UEA Men’s Hockey put in a dominant performance to record a convincing 6-1 victory over Essex in the last event of an enthralling Derby Day.
The match was fairly even early on, with neither side taking a foothold in the contest. UEA received a number of cards and Essex took that opportunity to go 1-0 up on the counter attack while UEA were a man down. The speed of Essex on the break caught the UEA defence off guard. Fortunately this seemed to be the wake up call UEA needed. The lackadaisical start was soon forgotten as the hosts began to raise their standard. A yellow card for UEA briefly halted their charge up the pitch. Not being able to convert chances seemed to be the issue for UEA as Essex did a very good job man marking. A short corner and a deflection brought UEA back into it at 1-1. At the end of the half the game was finely poised, with the result still firmly in the balance.
The second half began with UEA gaining a short corner early on, from which David Gilbert drag flicked into the top left corner. Another short corner saw Sam Combes finish well at the back post with a tap in after a well worked routine to make it 3-1. Essex played well defensively early in the second half but UEA converted their chances and looked to upgrade to short corners. Essex received a green card and Christopher Whiting fires the ball into the side netting with an accurate drag flick leaving the Essex goalkeeper no chance, 4-1.
Another yellow card then followed for UEA, with a dropped shoulder reducing the home side to ten men.The passing sequences from UEA had improved massively from the first half as the Essex players began to get tired. A trio of short corners then saw UEA make it 5-1, with David Gilbert producing another exquisite drag flick. All five UEA goals up to this point had come from short corners, evidencing the hard work put in by the side in prepreration for the Derby Day contest.
The Essex team soon dropped deep, making it difficult for UEA to break them down and gain any more opportunities. With five minutes to go, Ben Mann threw a well executed aerial pass to Hector Moore who unselfishly played in Sam Combes to put gloss on the scoreline and make it 6-1 to UEA.
That was how the game would finish, and but for a poor first half, the hosts were by far the more dominant side, scoring five of their six goals in an excellent second half.