Final match of the season had arrived and last BUCS Wednesday of the year; a sad time for some, as this would be their last.
With limited numbers, we accrued some honorary 2nd team members for the trek down to Portsmouth for what we thought was going to be a chilled, fun match. We were very wrong!
Upon arrival, tension was sensed and we knew it would be feisty. With huge support on the sidelines for Portsmouth it wasn’t going to be pleasant. Brunel did however have the support of Captain Laura Eke’s Mum, fully supportive and vocal on the sidelines – like Mother, like daughter.
Brunel had secured their place in the league, unlike Portsmouth who were facing relegation, unless they came out with a miraculous 30-0 win.
Brunel won the toss and took first push back, attacking straight from the whistle and ensuring that we made our mark from the start. With a solid midfield of Saffron Hothi, Sophie Allen and Laura Eke, long runs, long passes and constant attacking meant that our strikers; Aimee Abbott, Nicole Sinclair, Danielle Barwick and Abbie Parker, were busy and attempts at goal were being made.
With a frustrating start of first half, with no goals, the game became instantly aggressive. We were ready for this fight, and we were not leaving Portsmouth with a loss.
With solid keeping from Charlotte Bush and a great defensive wall of Shelly Spooner, Anna Scovell, Natasha Matthews and Rachel Thorogood, the ball was constantly in our attacking half. With Portsmouth’s free hit they got it up to their attack, however Scovell was taking no prisoners and returned the ball up to Brunel and Barwick scored. The half-time whistle blew and Brunel were 1-0 up, just what we needed going into the second half.
With a chilled half time talk for the first time this season, the only thing to say from Eke was to get more goals and get what we deserved.
Second half underway and Men’s Hockey 2nd team now also on the sidelines, it was clear that Brunel were determined to get these goals, however Portsmouth were not making it easy, increasing the aggression and also the sideline abuse, the game became a war. With a great run from Allen, across to Eke at the top of the D, into Sinclair and GOAL! 2-0 to Brunel!
From the current score, we could afford to bring the defence up and just attack. There were 10 minutes left and Spooner went on a run up to the attack, across to Allen, over to Eke, shot, no, just wide. Brunel fed many balls into the D from the midfield and a penalty corner was awarded, attempt 1, Eke’s shot off the post and onto an opposing foot, another short corner given. Attempt 2, played out to Sinclair and another foot from the opposition and harsh words thrown from Portsmouth to Hothi and Eke and Abbott stepped in and time got stopped. Warnings given to both teams from the umpires and surely this would be 3rd time lucky with the corner. Attempt 3, up to Eke, across to Sinclair, shot and Barwick got the bunt in, her 2nd goal of the match and Brunel had won 3-0.
A very proud feeling for Captain, Eke, as this was the first time in 4 years that the 2nd team were not relegated, mission accomplished! What a great season, fantastic work from every member of the team and a huge thank you to Jeff Moores, the coach.