Bottle match comes round every year and the combination of the crowd, booze and megaphones still brings the same amount of excitement for students and alumni alike. This was my first bottle match day and I decided to experience the sport of Hockey first. The games and the crowd definitely did not disappoint.
Girls’ Match CSM VS RSM
Now let’s start with the girl’s side with the CSM vs RSM rivalry. The game started very slow with both sides displaying excellent defence against the short corners. There were five in the first half but they were all defended very well from both defensive units — but with all the short corners there must be a goal eventually, right?
The deadlock had to be broken. It was done through a short corner and some slick passing for CSM.
The ball was whipped into the box and was received by captain Ella O’Reilly, who set up a one-two with the club president Maddie Burton. Then with great composure, Ella slotted the ball into the bottom corner, out of reach for the RSM keeper, making the game 1-0, in the 20th minute of the match.
RSM would have a chance to equalise in the 24th and 30th minute short corners, but both were defended well and were dispatched by the CSM unit.
In the first half RSM had plenty of chances to equalise from short corners but could not capitalise and convert them due to good defending from defensive unit of CSM. Still, it was a winnable game at this point for RSM; they just needed to make those chances count.
To start the second half, RSM had two short corners in the first two minutes of the second half, but both were unsuccessful due to good pressure from CSM that did not let RSM get the chance to shoot.
the game will go down in history and will be remembered by both sets of players for a long time
The game would go on like this with two teams getting short corners frequently, but defences remained solid. However, just like the first half, CSM scored after a lot of defending. O’Reilly picked up the ball near midfield and moved the ball forward with an excellent display, keeping the ball up in the air by bouncing it on her stick and running into enemy territory. Once she got control of the ball on the ground, she passed it out wide to Lily Orton who delivered the ball inside the RSM box. It was picked up and finished by India Riddoch who passed it almost into the bottom left corner. This goal made the game 2-0 in the 65th minute, making the game almost unreachable for RSM.
The historic bottle match ended in a win for the CSM girls’ team. Both sides played very well defensively, but CSM just edged it with some inspired moments and good counter attacking play to keep RSM on their toes. RSM played a good game and had plenty of chances from short corners and in the open field, but could not convert the chances they were given.
The game ends 2-0 to CSM and will go down in history and will be remembered by both sets of players for a long time.
CSM VS RSM – Boys’ Game
The boy’s game was another close game with both the teams being very good at defending the short corners and not giving their opponents easy goals and chances.
In the 12th minute CSM had a chance to score from a short corner. The ball was whipped in just outside the box and brought inside by Will Owen who takes the shot on, but it went just wide to keep the game level.
That was really the only big chance for CSM, and RSM struggled to create any chances with CSM’s defensive unit not allowing their opponents to get into the box or into space to make plays happen. However, in the second half, CSM and RSM were looking to make a splash and break the deadlock. Since both teams played well defensively, a goal was vital and just one goal would probably decide the game.
RSM broke the deadlock in the 54th minute of the match. The ball was put into the box, a shot taken, and saved by CSM’s goalkeeper Harvey Heap. However, the ball was not cleared away and RSM capitalised on the rebound, slotting the ball away to make the game 0-1, putting a stamp on this very close affair.
it was a defensive master class from both sides. Both had in form goalkeerpers who were able to pull of some wonderful saves.
CSM had a great chance to equalise between the 27th and 29th minute. Two short corners were attacked with precision and CSM were able to get the shots off. These shots were well hit but, unfortunately, RSM’s goalkeeper was able to pull off two out-of-this-world saves. The goalkeeper had a triumphant day for RSM: saving multiple well hit shots and they were one of the main reasons that CSM struggled to score all game.
The match ended in favour of RSM, winning the game 0-1.
Overall, this game did not have many chances for either side and it was a defensive master class from both sides. Both had in form goalkeepers who were able to pull off some wonderful saves.
RSM’s Captain Harry Whittaker was very happy with the win and said that it feels “unreal, first off credit has to go to the CSM club, they played really well, and it was really unfortunate that they couldn’t win.”
CSM Player, Tom Wigan, reflected on the game and said that the team was “unlucky, we could have done better, could have won, could have gone either but hey-ho, we move.”