UEA Women’s Hockey President Katie Beauchamp says her side had “a lot of fun,” despite their Derby Day match being decided before the first whistle.

Essex did not have enough players for a team, so the match was conceded, but the sides agreed to play anyway with UEA supplementing the Essex team with six players.

Beauchamp explained: “I spoke to the Essex President the night before, and she was really grateful that we supplied a couple of players for her. It was a really good match, a friendly match. It was a lot of fun and I’m glad we got to play.”

Captain Àine Gransden added: “It’s Derby Day so we wanted a competitive game but at the same time we’re really grateful that Essex put a team out so we could enjoy it. In the end it was a really fun game, everyone enjoyed it, and [Essex] enjoyed it so it was good.”

The match ended in a 10-0 win for the (full) UEA team, bettering their defeat of Essex last year in Colchester. Gransden said: “We wanted to beat our score from last year so we’re really happy with that. Everyone shared the goals out as well.”

Both Gransden and Beauchamp reflected on a job well done this season, with the ladies BUCS team promoted in the league with a comfortable second place finish, also winning the Midlands Conference Cup in Nottingham. Gransden said she was “really happy. The season couldn’t have gone much better.”

Beauchamp added: “We were relegated last year [in BUCS], struggling to field sixteen players and now we have thirty girls keen every week, it’s been such a great turnaround. I think Àine has done such a good job this year. It’s been a lot of fun – the Conference Cup was great.”

Gransden agreed that choosing the team for Derby Day was a tough task with increasing numbers of keen players: “It was hard. You want the seniors who are leaving to play, and at the same time everyone who has put so much effort into coming to BUCS this year, so it was a bit tricky.”

Meanwhile, UEA Men’s Hockey comfortably won their game 8-1 at the Sportspark in front of their usual vociferous supporters. Goalkeeper Lewis Nicoll saved a penalty flick in the match, with Dave Gilbert and Josh Glasford among the goals for UEA.

Aside from women’s Hockey, there were several other fixtures conceded. American Football was called off, and Essex could not field a women’s Volleyball team to play UEA’s BUCS Trophy runner-up side, so in a quirk of Derby Day Essex’s Basketball team stepped in to fill the gap.

UEA Women’s Hockey: Izzi Mumbray (GK), Beth Rosier, Emily Sanderberg, Frankie Panayi, Steph Stubbs, Katie Beauchamp, Emma Zugic, Amy Jones, Libby Catchpole, Eva Carson, Bailey Bidnall, Anna Drape, Laura Graham, Nicola Ralph, Pippa Emmans, Àine Gransden (c).

Essex loan players: Emma Fox, Izzy Richardson, Niamh Healy, Lydia Matthews, Hannah Sadler, Charlie Erskine.

UEA Men’s Hockey: Lewis Nicoll (GK), Sam Green, Sam Crawford, Charlie Harvey, Liam Postance Eamer, Fraser Smith, Tom Elson, Arthur Graham, Rob Harbord, Thomas Chaney, Sollie Cook, Dave Gilbert, Harry Badger, Ben Thompson, Josh Glasford, Lawrence Oldham (c).

What do you think?