Wales too good for England and Northern Ireland in BUCS football tournament
Wales University Football team has secured its best result for eight years in the 2012 British Universities and College Sport Home Nations football competition.
Wins against England and Northern Irreland saw Wales clinch second spot in the football tournament.
This year saw the overall tournament, which included football, rugby, netball, hockey and basketball, hosted at the University of Nottingham.
The footballing management team was headed by Steve Savage, from the University of Glamorgan and coach David Gough, hailing from Abertridwr.
The team used cutting-edge real time video analysis to help them get second place.
Wales’ football coach Gough said: “The manager was so meticulous in his planning and we had everything covered off the pitch.
“It was a real dream job for all of us on the technical staff in 2012. We had to concentrate on analysing the opposition and winning our games and the result was our team’s best performance in eight years.
“I’m proud of all the athletes who competed at the games for our country, in this, such a historic year for British sport.”
The Welsh University team was made up from 20 players selected from a nationwide process involving all 14 universities in Wales.
The event took place between April 16 and 19.
Full match reports:
Tuesday April 17, 2012 – Wales vs England
A tense encounter began with the English as firm favourites for the tournament with the squad mainly formed from semi-professional footballers studying at Loughborough and Hartpury Universities.
Wales dominated possession in the first half and hit the woodwork early on. The game remained 0-0 into its later stages with Wales matching their opponents but with England growing stronger.
Then in the 90minute England sprung free and forced Lee Kendal (Neath AFC) into an outstanding save. From there Wales broke quickly and Craig Moses (Llanelli AFC) found space in the English penalty box to slot home a winning goal that sparked huge scenes of celebrations on the Welsh bench. Full time score Wales 1- England 0
Wednesday April 18 – Scotland vs Wales
Both Scotland and Wales had won their first matches and with such an intense schedule this was a potential tournament decider.
Wales again had a very strong start, creating four chances to score in the first 15 minutes. Scotland went close too and just before half time they eventually broke the deadlock.
With the words of Wales Team Manager Steve Savage still ringing in their ears the Welsh players fought back to 1-1 with a superb finish from Ross Frame (UWIC) before Scotland again took the lead and eventually ran out 3-1 winners with some good finishing.
Lee Kendal, the Wales team captain, had pulled off what was undoubtedly the save of the tournament just minutes before the final whistle but in the end to no avail as Scotland went top of the group.
Thursday April 18, Wales vs Northern Ireland
Two years ago Wales had finished bottom of the tournament and failed to win a single game, so a point in this match would have meant improvement from 2010.
Wales set about their game plan in superb fashion. Even though Northern Ireland managed to go in 1-1 at half time, a late Bobby Briers penalty added to an earlier Chris Davies (Prestatyn AFC) wonder strike to secure their country second place in the tournament.
Wales remained the only team to defeat England in the 2012 competition and the team eventually finished just a single point behind the winners Scotland.