Saturday Night Lights: EUMHC Varsity Report
EUMHC 1st XI Goalkeeper Jack Banister gives you his take on Saturday night’s Hockey Varsity.
Hockey Varsity has become a regular event for the EUMHC and, once again, it grew in size this year.
In total, over 650 students piled through the gates, creating an electric atmosphere inside the Nando’s Arena.
EUMHC legends Tom Appleby, labeled by EULHC Fresh as the EUMHC’s version of ‘Ed Sheeran,’ and the ever-entertaining Will Walshe manned the mic for the evening.
Through a trusty, siren-enabled megaphone, 2nd XI Fresher Noah Sharples also took to making life hard for the poor sods who had to play on the wings for Birmingham.
There was love shown for all the lads – especially for 3rd year Andrew ‘Rooster’ Ross, who drew a resounding cheer from the Green Army every time he put a Penalty Corner past me during the warm-up.
From the start of the game, what followed was, in the words of EUMHC forward Nick Rees: “a typical game of University-style ping pong.”
Despite strong beginnings, we failed to capitalise thanks to some strong goalkeeping from Birmingham custodian Tom Pinnegar.
A series of Swan Lake-style pirouettes from the Rooster dazzled everyone around him. Despite our best efforts, though, we failed to convert.
The best chance of the half undoubtedly fell to Birmingham in the final 20 seconds of the first half.
A forward broke through onto yours truly, who eventually skied a reverse stick tomahawk onto the rubber crumb with the goals begging to be slammed.
Fresher, true northerner and Snapchat addict Ed Fleet had a terrific individual game in the heart of our defence.
In the 40th minute, just after half time, he was unlucky to concede a penalty stroke when the ball struck his body near the goal.
Despite my dive, which unfortunately took me nowhere near the ball and made me look like a bit of muppet, Will Byas converted for Birmingham.
Minutes after, he helped to double their lead after getting down the byline and centring to leave Alex Slater to slot home from close range.
With 25 minutes left, it was going to take some brilliance for us to get back into the contest – and we had a glimmer of hope.
Ed Matts, owner of the world’s biggest schlid, drove into the shoulder of the D, turned onto his reverse and smashed a tomahawk (reverse stick shot) into the roof of the net.
It was a pretty ridiculous goal, pandemonium duly ensued, and he quickly formulated the following, typically tragic Lemmy pick-up line: “Yeah, I’m the one who scored THAT goal today.”
Of course, the rest of the night didn’t follow the nice script we tried in vain to write, with Birmingham holding on despite a couple of goal line scraps, and running out 2-1 winners.
Post-game, it was hard to know what to feel. For me, there was amazement at having played in front of such an enormous crowd but huge disappointment at coming up short.
Despite the disappointing result, the lads all the enjoyed the game immensely. Thank you to all who came to watch. It really does mean a huge amount to us as players.
Finally, we cannot thank the rest of the EUMHC’s members enough. They go out of their way and work tirelessly to put on this event for their club.
Next year, hopefully we can get the result their work deserves.