St Andrews University Men’s 1st XI lined up against Dundee in the BUCS Conference Cup final. Having already dispatched Abertay, Robert Gordon and Edinburgh 3s cumulatively 23-2 to reach the final, and beaten Dundee 12-2 and 6-0 in the league, the Saints entered the game confident of securing a result. The game ended up being more of a formality, as the Saints romped to a 9-0 victory.
In unseasonably hot weather, the game was not as sluggish as might have been expected, with the Saints dictating a quick tempo, which Dundee struggled to cope with, with Lee, Hogarth and Jervis controlling the midfield. The Saints were quick to assert their dominance, with Guy Rowson netting within the first minute. From then on, Dundee struggled to prevent the incoming flood. A well worked long corner saw the Saints win a penalty stroke, the umpire judging a Dundee defender to have used excessive physicality to deny Stoddart a direct scoring opportunity. Rowson dispatched the flick into the top left corner, to give the Saints a comfortable 2-0 lead. Comfortably in control, the Saints gradually increased the pressure on the Dundee defence, with Jack Hogarth pouncing on a rebound, before Rowson added a further two goals, the first from a broken down short corner, the second from a well worked short corner, seemingly straight off the training ground. With Hogarth adding another, the Saints entered half time seemingly with the job done leading 6-0.
Early in the second half Rowson added his fifth, before wasting a golden chance for his double hat-trick. Dundee slowly edged back into the game after a series of clumsy tackles from Rory Hardie earned him a 10 minute spell in the sin bin, but, even with a man advantage, never posed a serious threat. Solid defending from Trimble, Simpson, Jamie Hogarth and Bull kept goalkeeper Hawken’s afternoon quiet. With the Saints back up to eleven men, Dundee’s mild resurgence abruptly halted. After deflecting a ball shelled across the face of the goal into the goalkeeper, Cawthray-Stern aggressively rifled home for the Saints eighth, before Rowson flicked home his sixth between the Dundee goalkeepers legs with five minutes to go. The score line could, and perhaps should, have reached double figures, with the Saints wasting a succession of short corners and poacher Jamie Stoddart spurned a chance from a few yards out, a range he is usually so clinical from.
Presented with medals, it was a fantastic way for leavers Josh Lee, Aidan Thomson, Jack Hogarth, Jamie Stoddart, Guy Rowson and Chris Jervis to sign off their BUCS hockey careers with St Andrews.
Captain Aidan Thomson said, “We set ourselves the task early doors of getting promoted back to BUCS 1A and are happy that we’ve achieved that, this cup was an added bonus. Hopefully next year the team can push on and continue this success at the next level. We look forward to our upcoming Scottish Plate semi-final against Dunfermline Carnegie at Glasgow National Hockey Centre on the 27th of April.”
Six goal hero Guy Rowson commented, “I’m very proud to have finished my time with the club on such a high – great to leave on a cup final win, and it was the icing on the cake to get some goals in there too. I’d like to dedicate my performance to my hockey heroes who not only inspire me everyday to become a better player, but also a better human being: Chris Moon, Duncan Rudd and Tom Litchfield.”
Director of Hockey Jamie Carnegie added, “A great game for the leavers to finish off their BUCS University careers. Overall it was a great event hosted by Scottish Student Sport where the team played good possession hockey, took their chances and enjoyed themselves on a great day in St Andrews. With the Men’s 1st and Women’s 4th XIs comfortably winning their BUCS leagues, the Men’s 1st and 2nd XIs reaching the semi-finals of national club cup competitions and over 240 club members, hockey at St Andrews is thriving. “Bu