Image: Nick Davies

BUCS Wednesday: January 31

University of Warwick Women’s Hockey 2s 0-0 University of Coventry Women’s Hockey 1s

The last hockey game I watched was an 8-3 thriller between Warwick men’s 1s and Loughborough 4s. Do the basic maths and that adds up to a total of eleven goals. That is eleven more goals than the number I lay witness to in Wednesday afternoon’s game between the Warwick women’s 2 and the Coventry 1s. Instead, this was a match as tightly-contested and as cagey as they come. If there is a gap in quality between these two sides, as the Midlands 3B table suggests (Warwick lag two points behind Coventry), it was not to manifest today.

Both teams were slow to get any sort of rhythm going. Warwick squandered a couple of penalty corners early on before a savvy piece of dribbling from Gen Collins put the ball in the danger area. Nothing came of it, however, as was the theme of the game, with the ball ricocheting out of play. A lack of end of product would continue to vex Warwick as two more penalty corners were again not taken advantage of.

Into the second half and it was time for Coventry’s big chance of the game. A long ball fired up the pitch splintered Warwick’s high press, and left their pacey striker one-on-one with the keeper. Fortunately for Warwick she shot wide.

With Ella Deregowska leading an all-round imperious defensive effort, Coventry never really got a sight of the goal again. Warwick, on the other hand, would come agonisingly close to a late winner as a close-range shot saw the ball nick off the post and back into play. Another inch to the left and it would have been in. It was not to be though so Warwick, rather than lament missed opportunities, must now turn their attention to their next fixture against Lincoln 1s.

Greg Moore 

University of Warwick Men’s Football 2s 0-0 Cambridge University Men’s Football 2s

The University of Warwick 2s safeguarded their position at the top of the Midlands 3B group with a 0-0 draw against second placed Cambridge University 2s.

In a first against second match-up, both sides knew a win would be crucial in deciding which side would clinch top spot come the end of the 2017/18 season, with Cambridge two points adrift the West Midlands outfit with one game in hand.

The tension for the coveted top spot was evident in the early proceedings too, as neither side could grab a stranglehold on the game. Both sides were cagey and were wary of pressing forwards and increasing the risk of being opened up by their opponents, and it took until 15 minutes until there was any shot of note, when Cambridge’s forward deftly took a ball from the right and hooked it goalward with his back to goal, but his effort was tame and rolled wide.

It took Warwick 33 minutes to fashion out their first opportunity of the half, as a deflected shot from the right flank was easily held by Cambridge’s shot stopper. Warwick grew stronger as the half wore on, and on 38 minutes a ball was fizzed across the box from the left side, but the dynamic Felix Baugmartner was not on hand to apply the final touch.

After the interval, Cambridge went in search for the opener, and on 55 minutes, they darted into the area and could have altered the course of the game, but when one-on-one they wasted a golden opportunity by shooting at the Warwick goalkeeper.

Immediately after, Warwick had an opportunity of their own, but a header glanced goalward bounced just wide with the Cambridge shot stopper rooted to his line.

With 25 minutes remaining, Warwick will feel they should have scored what would have been the decisive goal to secure all three points. A ball lobbed over the goalkeeper was headed towards the open goal, with Baugmartner chasing down, but a Cambridge defender swept in at the final second to hook the ball off the line and to keep the game stalemate.

However, that was to be the last and best chance of the entire match, and Warwick will be hoping that results go in their favour so that they can maintain their lead and secure the title with just three games remaining of the campaign.

Nick Davies 

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