Mixed Emotions in Cup Finals
Wednesday 18th saw the culmination of long conference cup runs for 4 University of Liverpool teams as they travelled to Durham for their respective finals. Men and women's hockey, netball and women's basketball were all hoping to add to their impressive league runs. Men's hockey, who have one league game on Wednesday between them and the league title were first to play against Northumbria at 13.30. Facing a team who had reached but lost the cup final for the last 2 years running meant they had a hard battle to fight and unfortunately although they dug deep the lads just couldn't break through Northumbria’s defence and lost 2-0.
Next up was the women's hockey team against Sheffield Hallam. The girls, who had won their league with 2 games in hand kept their feet planted firmly on the ground when it came to expectations of doing a double, and this may have been the deciding factor in the game. At the full time whistle the teams were level at 2 each which meant penalty flicks would decide the winner with the girls managing to hold their nerve to deservingly win 4-3.
Running alongside women's hockey was the netball final where UoL were up against Newcastle 2nds team. Undefeated all season with some very convincing wins under their belts the girls knew they were facing their toughest opponents yet, and nerves looked to show in the first quarter when Newcastle were able to pull ahead by a few. Led strongly on court by captain Lydia Harrop the girls settled their game and played some brilliant netball which saw UoL pull ahead comfortably with the game finishing 33-25 to secure the league and cup double for netball as well.
Last to play for UoL on the day was the women's basketball team who faced local rivals LJMU. The girls knew they had a tough battle on their hands having lost to the same team earlier in the season by 30 points but had worked hard in training and matches since which reflected in their 2nd place league position. A tense game ensued with both teams trading points with LJMU only just ahead 44-39 at the end of the 3rd quarter thanks to two quick 3 point shots by UoL. The 4th quarter was very close with each team only managing to go ahead by 1 before the opposition clawed it back and in a heartbreaking finale LJMU managed to hold on to a 49-48 win.
Liverpool returned home with two out of four cup winners but all four teams can be very proud of their hard work during the year to be named cup finalists.