A year of mixed results for men’s hockey has seen the first team place third in their league, despite a slow start to the season.
After being promoted to BUCS League 2A last year, Stirling 1s lost four out of their first five games, before snatching up some convincing wins and much needed points as the season came to an end, finishing behind St Andrews 1s and Abertay 1s.
They also made it to the quarter finals of the Scottish Conference Cup, unfortunately losing out on a place in the semis after a 3-2 defeat against Abertay 1s.
Meanwhile, the 2s finished fourth in BUCS League 3A, thanks to a couple of impressive away victories as the year came to a close.
However, for the club’s president Michael Stewart, the standout performance of the year came from the third team, who play in the same league as the 2s.
Traditionally seen as “the worst male competitive team in Scotland,” Stewart was pleased to report that the 3s managed to pick up a couple of points this year, after holding both Dundee 2s and Edinburgh 6s to a draw.
“Most of these boys have never played hockey before they came to uni, and the improvement I’ve seen, especially in the freshers, has been fantastic this year.”
Three members of the club have also been selected for the SSS University National Squad.
Peter Meehan, Jordan Wright, and Philip Inderthal will all represent Stirling, and Scotland, against English and Northern Irish university teams in May.
Aside from the weekly league fixtures, the club have had an equally busy year off the hockey pitch.
One thing that current president Stewart worked really hard to participate in was the Movember campaign, in aid of men’s mental health, prostate and testicular cancer.
Stewart was thrilled that the club ended up raising over £1200 for the cause. “I really wanted to make a big effort to promote it as it’s something that has been done quite half-heartedly in the past. It doesn’t take a lot to give something back and do something important.”
In what is set to be an exciting end to the year, thirty-six members are jetting off to Trinidad and Tobago at the end of May for their annual tour. They will play two matches while celebrating another great year for the club.
The club, as always, has been very active this year in recruiting members from the get go.
Stewart said: “We’re always there on moving in day, helping freshers move into their flats. It’s satisfying when you meet people on their first day at Stirling uni, and then they join the club and end up on committee the following year.”
Ten years ago, the Stirling men’s hockey team won the British Championships, which is almost difficult to believe now that the club no longer play in the top national league.
As the Sports Union is re-assessing scholarship funding, it will be the new committee’s job to convince them that they should receive a fair amount, in order to bridge the gap between other universities and attract some top players to Stirling.
As well as working hard to promote the sport inside and outside of university, another one of the committee’s aims this year was to make the club as inclusive as possible.
“I wanted to make men’s hockey a club that anyone felt they could join,” said Stewart. “I have heard in the past that some people felt they didn’t think they would be welcome in the club, which I found horrifying.”
With the Sports Ball and highly-anticipated Caribbean tour just around the corner, men’s hockey are ready to wind down another eventful season.
We’re bringing you season summary pieces for sports teams all across the university, so check back at 2PM every day for another edition of Bleed Green Round-Up.