After football cuppers kicked off last week, hockey’s equivalent pushed back in style with an eleven-goal thriller between LMH and Balliol. With both teams fielding Blues players, the standard of hockey was high and did credit to the enormity of the occasion (not spoilt by one of LMH’s substitutes asking which way they were shooting after running onto the field).
Despite Balliol having the better of the first few minutes, LMH opened the scoring with the first shot of the game, “Fergie” powering the ball into the bottom corner a
fter a swift counter-attack. Balliol hit back strongly, however, and after having two efforts denied by the side-netting and the LMH ‘keeper respectively, they equalized and then took the lead thanks to two quick-fire goals, with neat build-up play being complemented by clinical finishing. That lead was quickly extended when Blues’ Alex Copestake slammed a reverse into the bottom corner after some skillful individual stickwork.
Playing at the appropriately-named Dragon School LMH clawed themselves back into the game with another well-it reverse being fired into Balliol keeper Tom Wainford’s net, minutes after he had been forced into a couple of outstanding saves from successive short corners, before visitors Balliol restored their two-goal advantage with the last shot of the half.
The second twenty-five minutes was more open, with both teams tiring, and Balliol exploited the extra space to extend their lead with a well
-worked move being finished by Tom Williams, who would later pick up the (metaphorical) match ball for his four goals. LMH continued to push forward, and were rewarded with a third after their skipper rounded Wainford before sliding the ball into the goal.
A comeback was not to be, however, as Balliol added three more before the end of play, with Williams completing the rout to send Balliol through to the next round.