A Proud Day for UStA Hockey in the Conference Cup Finals

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Wednesday 6th March was a big day for the University of St Andrews Hockey Club with both Women’s 3s and Men’s 3s teams participating in the Conference Cup Finals. After all the anticipation of the day, Men’s 3s won their final to bring home a trophy whilst the Women’s 3s were Runners Up!

After winning all their BUCS Conference games to reach the final, the women were ready to take on Stirling in the final, who posed as tough opponents, however, they were up for the challenge! The Women’s 3s hockey team are the only women’s side of Hockey Club to reach the final of the Conference Cup. This was their second consecutive final, which was already an achievement.

Nele and Hannah, Captain and Vice-Captain, led the team, filled with very excited individuals. In the beginning, St Andrews gave a strong impression with Hannah Batty, making a great sling sweep to the bottom right corner, making it 1-0 – what a great start for St Andrews. It became 1-1 after the first quarter, the girls knew there was a challenge ahead. The defenders Olivia and Janie made it particularly hard for Stirling. Unfortunately, the game ended in 6-1 to Stirling.

Nonetheless, the team should be very proud of themselves, as there were great pockets of play, especially from the first-year freshers, who stepped up to the plate. Special mention goes to Katie who had a stormer, in the forward line. Although, they didn’t win the Conference final, the women have had a great season, with a BUCS promotion and winning all their BUCS games. The future is promising for the Women’s 3s.

As for the Men’s 3s, their participation in the Conference Cup was one of two BUCS field Hockey Competitions for Scottish Universities. They received a bye in the first round, then won their quarter-final 3-1 against Dundee University, then won their semi-final 2-1 against Abertay 1st XI. They then met Edinburgh Men’s 6s in the final.

The team in the finals consisted of select 16 players, but several more played for the team throughout the competition! They have a relatively youthful team, with all but three of the 16 finalists currently in first or second year. Paul Halleman, captain of the team placed in the centre-defence, has been a big part of our success. On the pitch he is a calm presence, but his team talks are ferociously inspirational, especially in his Parisian accent and he is most often seen dribbling the ball through the opposition’s half. “We also owe a lot of our success to our (student) coach, Freddie Lonie, who has been at every training session and was there shouting instructions and encouragement on the day”, says Joe Jennings, vice-captain of the team.

The team came close to winning this competition last year but had a miserable final against a team that was too strong. They couldn’t let the same happen this year, so put a lot of time into preparing for the final. Both this season and last, they team finished 4th (of 9) in our BUCS league.

The hard work paid off as the team won the final 3-0! The score is a poor reflection of how close the match was, as the teams came off the pitch at half time feeling like it could go either way. One goal was scored by Joe Jennings, and Charles Estourgie scored a field goal and a penalty flick, to bring the cup home!

Congratulations to the Hockey Club for their amazing successes throughout the BUCS season, and to the Men’s 3s for bringing the cup home!

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