Having just witnessed the heart-wrenching, penalty shootout defeat of their male counterparts at the hands of Men’s hockey, it was the turn of the Warwick Mixed Ladies to step up and get us back to winning ways. The match began in a way that I cannot honestly remember, you see after the men’s loss I needed ice cream to cheer me up and missed the starting whistle. All was good though as El Capitan Ellen Percival stepped up to the mark and took charge. She organised the team in the set formation, made sure everyone knew where they needed to be and basically did my job; so well, in fact, I’m now worried for the safety of my position, given I already know Alison Isherwood is out for the role.
In goal, we had the infallible Eve Clarke pulling off saves that David De Gea couldn’t dream of. At the back, the defensive unit of Lydia, Radhikaand Ellen Milligan. The midfield maestro’s Sarah Noles (saz to her friends) and Ganney were our starting CDMs, with our own little Lionel Messi, Holly Broyhill Fogg at CAM. "Kat" Katarina Hutchin started on the left wing, having already won MVP in a majority of her matches, she was ready to tear this ladies team apart. On the right, we had everyone’s favourite fake Italian, Alison Isherwood. Upfront was the striking duo of El Percival and Ella Ralli. On the bench started Kate who took full advantage to pursue her Pub Coms role but didn’t disappoint on the pitch either, Emma Lees she's part or Warwick marrow, so she's not afraid to see broken bones, the germaniac Sara Mohn, she may be small but tackle her once and she will take you out in a heartbeat (and scream her battle cry whilst doing so) and Mezza the ex-Prezza (Mary Francis), who had been practising her deflections in training and had evolved into a ruthless goal threat.
We started the match incredibly, honestly, the best hockey I have ever seen from most of the ladies on the pitch, beautiful interlinked play in the midfield and it was not long at all before the domination was rewarded. It was the captain El Percival who scored the first goal with an Olympic worthy strike. But the mixed ladies weren’t quite finished yet, Katarina Hutchin wanted a piece of the action, but didn’t just take a piece, she took a huge chunk of it scoring a lovely second goal. 2-0 to mixed ladies’ I hear you say, against ladies hockey, is that even legal. Yes. Yes, it is. But do you know what shouldn’t be legal, Ella Ralli stepping up and scoring a third. The ladies team were rattled, for them, half-time couldn’t come soon enough. But we decided to ease off them a bit and stop rubbing it in and the score stood at 3-0 to mixed ladies at half-time.
The ladies team decided to change things up a little bit in the second half, and by changing things up, I mean cheat. Their new team sheet was a concoction of ladies 3’s, 2’s and 1’s players determined to get revenge on the mixed ladies team who had battered them in the first half. But mixed weren’t going to just lie down, oh no, instead we decided to go down the other end and score a fourth. This time it was Alison, having been cheered on by Sara every time she touched the ball may have helped, but honestly, I think it was just a beautiful string of passes in the midfield and a cool composed finish.
The ladies were furious, they decided on a new plan, bring on the girl in the jeans. Funnily enough, this tactic sort of work, and before we knew it, the scored were level. 10 minutes called the umpire, we knew we needed to get our heads in the game, but I had faith. The ball was continuously transferred from one end of the pitch to the other, attack after attack from both teams trying to steal that crucial winning goal. I followed the action by walking up and down the pitch, analysing the game and am honestly annoyed I wasn’t wearing my Fitbit.
The ladies team attacked for a while, but in the end, it was Ella Ralli who scored that all important winning goal. The game finished 5-4, we shook hands with the opposition and then loudly sang the “We’re Warwick Mixed Hockey Club” chant in their faces. The jeering wouldn’t stop there though, Sarah Noles found an inventive way to keep it going at Pop, by changing the lyrics to almost every song to 5-4. My personal favourite being the 5 to 4 parody of Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5.
Special shout-outs go to Eve Clarke for MVP, and Alison Isherwood for leaving her newfound life of pizza and pasta to batter ladies hockey (I know it was only one goal difference but idc).
Thanks also go out to the leavers; Sara Mohn, Charlotte Ganney, Ellen Milligan, Mary Francis and Sarah Noles for putting in a fantastic performance that will surely make their CVs.
I would also like to thank everyone for putting in 100% in the training sessions and giving everything in the match. It was by a long way the best performance I have seen from all of you. I am a very proud club captain right now. The game was a pleasure to watch and please don’t let anyone ever forget the day you beat ladies hockey at what is probably the only thing they are good at.
UWMXDHC Ladies’ 5-4 UWLHC 3’s/2’s/1’s
Eve Clarke for exceptional performance in goal
Ella Ralli for getting the only green card of the day.
In the words of the BBC; this year has truly been a haven for sporting excellence; Tiger Woods won the Masters against all odds, Tottenham lost a Champions league final, AJ was knocked out by a man who eats more than a hungover Nick in a kebab shop, and the UWMXDHC gents took on the toughest test of them all; a squad full of pompous, self-absorbed arseholes, also known as the University of Warwick Men’s 4’s; and not only did we do that, we did it hungover (they used the same excuse last year I believe).
We started by running a few short corner routines and then went for a half-pitch lap and a completed a few stretches to try and wear off those hangovers. The time then came for a coin toss, which we lost (this is in no way foreshadowing for the rest of the match). This meant the men’s team would start the game and we were immediately called into action.
