Sunday is a day of rest for many, but not for the esteemed hockey players of Barts and the London. Sunday fixtures come with their own tribulations of scrambling together a team and hoping for the best. However this Sunday was slightly different, as a team of established hockey players descended on Lee Valley, with the exception of some otherwise engaged members of the club, to partake in a round-robin tournament against other London universities. The tournament involved Queen Mary, University of East London, LSE, and GKT, and we were given the luxury of playing Queen Mary as our first game, at 9;30 in the morning.
Vs. Queen Mary 2nds (1st xi of QM) 1-1
The early start did not favour either team, with the push back having to be delayed due to the late arrival of a host of the BL squad. This meant warm up time was limited to a few shots on goal before push back of one of the more important games of the day. Having beaten QM 3-1 a few weeks previously, BL tails were high and the start of the mini game reflected this, with Mingey Tibs getting on the score sheet early on with his first (?) ever BL goal. The pressure on the QM goal was relentless from BL, and on the rare occasion QM broke free, the defence easily mopped the lose balls up. The pressure lasted right until the last second until “Captain Fantastic” had a mini-stroke and mistrapped a ball on the reverse stick to allow the QM centre forward a free shot on goal, which he duly dispatched. Queue relentless mocking and battery aimed at Yard Shower for the foreseeable future.
Vs. University of East London 1s 2-0
BL men carried the same relentless pressure exerted in the QM game in the game against another new rival, UEL. However this side were far more accomplished than QM and also had the BL Boys making some important last-ditch tackles. Strong performances from Randy, Burleigh, and Aquapedo kept UEL at bay. This allowed for the BL attack to exert their prowess, and Mingey Tibs to prove the old saying about buses and waiting a while for them to come, true. The first BL goal was a somewhat scrappy affair with Mingey Tibs claiming the final touch on a ball that was squirming around on the line. His second goal however, was a goal that oozed class that we have been waiting a whole year to see. Spray and Lay turning provider by hitting a sublime cross from the left hand side allowing Mingey Tibs to deflect high into the UEL net. Final score 2-0 BL win.
Vs. LSE 1s 0-4
The exertions of the previous two games combined with a long break between games and payer turning up late for push back combined to hand BL a somewhat embarrassing defeat to a team who have just been relegated to our BUCS league. However onwards and upwards as they all say.
Vs. GKT 1s 0-2
After the previously game BL were looking to really bounce back and give a good show of themselves at this tournament and with this game they certainly managed that. A combination of intense work rate, modifying our game plan when things weren’t working, and keeping hold of the ball meant that we managed to keep GKT largely at bay, which is no mean feat when you come up against a team 2 leagues above you. The two goals that GKT did score were characteristic of teams higher in the leagues: a well worked short corner, and a sublime individual goal.
Overall the tournament was a relative success for BL, coming third overall with only GKT and LSE finishing above them. This provides a fantastic platform to play the first game of the BUCS season away at Essex.
MoT: Mingey Tibs