Photo by Irfon Bennett
On Sunday 6th December, men’s hockey teams from across the South of Wales meet at the National Hockey Centre at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff for the all-important Championship Semi-Finals. Whitchurch Hockey Club, Cardiff University, Cardiff & Met and Swansea University will be vying for a place in the Men’s Championship Final at the end of April, with European Hockey Federation (EHF) tournament slots also potentially at stake.
Whitchurch Vs Cardiff University
The local rivals take each other on for what could be a European Hockey Federation (EHF) tournament slot for the 2016-17 season.
Whitchurch have had a difficult season following their relegation from the English Hockey League (EHL) Conference West last year and are currently six points behind the students in the Regional Premiership League.
In the team’s first league clash this season, it was the University who came out top with a 3-2 win but Whitchurch will be looking to put down a marker before they meet again at the end of January.
Whitchurch have appeared in EHF tournaments for a considerable number of years and will have no desire to give up the slot without a fight.
The University, however, will be looking to join their female counterparts in EHF, as the University Ladies First X1 travel to Gibraltar next year.
Cardiff University’s Men have featured in EHF previously, having won their tournament in Malta in 2007.
Cardiff & Met Vs Swansea University
With a two division gap between the other two semi-finalists, one would have thought that it could be an easy passage for Cardiff & Met through to the final.
However with Cardiff & Met having drawn, won and lost in their last three games (whilst still maintaining their lead in the EHL Conference West) and Swansea University having won 4 out of their last 5 matches, boosting them to third in the Regional Championship, Swansea will be eager to challenge Cardiff & Met for a place in the final.
Cardiff & Met are guaranteed the top spot in EHF competition next season, but an upset could see Swansea University take on the winners of the other semi-final for the remaining EHF spot.
The Semi-Finals are open to spectators and admittance is free. The event takes place at the National Hockey Centre, located at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff. The venue will be open from 13:20, with push back for match one at 14:00.
For press wishing to attend the Men’s Championship Semi-Finals this Sunday, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org