Photos: Jack Western
James College cemented their place in March’s College Varsity against Durham with a straightforward win over Goodricke. The Hes East side came into Sunday’s final on the JLD full of belief after dispatching Langwith on penalty flicks earlier in the day, but were no match for the organisation and attacking prowess of Oli McGaw’s well-drilled team.
After a fairly pedestrian opening in which both sides attempted to dictate possession, James’ superiority quickly became apparent as Polly Sedgwick slotted home the first goal with aplomb. Goodricke sought a response, and were full of attacking endeavour through the industry of Dhyan Patel and Ben Crawley, but were well marshalled by the likes of Chris Butterworth and James Hope as the Swans stood firm. Hope saw a powerful effort cannon off the woodwork as James sought to extend their lead, but the scores stayed level as half-time arrived with little fanfare.
After the interval, James’ grip on the match only got firmer. The Swans were making their huge squad of over twenty players work to their advantage, with the likes of Charlie Tyler and Nick Mitchell able to sub on and off the pitch with ease. Goodricke lost much of their verve when Patel went off injured, and were punished when Declan Hall’s strike from the edge of the D made it 2-0 to James with the Goodricke defence in disarray.
Mid-way through the second half, Nick Mitchell slotted home a third with a deflected finish under the Goodricke ‘keeper, and Sedgwick sealed a brace with a swept finish after fine build-up play from Butterworth and Tim Silcock.
The Hes East side were becoming visibly frustrated by the one-sided traffic, and it showed when Ben Crawley was given a yellow card for dissent following some confusion at a free-hit. Their misery was complete when Mitchell struck a fifth late on to seal the rout and confirm James’ current status at the best college hockey team on campus.