Matt Solomons reporting from Penzance Astro Park
On Saturday morning in Penzance, CSM Hockey’s women defeated RSM by a record 13-0, while the men forfeited the Bottle after a last-gasp penalty miss ended their match in a 3-3 draw.
First up for CSM Hockey were the women’s team who went into their match expecting tough opposition from the travelling Royal School of Mines, but this couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Right from the off-set, it was clear the quality was very much in the hands of CSM who played nearly all of the hour-long match in the RSM half. It wasn’t long before first blood was struck through a scrambling goal from Sarah Kelly, at no fault of her own – it was RSM who simply could not clear their lines and this would not be the first time.
It was this lack of composure which saw Kelly strike again on 10 minutes, capitalising on an RSM mistake to drive a powerful shot home, and by the half-way point of the first-half, CSM were 4-0 in front with Claire Hunt and Caitlin Simon getting on the scoresheet.
Take nothing away from CSM, who dominated in all aspects of the match. Their discipline on the field, despite taking a convincing early lead, was rewarded through a brace from Jemima Coe to enter the half-time break 6-0 to the good.
As the second-half began, RSM showed some improvement in their defence, managing to hold off the CSM front line for nearly ten minutes, requiring the home side to score their best goal of the match in order to add to their already unassailable lead. A swift pass from Kelly found it’s way to Hunt on the wing who rifled home to make it seven for CSM.
Going into the last quarter, tiredness was clearly beginning to show from the RSM team, who’s defence waivered further to allow Emma Watson to score the 8th, followed by a weaving run by Megan Binns to set up the captain Louise Cross for number nine.
While RSM tired, CSM only got stronger and forced home four more goals before the final whistle to finally bring the onslaught to a holt. A record-breaking 13-0 win saw CSM’s women’s hockey team victorious in the most convincing of fashions.
Final Score: CSM 13 – 0 RSM
After witnessing complete domination from the women, CSM’s men’s hockey team were under a bit more pressure to replicate what had just occurred, yet judging from the warm-up in the cold Penzance astro-turf it was clear that RSM would present a much tougher challenge.
After a rallying team huddle, it was CSM who kicked-off the second match of the morning and it wasn’t long before they found themselves in the lead on four minutes. Forward Harry Guest skipped past the RSM defence with a clever one-two to set up the first goal and put CSM 1-0 in front early on.
Despite going behind, RSM stayed composed and saw a lot of the ball in the first twenty minutes, forcing CSM President, Richard Stonehewer-Smith to make a great interception on his goal line to prevent a RSM equaliser.
Even with the defensive efforts of CSM, the RSM pressure did not slow up and they eventually managed to tie-up the match on 22 minutes with a well-worked goal. However, with RSM still celebrating their first goal of the morning, CSM went straight down the other end and provided an instant reply with a great shot from Callum Fraser, who’s skillful dribbling had already been causing RSM problems.
And CSM weren’t done there. Just eight minutes later, Harry Guest again nipped round his man on the left wing. His cross was inadvertently diverted into his own net by an unfortunate RSM to see CSM go 3-1 up before half-time. The frustration on the RSM faces was clear having worked hard to get back into the game.
As the second-half began, tensions were high as RSM tried to forge a comeback. The visitors very nearly got a goal back on 49 minutes with a nail-biting scramble on the CSM goal line with the Cornish side only just about surviving through heroic goalkeeping from Ben Rigg.
Minutes later, at the opposite end, four CSM players broke away with just one RSM player back to defend. Stonehewer-Smith found himself with time and space to pick his pass, but delayed just enough to allow the lone defender to make a last-second interception to the clear annoyance of the CSM forwards.
It was this missed opportunity which CSM rued as, on 55 minutes, RSM got one back to make the score 3-2 to CSM, who tried to see out the game by keeping the ball in the opposition corner.
It took just a moment of lapse in concentration for CSM to concede another goal, the equaliser from RSM which was rifled home to tie up the game 3-3. With just five minutes left, it seemed as if CSM had threw away the game.
In the last seconds of the match, hope was restored as CSM were awarded a penalty which would be the last hit of the game. Number nine and candidate for man-of-the-match Callum Fraser stepped up with the golden opportunity to score the winning goal for CSM.
His well-hit shot was unfortunately met with a fantastic save from the RSM keeper, who was instantly mobbed by his teammates, as Fraser slumped down dejected with his team immediately running over to console the CSM forward. A heart-breaking end to an exciting and well-fought match from both teams.
However, on the day it just wasn’t to be for CSM, who as the home side were forced to forfeit the Bottle to RSM, despite the draw. Regardless, it was a solid performance overall and one in which positives will be taken.
Final Score: CSM 3 – 3 RSM