Unbeaten Buckingham Hockey Club ladies up to second after victory over Loughborough in emotional contest

Buckingham 1 Loughborough University 0

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 10:55 am
The ladies are up to second. Photo: Graeme Wilcockson

Buckingham Hockey Club’s ladies’ firsts welcomed Loughborough University to Stowe School for their third league match of the season in an emotional fixture.

The visitors had lost their popular and widely respected assistant coach Andy Gibson in a tragic accident just 10 days earlier.

There was a heartfelt minute’s applause just prior to push back and it was the away side that harnessed that emotion in the opening exchanges, Buckingham thankful for some timely interventions from captain Rebecca Van Arrowsmith, Welsh international Megan Lewis-Williams, Lauren Thomas and goal keeper Nicole Marks.

The under 14s.

Buckingham had the better of the second quarter and took the lead just two minutes before half time with a well-worked goal.

Some patient build up saw Van Arrowsmith’s inciseful pass pick out Player Of The Match, Kitty Higgins on the baseline.

Her positive carry and pinpoint pass found a diving Jo Day who re opened her Buckingham account, having returned to the club over the summer following a few years away.

The second half continued to be an even and end-to-end affair but with no further goals, unbeaten Buckingham moving up to second in the Vitality Women’s Premier League table.

This Saturday the side travel to London for a tough away game against Surbiton.

The boys’ under 14s played their inaugural match as they took on Wycombe in the first round of the national cup competition on Sunday.

Trystan Jones and Frank Bursell put the side 2-0 up before the visitors reduced the arrears.

However, Callum McIntosh (two), George Emerson and under 12s player Josh Hinde-Smith were on target as Buckingham secured a 6-2 victory.

Sunday was a historic day for the club as it was the first time that Buckingham has been able to field a boys U14 side as they took on Wycombe in the first round of the national cup competition.

With none of the side having ever having played 11-a-side on a full size pitch and with Wycombe usually one of the stronger sides in Bucks, no one knew quite what to expect.

In the event it was a superb game with both sides playing a fast, flowing brand of attacking hockey.

Buckingham started brightly and had the better of the opening exchanges and after a few early near misses.

Trystan Jones who opened the scoring with a fine turn and shot after 14 minutes.

Buckingham continued to have the better of the play and a fine move saw Frank Bursell double their lead with 24 minutes played.

The visitors had a period of sustained pressure just before half time and Buckingham were thankful to Layth Elmrabti in goal for a couple of fine saves to keep the score at 2-0 going into half time.

Although Buckingham started brightly and could have extended their lead early on, it was the visitors who struck next with a well taken goal to make the score 2-1 10 minutes into the second half.

However, Buckingham redoubled their efforts and extended their lead to 3-1 when Callum McIntosh finished with a neat half volley five minutes later.

Buckingham made it 4-1 through George Emerson after 21 minutes but Wycombe were not about too give up easily and fought back almost immediately, making the score 4-2.

The last 10 minutes were end-to-end as both sides played open, fast, attacking hockey but it was Buckingham who had then final say with a second from Callum and one for U12 player Josh Hinde-Smith to make the final score 6-2.

It was a fantastic start to their season with some superb team hockey on display throughout.

The backline defended calmly as well as setting up the attacks, the midfield linked the play and worked hard with the forwards sett the press, always carrying threat.

The side was superbly led by centre back Freddie Walker.