By Freddie Keighley, Online Sport Editor and third year History student
Bristol 1s triumphed over Loughborough 2s in a dramatic penalty shoot-out to reach the BUCS Trophy semi-final as UBAFC eyes a successful end to the season.
Loughborough led for much of the match after recovering from Anton Beleanu’s well taken opener. A rare miss from the penalty spot by Bertie Lloyd deep into the second half might have convinced the Coombe Dingle faithful that it wasn’t to be Bristol’s day.
However, another penalty was awarded to the home team late on and Cam McEwan made no mistake from the spot to level the scores and Bristol to extra time for the second successive cup game.
Jasper Harlington slotted early in the first half of extra time but Loughborough displayed their spirit to once again pull level and send the game to penalties
In a remarkably lengthy shoot-out, the responsibility fell to Gabriel Smith on Bristol’s tenth penalty to put the tie to bed. The defender kept his nerve to flummox the goalkeeper and nestle the ball in the corner of the net in unconventional style, much to his side’s delight.
1s win on pens after 10 pens each. Graham was due to take next😂 thank Christ Gabe netted the absolute hero. See ya in the semiiiiis👋🏻— UBAFC (@ubafcofficial) February 20, 2019
The quarter-final victory sets up a meeting with Bath 2s on 6 March after their 1-0 victory over East London 1s. However, the 1s cannot afford to let another fantastic cup run take their attention away from the league title race. Southampton 1s remain the only opposition standing in their way as they look to claim the Western 1A.
Elsewhere, a successful season is drawing to a close for the other UBAFC sides.
The 5s wrapped up the league with games to spare, with Nathan Winner’s men imperious in the Western 5B over the course of the season.
5s take on Cardiff as well with the league all wrapped up. Positions out of a hat. If we don't see Nathan Winner up top, we riot.— UBAFC (@ubafcofficial) February 20, 2019
The 3s are in the driving seat in the Western 3A despite a recent setback against UWE 2s in which Al Harlington and Ryane Tully scored in a 5-2 defeat. The result marks only the second time this season that manager Aaron Farr’s side have dropped points.
After a fantastic 3-1 victory over title rivals Cardiff 4s, the 4s are one game away from lifting the Western 4B. James Tippett’s penalty capped off a brilliant team performance which earned a crucial three points. A “cup final” against University of South Wales 4s on 13 March is all that separates the 4s from the league title.
The 2s have had a mixed campaign, with their quest for the league title ending before Christmas but a fantastic run setting up a Western Conference Cup semi-final with league leaders Plymouth Marjon 1s.
‘We have been building momentum for the cup run’, said captain Jonny Willis. ‘It is top of our agenda to finish a promising season with silverware for our veterans Alex Hunt and Sam Rattigan.’
Finally, the first season of the newly formed 6s has been a successful one likely to result in a second place finish in the Western 7A. Unfortunately, South Gloucestershire and Stroud College 1s edged them 3-1 before Christmas to top the division with a 100% record, but the former development squad should be proud of their first term in BUCS competition.
6s boss Lucas Wengler is optimistic for the future: ‘While promotion was our objective for the season, we were beaten to it by a better side.
'I have full confidence that the 6s play at a higher level than this league and expect promotion next year!’
UBAFC has already had a very positive season, but the remaining league run-ins and cup clashes could prove that the best is yet to come.
Today marks week one of what could be the most important three week period in UBAFC's history. Enormous 3 fixtures today.— UBAFC (@ubafcofficial) February 27, 2019
1s vs Southampton 1s (H)
2s vs Marjons 1s (A)
3s vs Exeter 4s (A)
Featured image by UBAFC
How much silverware can UBAFC claim this season? Let us know your thoughts!