DUHC have seen an impressive five teams reach the semi-final stages of the BUCS trophy semi-finals.
Competing in the BUCS Premier League, the women’s 2s were the first to secure their place, producing a win against Nottingham on the 6th February to claim the second semi-final spot.
With an impressive six out of eight wins, one draw and only one loss to the league champions, the women’s 2s will now travel to Wales to face Cardiff Met 1sts on the 4th March in attempt to reach BUCS Big Wednesday at Nottingham University on the 25th March.
Members of the squad have previously triumphed in this tournament, with some finalists having attained the prestigious gold only two seasons ago.
The women’s 1s took to Maiden Castle last Wednesday to compete against Edinburgh University in their attempt to assure a home semi-final against rivals Loughborough University. Helena Youmans placed an impressive four goals in the opposition net, with an additional two goals provided by team USA’s Natalie Konerth and second-year Georgie Brownhill, producing a 6-0 win for the squad.
Competing in the BUCS National league, the women’s 1s perform against nine of the top teams of the country and, like the women’s 2s, have secured second place in the league. The squad have not succumbed to a single loss so far this BUCS season, producing six out of eight wins and two draws, with goalkeeper Louisa Bray only conceding five goals compared to Durham’s 23 scored.
DUHC’s men’s 1s and 2s have both claimed top spot in their leagues with a game in hand. Despite awaiting results from subsequent games to be performed within the league to determine their opposition, both the men’s 1s and 2s are guaranteed a home semi-final down at Maiden Castle on the 4th March, fighting for their chance to make the BUCS finals.
As BUCS National League champions, the men’s 1s have produced seven wins in seven games, scoring 35 goals. Having reached the BUCS finals each season over the past three years and claiming gold twice, the Men’s 1s will be out to reclaim their title and remind everyone of their prowess and dominance on the field.
The men’s 3s were also victorious in their Trophy quarter-final against Glasgow University, clinching a narrow game 2-1 to join the top four squads in their semi-finals.
DUHC have the chance to make history if even only three of the four top squads make BUCS Big Wednesday. Having previously been declared the number one university for hockey in the UK, winning three golds and reaching four finals and eight semi-finals in 2018, they are standing to demonstrate why members have ‘reassuringly talented’ etched into the backs of their playing tops.
The success follows two impressive charity matches against Birmingham last month which raised over £400 for Sport in Action.
The most impressive score of the day was the men’s first team’s 11-1 victory, with Ben Park bagging a hat-trick. The women’s firsts also achieved a win through a more closely contested game, defeating Birmingham 2-1 to go top of their BUCS league.
Players Mollie D’Arcy Rice (Castle first-year) and Emma McIntyre (Grey third-year) were key to the success, with goalkeeper Louisa Bray ensuring little got past her defensive line.
Both the women’s and men’s seconds also secured conclusive victories over Birmingham, withthe likes of Lottie Gill (Mary’s first-year) and Harry Talks (Collingwood second-year) decisively smashing the ball into the back net. The men’s seconds secured a 4-1 win, whilst the women’s seconds produced a 4-2 triumph.
Individuals in the club also continue to perform hockey to the highest level, with Tess Howard continuing her path to a hopeful Olympic appearance by competing against Australia in Great Britain’s opening FIH Pro League game in which Great Britain suffered a 2-1 defeat.
Image: Phil Gibbon