Mens HC BUCS gold

University of Exeter Men's Hockey 1st team celebrate BUCS Gold

Last Gasp for Gold-Men’s Hockey 1st team clinch BUCS Gold in dramatic final

Exeter Men’s Hockey 1st team have taken BUCS Championship Gold at Big BUCS Wednesday for the first time since 2011-2012.

Reaching the Big BUCS Wednesday final held at the University of Nottingham on Wednesday 27th March, Exeter faced Durham University Men’s 1st in a fight for the ultimate BUCS honours of the 2018-2019 season. Durham finished 3rd in North A and beat University of Nottingham 1st 1-0 to reach the final. While Exeter took the South A league title and overpowered Nottingham Trent 1st 3-2 in the semi-final to set up the season climax. A tense start to the game with end to end hockey, Durham had the first real opportunity to score with a short corner but a fantastic save on the stick by Exeter keeper Elliott Bullman (MSc Mining Engineering) denied Durham the lead. 24 minutes in Exeter earnt a short corner of their own and in a well-executed routine took the opportunity to seal a 1-0 lead going into half time.  Durham were the side that came out stronger in the 2nd half but an early card meant Exeter had the manpower advantage. During this period the Durham keeper made 3 saves in quick succession including an Exeter corner to keep Durham in the game. On the attack Durham earnt their own short corner and made no mistake this time to bring the game back to 1-1. Still 1-1 with 2 minutes left on the clock Durham were awarded a short corner which would be the last play of the game. Not without drama, with the ball in the back of the goal Durham looked to have taken the title with a last minute winner but in a turn of events amongst the celebrations and despair the goal was disallowed which meant both sides had to refocus for penalty flicks. Exeter looked cool, calm and collected, keeping things simple throughout. A fantastic save by Elliott Bullman put Durham on the back foot, who then missed a flick to enable Exeter’s James Carson (PGCE Physical Education Secondary) to win BUCS Gold for Exeter in dramatic fashion and make the highlights reel as one of Big BUCS Wednesday’s top moments.

Following the final, captain Will Carter-Keall (3rd year BSC Economics) commented "Finishing my three years with a BUCS gold is an amazing feeling. I'm so proud of the team, building on last years successes to make us the best university team in the country. To captain the boys has been a privilege, and to achieve all that we have in these two years is something I will never forget!"

Reflecting on the season to date University of Exeter Performance Hockey Coach Simon Tyson commented “We’re delighted to have reclaimed the BUCS title. There are a number of strong University teams so winning the BUCS Championship is a fantastic achievement. The team has performed consistently well this year and this win is a testament to the efforts of the entire squad over the course of the season, while a number of staff have also played a crucial role in the team’s success”.

As well as doing the BUCS league and Cup double Exeter have fought hard all season as the only University side represented in the England Hockey Premier Division. The league concludes this weekend and Exeter head back to Nottingham in April for the playoffs to secure their place in the Premier Division again for next season. Showing the strength and depth of the club University of Exeter Men’s 2nd team have earnt promotion into the national league and will now play in the Western Conference next season. Overall University of Exeter are ranked no.1 in the BUCS rankings for Hockey which accounts for overall BUCS points across all men’s and women’s teams for the 2018-2019 season, a fantastic achievement considering the current strength of British University hockey.

Hockey is one of the University of Exeter’s Performance Sports and as such hockey performance athletes have access to exceptional coaching and facilities as well as a comprehensive support services package including strength and conditioning, physiotherapy, performance analysis and athlete lifestyle support.

Date: 29 March 2019

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