Field Of Dreams

UCL Hockey are on an upward curve

1st XI hockey london Men's ucl uclu hockey university

As the flood lights make way for the fairy lights, the first half of the 2012/2013 hockey season draws to a close. With just one crucial game remaining before the break, it has to be said that it has been a successful start to the campaign for the UCLUHC Men’s 1XI, dropping just two points in their opening ten matches.

However, the early deployment of operation ‘Clean sweep’ by Captain Joe Melly has meant that every performance has been put in to its larger context as the side try to make history in becoming ‘the best ever…’

At the halfway stage the unbeaten UC side are still in the running for a potential ‘quadruple’ that would go some way in amending the years of hurt experienced by the squad’s senior players. This pain is accompanied by a desire that has been personified in the performances of club stalwarts Ed James and Michael Cattermole. The bigboysattheback have definitely made themselves heard; just ask the umpires, previously unaware that some of the language used by this pair actually existed.

Making solid starts in the two LUSL competitions has led to the development of a UCL fear factor that radiates from the TD fortress across the land and it is commonly known that in the same way that money gets you power, fear factor gets you walkovers. This has meant that we have only had to play one game to reach the quarter finals of the LUSL cup – is this what playing for Barcelona feels like?

Still, as fate would have it, what now stands between us and London supremacy are two huge fixtures in both the cup and the league against the Strand Poly, eager to avenge the pre-season demolition job we inflicted on them. Nevertheless, cometh the hour “We shall not flag or fail. We shall defend our mighty UC, whatever the cost may be” (Vidler, 2012).

In BUCS, highlights of the past two months include a dominant 4-0 away win over a potentially dangerous Kingston Uni side, a game in which Barney Chapman momentarily caught fire, banging in two ‘goal of the season’ contenders.

It remains to be seen whether we will see this phoenix rise from the flames again. A 5-5 thriller with Brighton delivered what was always going to be a close game. Strong performances across the pitch saw us turn a three goal deficit in to a two goal lead making it 5-3 with just 10 minutes to go, but, in what can only be described as unadulterated chaos, the buoyant UC somehow managed to concede two late goals.

The draw was a bitter pill to swallow for everyone involved, but it has provided a sense of realisation in the camp that if we are going to achieve our season goal of gaining promotion to South Eastern 1A, we will need to be more ruthless at the business end of the season. Given the vast array of capitalist acumen present in the squad, this shouldn’t be a problem.