We had a fairly mellow start to the game, I think it took us a while to realise that the opposition were cack at tackling. We were on the attack for most of the first half, and as I’m sure the defence will testify the match felt almost uncontested. As is often the case in this fixture, James Anderson scored the first goal of the game from an angle tighter than Aaran Somal's wallet when it comes to buying people drinks in Pop. The opposition defence were left astounded, most of them couldn’t understand how they had been bested by a mixed hockey player, and others simply couldn’t count to 1.
There were a few controversial decisions in the latter period of the first half; we are still adamant that Luke should have been awarded a p-flick after being blatantly taken out by the GK. In making up his mind, the umpire was slower than the inner mechanisms of a Coventry students brain and in the end sided with the team that shouted the loudest, which unfortunately wasn't us.
The second half was much more difficult, we actually had an opposition to defend against. An incredible spell of play in midfield from Tom Rice earned him a few worthy MOTM nominations and the now trademarked spin from Aaran Somal made the men’s midfielders look like shite.
It was not until a never-ending series of short corners that our solid defence was beaten. Having already missed 4 or 5 short corners and being wrongfully awarded one after Christian had saved it legally, some chunky fella from their team (men's 1's player) pinged one into the back of the net. The mood dropped slightly but we held on and even had a few last minute attacking efforts which were saved by the men’s team goalkeeper.
Full time and it was 1-1, but we couldn't just end it there, it went to the p-flicks.
5 brave lads stepped up and took penalties, each of which were very impressive but unfortunately it was just not our day.
This pill is more bitter to swallow than the ones at Andy’s house parties, but we lost 4-3 on penalties.
Special shout-outs go to James Anderson for MVP, Christian Perkins for answering the call in our time of need and Jacob Dutt for his debut game.
Thanks also go out to the leavers; Eddie Ayoub, James Anderson and Tommy Kew for putting in a fantastic performance and making myself and Mixed Hockey proud.
Thanks to everyone for putting in 100% in the training sessions and in the match and although it didn’t pay off this time, this was definitely one of the best performances I have seen from most of the team all season. It was a pleasure to play along side all of you and we’ll get them back next year.
UWMXDHC Gents 1 -1 UWMHC 4’s (UWMHC win 4-3 on pens)
James Anderson for his third consecutive goal in this fixture (and Tommy’s Left Bollock apparently)
Me for a 6 that Joe Root would be proud of
Is there anything better than beating another university in the best sport there is? Yes, indeed there is; beating 5 teams in one go! Tournamental this year was not only a hockey success with us winning the trophy back from the old boys but also a huge success in terms of raising money for the club and building new bridges with other hockey clubs (although spanking them all may have compromised this). On the weekend of 9/10thof March, the mixed hockey teams of Reading University, Surrey University, Nottingham Trent University and Coventry University as well as our old boys came to Warwick for a weekend filled with fun, costumes, alcohol and even some hockey.
As tradition dictates, our guests arrived on the Saturday for a night out at Kasbah in Coventry. This years’ theme for the night was ‘musicals’ with some great High School Musical, Lion King and The Wizard of Oz costumes. Warwick’s theme was Beauty and the Beast although most of us looked more like beasts than beauties. Shout-out to Nottingham Trent for their amazing Little Mermaid costumes, we will have to raise our costume bar next year to match your efforts! The night started in a private area upstairs in Kasbah which gave all of us a great opportunity to mingle and to scout for potential mating opportunities. We then progressed to the main part of Kasbah to cut some filthy shapes and to enjoy the ‘pleasures’ Kasbah has to offer. I would love to give you some juicy gossip from the night, or at least some details, but frankly, I have no recollection of anything past 10pm so secrets will stay secrets I guess. What I do remember is that eventually Dappy showed up for some sort of show; previous to the night I had asked “What is a Dappy” so I’m not really qualified to discuss this part of the night either really. Let’s move on to the parts I do remember...
After a short night for most of us, the long-awaited hockey tournament began on our water-based pitch. To get all those poor hungover souls started easily we limited the initial group stage to half pitch matches. The group results were as follows:
Reading : Warwick – 0 : 3
Nottingham Trent : Warwick – 1 : 2
Nottingham Trent : Reading – 4 : 2
Surrey : Coventry – 2 : 5
Old Boys : Coventry – 1 : 4
Old Boys : Surrey – 7 : 5
We then proceeded to full pitch matches in which the 3rds, 2nds and winners of the two groups played each other. Surrey beat Reading 2 : 0 in the match of the 3rds and Nottingham Trent won against the Old Boys 2 : 1 in a tight match of the 2nds. Finally, it was time for the finale – Warwick against Coventry. Using our superior intellect we won; solid 2 : 0 win #varsity2.0 #teamwarwick
It should be noted that the match was cut short by about 10 minutes because the pizza arrived early and we just couldn’t be bothered to watch Coventry struggle any longer- they struggle enough with their degrees it just felt like bullying at this point. Really, not much was going to change in those 10 minutes.
All teams played really well and the atmosphere of the tournament was friendly and chilled (most of us weren’t able to really do any competitive hockey due to the previous nights’ shenanigans) which was exactly what we were going for. Afterall, Tournamental is about strengthening those inter-university bonds and not about winning a trophy (though winning does make it more fun, can’t lie about that). Thank you to everyone who attended, especially those who travelled far to join and those who took the brave step to attend for the first time! It has been a pleasure organising the event and spending the weekend with all of you! Hopefully see you all next year ♡
Now, for the last time ever,
Peace, hugs and lots of tournaments love xx
WE WON! An incredible effort from the team, winning 3-2 against Cov! Big thank you to everyone who came out to support!
For the full team list and match report, check out the Varsity 2019 section on the website here