The Big Match is back! The series started with our Men’s Hockey Club playing in the Premier North BUCS division. For what some people might describe as a local derby the season for our boys started with nearby rivals Nottingham University. Earlier in the afternoon the Women’s 1st, 2nd and Men’s 2nd team’s had all beaten Nottingham University and just needed the 1’s boys to pull through for a full clean sweep.

In front of a 300 strong crowd, mixed with deflated Nottingham teams, the atmosphere was electric as the pregame music blared to welcome the teams to the pitch. Loughborough started with a great deal of possession before a tidy sequence of passes initiated by Oliver Ward saw Dom Bowden slot the ball past the Nottingham Keeper.

As time went by Loughborough’s confidence steadily grew and the lead was increased, by new Belgium player, Max Cerulus from the top of the D making the home crowd cheer for a 2-0 lead with 15 minutes on the clock. Loughborough went on to hold most of the possession, winning two short corners, which unfortunately amounted to a wide injection and a wide drag flick. Thankfully these opportunities did not come back to haunt the team as they have done previously.

Loughborough were performing well with an international starred defence including the Faulkner brothers, Andy Bull and George Lilly. A 3rd short was won by Rob Farrington, where Simon Faulkner capitalised from a rebound off Andy Bull’s drag flick, bringing the score to 3-0.

The first piece of attacking play from Nottingham amounted from a Loughborough mistake in midfield and allowed a quick change in possession. After the ball was hit at pace across the D, forward Chris Harding slid in for a reverse stick deflection into the roof of the net, finally giving Nottingham something to cheer about and bringing the score to 3-1 at half time.

As soon as the second half began, as did the relentless Loughborough attack. A spectacular pitch length pass from Simon Faulkner to Owain Dolan-Gray saw Owain hug the base line where he could find Dom Bowden poaching in the D to score his second goal of the match.

As the game went on the play became more stretched as the pressure swayed from each side. Notably Harry Gibson made a great diving save to his right, after a short corner flick from Nottingham captain Harry Trusler. The match remained even, still with the odd dramatic post clearance to keep the crowd on their toes. Again Harry Gibson had to deal with another short corner, firmly seeing off the ball to his right yet again.

Nearing the end of the match nothing was materialising for the boys in green as they disputed a short corner awarded to Loughborough, Nottingham earned them a yellow card going down to ten men for the remainder of the match.

LSUMHC finished the game on top winning in convincing style 4-1, giving themselves the best start possible, in preparation for that elusive BUCS gold they missed out on last year. The supporters had their say at the end and voted Dom Bowden as a well-deserved Man of the Match.

Keep in touch with the team’s progress by following them on Twitter @LSUMHC.


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