SCOTTISH international Robbie Croll slotted from a penalty corner to claim the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Vase Final for Edinburgh University at Nottingham University.
Croll, a 21-year-old who captains the side, struck the game-winner in the second quarter of a tense tussle in which Edinburgh were down to nine men at one stage and desperate Birmingham withdrew their goalkeeper in the dying minutes giving them 11 outfield players.
Edinburgh’s player/coach, Hamish Imrie, also a Scottish international, admitted: “We held on.”
Martin Rose, the student’s goalkeeper, made some telling stops and Kier Robb was a constant menace up-front to Birmingham who were the favourites to lift the silverware.
It’s been a tough journey to the final for the Capital combine as they played the semi-final and quarter-final on the road, edging Birmingham Seconds 2-0 and Cardiff Met 2-1 in the Principality.
Edinburgh beat Cambridge 3-1 in the last 16 and Imrie said: “This was a massive team effort against a team who were fancied to take the title. We were under the cosh for he first five or ten minutes, but in the second and third we re-grouped and could have scored but did not take our chances.
“We were again really up against it in the final stages, particularly when they took off their goalkeeper to make it nine against 11, but we came through and this is one of the best games we have played this season.”
British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Vase Final: Edinburgh University Firsts 1, Birmingham University Firsts
PICTURE: Hamish Imrie (red shirt) by Nigel Duncan