Nick Cooper scored for the University of Exeter Men's first team in the 25th minute as they battled to a 3:2 victory against ISCA.

Double derby victory for University Hockey Clubs

The University of Exeter Men’s and Women’s Hockey Club battled both the elements and their local rivals ISCA Hockey Club on 26 October.

Ranked number one in the UK for University Hockey, the University of Exeter has a strong hockey heritage, with a number of graduating alumni, including England and GB representative Tom Carson and Sarah Thomas going on to gain international acclaim.

Around 300 spectators attended the two fixtures at the Sports Park on Streatham Campus. The day saw double glory for the University with both sides taking victory.

The joint ISCA / University women’s side opened proceedings with a dominant performance in their Investec Conference West league match. University sports scholar alumna Claire Thomas and bursar Alice Woods led the scoring as ISCA / University sauntered to a 6:2 victory over Exe Hockey Club.

An early goal by Tanya Beuthin was quickly multiplied as Thomas capitalised from a short corner. The second half saw Thomas extend the sides lead, converting a penalty flick before Beuthin added a fourth.

University players then consolidated ISCA’s victory, Thomas taking her 50th goal for the side, before Woods made it six in the final minute.

The University of Exeter Men’s Hockey Club (EUMHC) faired equally well in the Now: Pensions England Hockey League, despite early injuries disrupting the start of their match against ISCA Men.

1st team goal keeper Jack Banister reported: “The game had everything, except penalty corners, which were strangely absent at both ends for the duration of the evening. Exeter took an eighth minute lead after a speculative ball was deflected into the goal by the stick of a defending player.

"The lead was short lived however, as ISCA forward and England Junior Representative Tom Poutsie deflected home from a tight angle. With the game nicely poised and a very vocal crowd, we were able to respond with another goal. After 15 minutes Skipper Ben Upton found himself in a small paddock atop the ISCA circle.

"Despite the keeper saving the initial shot, the deflected ball found the feet of Nick Rees who gave his side a 2:1 lead. Exeter then consolidated their lead, Tom Samuel and Nick Cooper unlocking ISCA’s defence in the 25th minute; a clinical finish from Cooper put the side 3:1 going into the break."

Jack added: “The second half was a very different affair to the first, Exeter were forced to dig deep and defend for long periods of time. After 20 minutes the home side’s backline finally cracked when ISCA’s Sam Lynch finished off a fine team goal to make the final score 3:2.”

The honours of the day went to ISCA’s Tanya Beuthin and Exeter’s Nick Cooper who received player of the match for their respective performances, before celebrations commenced at the Exeter Squash and Racketball Club.

The victories mean that both the men and women’s side have taken a valuable three points from the weekend, with the men’s side just three points off the top of the table.

Assistant Director of Sport (Performance and Competitions), Nick Beasant commented: “It was been a great day of Hockey for the University.

“It’s always good to savour two home victories; these were never going to be easy matches, but having the support of the crowd at home really helped the teams power through. The fact that we are able to compete, and win in national league matches as these, is testament to the pedigree of player that we have here at the University. We have a tradition of hockey that we are incredibly proud of, and with the talent we have seen today, I have no doubt that this will continue.”

The Men’s Hockey Club is now preparing for another big match as the University of Birmingham travel down for the BLP Hockey Varsity on 16 November 18:00 start at the Sports Park.

Date: 5 November 2013