First-half double keeps hockey title challengers on track
Edge Hill’s men’s hockey team strengthened their silverware aspirations on a day of contrasting fortunes in BUCS league and cup action.
Both goals in their 2-0 victory over Lancaster came in the first half with Man of the Match Matthew Stacey opening the scoring, reversing the ball home from the top of the D into the bottom corner. Jac Horwood doubled the advantage with a tight angle shot from the right which found its way in despite the goalkeeper’s best efforts.
The result leaves Edge Hill in second, two points behind Northern 3A leaders Bangor with two games in hand. They face the leaders next-up in NW Wales in what is likely to be a title decider.
There was no joy though for the women’s seconds who remain winless in Northern 4A, beaten 5-2 at title-chasing Salford firsts.
The women’s football team’s ‘double’ hopes were dashed at the Northern Conference Cup quarter-final stage after going down 2-1 at home to Leeds Beckett thirds.
Lea Winter had given the hosts the ideal start with a sixth-minute opener, and they could have added further goals in the first half when Mia Pemberton twice hit the bar. But second-half strikes in the 50th and 72nd minutes stunned Edge Hill and means focus must now turns to the four-way race for the Northern 2A title, with rock-bottom Liverpool John Moores firsts next up at the end of the month.
Third travelled to second in Northern 2A as the men’s firsts football team played out a goalless draw at Liverpool firsts which did neither side any favours: UCLAN firsts cannot now be caught at the top of the table.
The firsts’ table tennis team claimed an eye-catching 13-4 defeat of Manchester seconds in Northern 2A. Sam Pierce and Tom Ray won all four of their singles games, with Josh Parry and Sim Ray picking up two wins apiece in a dominant team display.
There were two wins from two in badminton, with the men’s firsts shutting out Lancaster seconds 8-0 to keep their Northern 3A title hopes alive, while the women’s firsts celebrated their first Northern 1A victory of the season, defeating fellow strugglers York firsts 5-3.
In tennis the men’s firsts drew 6-6 at Manchester thirds leaving them third in Northern 3A, but there was more misery for the men’s firsts’ rugby union team who suffered a 62-10 defeat at Manchester Met seconds.
The University’s American football team have been back in action after the mid-season break – and could be on the verge of a first-ever post-season play-off spot. The Vikings weren’t disgraced by runaway 2A North leaders Leeds firsts in going down 32-0 earlier this month, with injuries to both regular quarterbacks a factor in their shutout. And then last weekend they travelled to Aberystwyth and came away with a record 43-0 victory, with Tom Allen scoring two of their touchdowns.
There was also positive news for rugby league first-teamer Nathan Taylor who kicked 10 points in the North of England’s 34-22 victory over the South at Loughborough University earlier this month, which acted as a trial for England Universities.
“Fingers crossed I get the call”, Nathan stated. “But even if not, it has been a fantastic experience. I believe I have improved no matter what, which is always my aim.”