Last week saw Worcester and Teddy Hall hockey teams battle it out to become Cuppers champions. This however, was not the first time that the two sides have met this year as they had already come face to face in the league. Teddy Hall had managed to snatch a victory over Worcester and take away all chances they had of winning the league, as well as ending a Worcester win streak that had been going for more than three years. Worcester would therefore be keen to take revenge and regain hold of the cup, which would cement their place as the dominant Cuppers hockey team, considering the success they have had in recent years.
It was clear from the start that tensions would be running high and the game was not very friendly, with both the Teddy Hall players and fans frequently shouting at the umpires. The Worcester side, captained by fourth-year physicist Oskar Williams, seemed the dominant team throughout the first half. They won short corner after short corner but were often unable to convert, which led to frustration. This meant that at half time, the score line did not necessarily reflect the scenes on the pitch, with Worcester only going into the break at 1-0 up, thanks to a goal from Jonah Boender.
However, in the second half the pace of the game picked up as the two teams became even more eager for a victory. Teddy Hall soon got back into the game and equalised to make the match more even. However, Worcester were determined to not throw away the momentum they had garnered and pushed to go back into the lead, scoring three goals in a row to put them 4-1 up with the game drawing to an end.
These goals were partly due to star performances from player of the season Jonah Boender, who scored an excellent hat-trick, and Aaron Goss who ran circles around the Teddy Hall defence. Ben Northam also managed to get his name on the score sheet. Boender in particular displayed the extent of his skill, scoring on two occasions from some superb drag flicks. The Cuppers title looked like it was in sight.
Whether it was over confidence, or just because the side just sat back, Worcester’s dreams of reclaiming their trophy came under threat as the match was drawing to a close. The game became extremely tense for Worcester as they let in two goals in quick succession with the timer running out.
The scenes on the pitch certainly led the Teddy Hall fans to believe they could do one over Worcester for the second time in the year, and there were numerous (very poor) chants shouted down the megaphone as well as smoke bombs being let off by the side of the pitch, which meant the game had to be stopped to wait for the smoke to go out. This display of support arguably could have prevented the Teddy Hall side to grab another goal, as it certainly disrupted the flow and momentum of the game.
Despite this, credit must be given to the Worcester side, who persisted and did not let these goals disrupt their cool. The Worcester side really began to show their dominance, with keeper Will Woods making some even more impressive saves. On the other hand, the Teddy Hall side became so desperate that by the end they had swapped out their goalie for a kicking back, which Worcester almost took advantage of. This meant that when the final whistle was eventually blown, Worcester had held on to their Cuppers title yet again.