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#BUCSWednesday Notepad: Week 7

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As Warwick’s sports clubs tied their rainbow laces to support the ‘Kick Homophobia out of Sport’ campaign, the gloomy skies offered a vivid contrast to the colour on the pitch. With loyal reporters at Cryfield, Westwood and Desso Hall, not to mention covering this week’s #ClubSpotlight, it was a busy Boar #BUCSWednesday.


Two perfect records collide in Desso Hall

A packed Desso Hall buzzed with excitement. It wasn’t just the squeaking of shoes – a sound as much evocative of a bird’s nest as badminton – across all four courts that spread the excitement, but that on display was the much-anticipated ‘Game of the Week.’ Warwick 2s v Cambridge 1s: two teams unbeaten thus far in the men’s Midlands 2B division. With expectations high, the games did not disappoint.

At times, the pace of the action veered towards frenzy. Dan Lewis and Jack Rogerson gave their all in a doubles match that gripped the crowd with drama. To avert your eyes was to miss a fierce smash shot, flashing past the opponent’s desperate reach, or a deft drop shot, subverting the reign of tension with the crowd’s deserving applause.

Yet Cambridge were relentless, their consistency overcoming an animated Warwick performance in a 5-3 win. The hosts will be forced to wait until 1 March for a rematch – for now attention turns to Nottingham Trent in the cup. But in such a well-matched contest where the result was never certain, Warwick can be confident of revenge.

Westwood wind and winding wing play

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Image: Matt Richardson

The bitter Westwood wind was not the only force the women’s 1s contended with on a day ill-suited for hockey skirts and short-sleeved shirts. Nor was the sizeable away support for the Birmingham 3s in their zipped-up jackets and winter hats. In all likelihood, the 1s paid heed to neither. This has been a trying season for Warwick thus far in Midlands 1A. Bottom of the league with one win in four, all thoughts were on three points and three points alone.

Following an encouraging half for Warwick, the frequency of away attacks multiplied. Impervious to the biting cold, Birmingham’s no. 12 posed a constant threat down the left-wing, her mazy dribbles bewildering the home defence, to the away support’s obvious delight.

The awarding of two penalty corners in quick succession threatened to derail Warwick morale. As it was, the hosts were fortunate that Birmingham capitalised on just one. It is to Warwick’s credit that they resisted collapse – now the climb up the table must begin.

The archetypal game of two halves

As is often the way with football, at half-time the lads were wondering ‘how many will we get today?’ but at full-time asking themselves ‘how on earth did we lose that?’.

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Image: Alex Jennings

Then again, such a topsy-turvy flow was perhaps foreseeable: this was a game in which Warwick Men’s 1s’ opener, an efficient counter-attack finished by Hancock, came from a Cambridge 1s corner. The opportunities to make it 2-0 were several: some quick thinking at a throw-in and a deft touch in the box meant a cool head was all that was required for the onrushing forward, but the ball was sent into a figurative row-Z. An impressive piece of link-up from Dwyer-Ifill was followed by some very skilful wing-play from Hancock, but there was no finish to match. Another half chance was spurned after a well-timed through ball, as a one-sided first 45 came to an end.

It’s fair to say Cambridge’s equaliser came against the run of play and with no small share of good fortune – a sliced shot deceived the suitably-named Banks in goal. This gave the opposition a new lease of life and their right-hand side saw a lot of action as the game progressed. With team morale somewhat tetchy, Hancock’s second of the game came as welcome relief as our forwards finally found their rhythm.

Unfortunately it was all rather downhill from there. Not for the last time in the match, the ball was lost in Warwick’s half and a lovely strike from range rattled the post. Soon it was 2-2, with the Cambridge man powering home from a tight angle. With the midfield overrun, 3-2 Cambridge was inevitable and Banks was required to pull off some fine saves to prevent further embarrassment. Warwick twice came close to a last-gasp equaliser, but on neither occasion was the finishing quite perfect. Tired cliché it may be, but this was very much a game of two halves.

#ClubSpotlight week 7: Women’s Netball

 

It was a successful day for Women’s Netball 1s as they comfortable beat Worcester 2s. Go to @BoarSport on twitter or ‘The Boar Sport’ on Facebook for the full lowdown on UWWNC!

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