Cambridge HC vs Ruislip Eagles HC

Cambridge HC vs Manchester HC

Our Cambridge Super8 squad played their first home match of the season, hosting a Manchester HC side strengthened by a merger between the city and university clubs end of last season. Cambridge had a full bench available but were without one of their main attacking threats Zsolt Majoros, out with a fractured rib sustained in the previous game, and goalkeeper Cedric Gomy with a long-term back injury.

Both teams made a strong start to the game, but it was Cambridge that took the early advantage.  Two goals from left wing Pedro Albuquerque and three on the trot from left back Francisco Seco put Cambridge in front, a lead they stretched to 10-7 after 20 minutes. However, wasting clear chances let Manchester level at 14-14 at half time. With both sides evenly matched, it was clear that the game could hinge upon the smallest of margins.  Cambridge keeper Darren Leung was in top form, denying Manchester on multiple occasions, and Seco was on fire with 8 goals in the first 35 minutes.  Cambridge looked to be in trouble however as, having already lost Albuquerque with an eye injury, with 20 minutes remaining the in-form Seco stayed down after a tackle with an injury to the left knee.

Cambridge were reeling, and generally one or two goals behind at this point but never gave up the game and kept fighting. Using the full width of the court to good effect they gradually began to undo Manchester from the wings, with Toby Barber on the right and Kelvin Lau on the left consistently finding the target.  With Lau and centre Chris Bentz scoring the last 6 goals between them and Leung making a couple of crucial saves at the other end, the match ended in a thrilling 28-28 draw, with both teams relieved to have got something from an immensely close game. With a bit more luck and consistency in defence, this match could have been won, but ultimately the result is a fair reflection of the game.