Hockey: Loughborough's slam

Loughborough 5 Brunel West London 4
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The Independent Online
LOUGHBOROUGH completed a grand slam in the Milton Keynes sunshine yesterday, winning all four trophies in the Halifax Busa Championship. The surprise win was their 5-4 defeat of the holders Brunel West London in the men's final.

With both sides consisting largely of National League players, it was not surprising that the pace was fast and furious after initial sparring.

Brunel, having wasted two early penalty corners, were shown how to take them when Andrew Langlands scored from Loughborough's first and third. In between, the former Great Britain striker Jason Lee dashed down the left wing to set up Kulraj Liddar to give Loughborough a 3-0 lead. David Mathews, their captain, pulled a goal back for Brunel on the interval.

Jerome Goudie stretched Loughborough's lead to 4-1 early in the second half before Brunel fought back with two goals from Mathews and one from Paul Wicken. Lee completed Loughborough's scoring from a penalty corner.

Loughborough won their fifth successive women's final and their 11th in all when they beat Birmingham 4-0 in an entertaining if, at times, one sided game. Loughborough never looked back after Hannah Adcock gave them the lead in the 15th minute. Earlier Birmingham, with Helen Grant looking dangerous, had caused a few anxious moments in the Loughborough defence in which the captain, Maria Merrigan, was outstanding. Jo Upton put the winners further ahead at a penalty corner in the 28th minute before the temporary suspension of Merrigan took the pressure off the Birmingham defence.

Restored to a full complement shortly after the interval, Loughborough continued the relentless pressure. Kate Sharland, afterwards named player of the match, blasted down the left wing to set up a goal for Tanya Barnard and then scored herself three minutes later. With the final shot of the match Grant scored a consolation goal for Birmingham.

Earlier in the day Loughborough had won both second XI finals, the men beating Durham 2-0 and the women beating Cambridge 4-0.

BUSA HALIFAX FINALS (Milton Keynes) Women's Final: Loughborough 4 Birmingham 1; 2nd XI Final: Cambridge 0 Loughborough 4. Men's Final: Loughborough 5 Brunel (West London) 4; 2nd XI Final: Loughborough 2 Durham 0.

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