Last year saw two very close matches with both sides picking up a point for their universities.
Medic Hockey (Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Olympic Park, 7pm, £5 Students/£7 Non-Students)
RUMS women’s edged out their opponents 1-0 before GKT won in a shootout to restore King’s a 2 point lead. The Olympic park will play host tonight as the two sets of sides renew their rivalry, but who will take home the points this evening?
Men’s Medics Hockey
KCL (GKT) (Recent form: LDWWW): GKT Men’s are currently third in BUCS South Eastern Divsion 1A with only one match remaining as they continue their chase for a second promotion in as many years. In the LUSL Premier the side have won six out of their seven matches and with only three matches remaining occupy top spot and are on course to defend their title.
Captain: Sachin Sharma, 4th year, Medicine.
How has your season gone so far? It has been an excellent season so far for us. Having won promotion last year we thought this year would be a year for consolidation. However, in the 9 games we have played, we have only lost one and are still in contention for a second successive promotion the Southern Premier League. This is in addition to being top of the LUSL Premier League and being in the LUSL Cup Semi Final.
How excited do you feel about the chance to captain your side at Varsity? I have been fortunate enough to be captain for a second and to play and captain GKT in front of such a big crowd last year was a real proud moment and did take a lot of getting used to. I think this year I will be better prepared to make sure my only concern is getting the right result and ensuring everyone coming down to support us leaves happy.
How do you rate your chances of Varsity success? We know we are favourites for Varsity this year, but we will not take it for granted. It’s a one off game and there will be no chance of us having any complacency. It will be a very close game and RUMS will be desperate to avenge last year’s defeat so we will have to be at the top of our game to get a win.
With Hockey being the only sport in Varsity in which medic teams also compete, do you think this is a good thing and if so should it be rolled out across more sports? We take massive pride in being the only GKT team in Varsity this year and we hope to represent them to the best of our ability and do everyone who comes down to support us proud. There is a massive scope for more GKT teams to get involved which I can only see being a positive thing. The more events that GKT can get involved with would mean even more backing from the whole GKT community.
Win of the season: 2-1 vs. Reading. The fixture in November has been desribed by captain, Sharma, as a ‘turning point’. Reading are traditionally one of the strongest university hockey sides in the country, but the GKT men managed to come from behind to beat the strong opponents. Sharma stated; ‘After that win, we knew we could compete with any university side’.
UCL (RUMS) (Recent Form: LWLWD): A winless season for RUMS has seen the side finish bottom of South Eastern Division 2A with a game to go, the same division in which they managed to finish mid table in last year. Thing have been brighter in the LUSL Premier however, as the side currently lie in second place, only six points of their Varsity rivals at the top.
Women’s Medic Hockey
KCL (GKT) (Recent Form: DWWWW): GKT Women sit only two points off top in a tight South Eastern Division 2B with only one game to go, and will improve no matter what on their 4th place finish last season. The side have also won promotion back to the LUSL Premier at the first attempt after topping Division 1, and have made it to both BUCS and LUSL cup semi-finals.
UCL (RUMS) (Recent Form: WDWLW): RUMS Women are one place above their Varsity rivals in South Eastern Division 2B, a place higher than where they finished last season. In the LUSL Premier the side are set to finish four places higher than they did last season in second place, with only one match remaining.
Head-to-head: These two sides have already met twice in 2015 with GKT Women winning 1-0 in the league and then winning on penalties in the cup after a 0-0 draw. Expect one of the closest contests of varsity and a penalty shoot out may well be needed to separate these sides.