A commanding performance saw Uni overcome a first-half deficit and extend the Varsity lead to 5-2. In a game played in thoroughly Arctic conditions, the superior class and fitness of the Uni side shone through after a period in which it looked like their inability to convert numerous opportunities might cost them.
Although the Varsity environment can often make a mockery of league tables, the Uni girls of the premier BUCS division dominated proceedings from the first whistle and started strongly, pinning the second division Trent side in their own half – a first foray into the Uni half brought an ironic cheer from the Uni spectators on the sideline.
Trent were taking every opportunity to take the pace out of the game and a spectator likened the spectacle to the Chelsea vs Barcelona Champions League Semi-Final of 2012, an observation which appeared even more prescient as Trent took the lead with their first real attack on the half-hour mark.
Despite taking the lead, Trent again retreated back to their D and gave Uni the responsibility of breaking down an organised defence. The half-time whistle came with very different emotions for the two sides – relief for a Trent side who could escape from the waves of Uni forwards and frustration for a Uni side who were faced with a sharp reminder that goals win games.
In actual fact the break did the Uni side a world of good, as they started the second half at an electric pace. With only three minutes of the half gone, the high Uni press paid off and Eaton was able to finish smartly to draw the sides level.
The momentum was firmly with Uni and they doubled their lead less than five minutes later, with the ball eventually bundled in following a goalmouth scramble. Uni were confident in possession and comfortable in defence, with Krone a driving force in the centre of the park. Whilst the game became slightly scrappy, Trent were unable to create any serious pressure and it was no surprise when Uni extended their lead with less than fifteen minutes to go. The superior fitness levels of the girls in green were evident as a series of gaps in the Trent rear-guard were punished as Uni doubled their advantage.
The final stages were played in a somewhat subdued fashion, with Uni content to keep possession and wind the clock down. The final whistle brought jubilant scenes as players celebrated with spectators and coaches. For some, this was their final Varsity experience, and they certainly game themselves memories to cherish.
Coach of the Beeston Ladies Second XI Chris Glover told Impact that, with a title-deciding game the following day, he hoped the Uni girls who played for his team wouldn’t celebrate too hard. Wishful thinking I’d suspect, Chris.