The University of Sheffield Men’s Hockey 1s enjoyed a heated and intense game at Goodwin on Wednesday against Durham 2s. An imposing opposition, Durham put up a thrilling fight but Sheffield pulled through, ending the game on the right side of a 4-3 win.
After a strong win against Liverpool 1s last week, Sheffield looked to put in a determined performance against Durham. However, it wasn’t quite as smooth as it could have been. The first goal was set up by Joe Kopka after he beat a Durham player to fire a reverse stick shot to the back post for Steve Palmer to get a touch. Hopes were high, but Durham soon countered, dampening Sheffield’s spirits.
Following some great saves from goalie, Matt Fetzer, Sheffield came back fighting with a brilliant top corner finish from Martin Andrews. At the half time whistle, the home team were looking like they had the edge over Durham.
The second half proved a stressful one for both teams. Durham made a miraculous comeback, scoring two goals within minutes. Fortunately, Sheffield won plenty of penalty corners and so had an abundance of opportunities to score. Nick Hale performed a great drag flick at one corner, but it was deflected by the stalwart Durham defenders.
A counter by Sheffield, with some beautiful play between Gavin Haseler and captain Jack Culmer, ended in a square ball to Steve Palmer for a tap in, equalising the scoreline at 3-3. With a newfound sense of hope and enthusiasm, Sheffield dominated play in the last few minutes. Durham managed to counterattack regularly in this period, but solid defending from George Collier and Josh Darlington meant the away team were unable to penetrate the ‘D’.
After an exhilarating last few minutes, Sheffield were given a chance after an inspiring counter attack by the home team, sending Culmer into the ‘D’ by for a shot on goal. However the captain was taken out dramatically by the Durham goalie, awarding Sheffield a penalty flick. Stepping up to the plate, Josh Darlington looked calm and collected whilst rocketing the ball in the top left corner of the goal.
Durham had a tough game at Goodwin, but with brilliant support from the crowd and solid play from Sheffield, it wasn’t to be their game.
Sheffield Captain Jack Culmer told Forge Sport: “It wasn’t our best performance but we managed to pull through in the end,” and it was “very impressive from the boys for the last five minutes to get out of that massive hole.”
With home advantage for the next few weeks, Sheffield are hoping to climb the table with some very encouraging skill and play from the team.