BUMHC 3-2 Exeter University 4 (BU Win)
Hockey Captain Jack Purrington gives his accounts of BUMHC first league win and promotion in the clubs 11 year history.
“You don’t sacrifice your evenings, working hard in the wind and rain and freezing temperatures all year round to play bottom of the league and win 5-0… you do all that to play in games like this, for moments like this.”
– Adam Tapper Mens Hockey Coach 2016
It has been an incredible year for BU Men’s hockey team, with the season culminating yesterday in a 3-2 win against Exeter University, securing the first league championship in the eleven year history of the club. As the day commenced Exeter were lying second in the table just three points behind BU, setting the scene for a true all thriller no filler, winner-takes-all ‘six-pointer’. The atmosphere continued to build around Chapel Gate with rumours circulating that SportBU’s poster boy Dan ‘Deliciously-Beautiful’ Boer would potentially be making an appearance in the stands.
Head coach Adam Tapper who has single-handedly changed the face of men’s hockey in Bournemouth over the past two years set the team up for the final home game of the 2015/2016 season with one key theme; together. With that the boys got off to a flying start, Bobby Harris was playing his usual high level hockey, controlling the pace of the game and outletting with power, accuracy, and deception. After cutting through Exeter’s press three or four times, Bobby played an incredible inside-out pass (very difficult skill in hockey) to find a great lead made by Jacob Mackay, after some sensual hold up play by Jacob, the ball made its way to Jonny Cahill who calmly took a touch around the last defender and slotted the ball home. Five minutes played, first blood BU.
With BU utilising the width provided by talented wing-backs Jonny Donald and Sam Gibbons, both very strong candidates for man of the match, they created chance after chance but the Exeter defence stood firm. With the game becoming stretched Exeter equalised to go to half time at 1-1, and if it wasn’t for the defensive prowess of Mark Thomas and Adam Gardener, each displaying their incredible ability in 1v1 defence, and Goalkeeper Louis Mernagh the score could’ve been very different. The second half started with BU on top once again as captain, heartthrob, and overall legend of the game Jack Purrington utilised his wealth of experience to slot home from a rebounded shot. It has been reported that Michael Barry was overheard shouting “what a moment, what a hero” shortly after witnessing the magic of Purr. The second half ticked away with Exeter continuing to look dangerous however with 10 minutes remaining Ben Collins, who had absolutely ran the offensive show all first half causing several problems, once again established himself as a wizard, twisting and turning his way through three Exeter players deep inside his own half before finding Jonny Donald just outside Exeter’s defensive circle. Jonny gave the ball to freshman and another player of the season contender Ollie Ridge who cemented his place as a SportBU celestial being in the eyes of the 80 strong crowd, smashing home to put BU up at 3-1. Exeter scored to make the game 3-2 with six minutes remaining, making for a nervy end to the game but with the likes of Kyle Reed providing a wealth of experience at the back, and Mavneet Girn, James Edie, and Paddy McGrath continuing to look sharp and dangerous up front BU’s side held out the remainder of the game to win 3-2.