all season of being good blokes on-and-off the pitch and playing for this club means so much to us. When we reflect on the game we played some great hockey and had some special moments but we just didn’t get the result we wanted unfortunately.”

 “This was a really good effort by us. The beauty of this season is we haven’t just been focusing on BUCS but also the National League as well and so as far as season’s go this has been outstanding for us.”

“We have re-ignited the passion for BUCS and for playing in big games like this. This will be the legacy this group leaves for the next players to pick up the shirt and take forward. The aspiration every year should be to be playing in these Championship games at BUCS Big Wednesday and long may that continue.”
 


For more information on Performance Men’s Hockey at University of Nottingham click here.

You can re-watch the Men’s Championship final in full here.

Posted on Thursday 24th March 2022

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