EUMHC 2s still on for BUCS Gold!
Andrew Miller, EUMHC Club Captain, reports on the latest BUCS PwC Trophy action: the semi-final encounter between EUMHC 2s and Reading 1s.
EUMHC 2nd XI emerged triumphant and assured of a place in the BUCS Trophy final following a hard fought 3-2 victory over Reading 1st XI in the BUCS PwC Trophy semi-finals.
It was to be a match of great histrionics but Exeter was wary of the threat posed by their opponents prior to push back, centre-half Matt Laidman remarked: ‘We were under no illusions, Reading’s record spoke for itself and we were expecting a brutal encounter.’
Laidman, the side’s talisman, continued to stress that normality was not the order of the day: ‘the pitch was absolutely chopper – we were forced to work hard for territory and play concise passes around the park.’
The 200 strong crowd was in good voice as both sides let early nerves show with a string of unforced errors.
Exeter, as pre-match favourites, looked to assert themselves and earned a penalty corner after a period of sustained pressure, which was sublimely converted by prolific drag flicker Andrew Ross who used the full force of his burly frame to propel the ball past the dumbfounded keeper.
Reading struck back following a well-executed breakaway but the equal scoreline was to be short lived as Andrew Ross converted another penalty corner giving Exeter a slender lead.
As time progressed, both umpires drew cards as the game threatened to boil over – much to the crowd’s delight.
Reading’s penalty corner specialist then forced an acrobatic save from EUMHC goalkeeper Andrew Miller just before the half but strong defence meant the score remained 2-1 at the interval.
The second-half saw an early two goal lead materialise as a lofted ball was trapped by Ed Carson who demonstrated great poise to unleash a reverse stick tomahawk that struck the net with aplomb.
The goal was his fourth in consecutive matches – quite a prodigious achievement.
Exeter, however, failed to capitalise on their newfound advantage and allowed a nail-biting conclusion following a soft penalty corner goal that brought Reading within one.
Team Captain and savant, Mark Siddorn lead from the front barking orders at his troops as Exeter dug-in determined to emerge victorious.
Exeter’s tenacity, superior fitness and skill ultimately shone through and they departed for home with a 3-2 victory and safe in the knowledge that on 15 March they would compete for a BUCS gold medal.
When summarising the match, defender Will Heywood was pensive and extolled his teammates: “It takes fortitude to grind out results but our work ethic is the grist of our success. The BUCS final represents a phenomenal opportunity for this group of players and I’m delighted to be part of such a successful outfit.”
The side now enter a period of fine-tuning prior to taking to the field against Newcastle in three weeks’ time.