Football team loses cup thriller

The University football team has finished as runners-up in the British Universities Championships.

Team congratulates Jack Beacher

In a thrilling final at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, the team came from behind twice, but ultimately lost 4-2 to UWE Hartpury.

We knew we were up against an experienced side in UWE Hartpury, but we fought hard throughout the game and dominated at times. The team performed very well.

Alan ChaineyHonorary President, Edinburgh University Association Football Club

Strong start

In front of a vocal army of travelling fans, Edinburgh started in determined fashion against Hartpury, who have played in four of the last five British Universities Championships finals.

After a probing start, Hartpury took the lead after their skilled midfielder Samuel Mensah played a one-two and slotted the ball past approaching Edinburgh goalkeeper Mark Tait.

However, Edinburgh hit back immediately, as a flick-on by Swedish targetman Peder Beck-Friis fell to left-wing Jack Beacher, who smashed an unstoppable left-foot volley over the opposing keeper from fully 30 yards.

Late equaliser

Still in the first half, Hartpury took the lead when Edinburgh failed to clear a corner and while Tait saved an initial shot, he was helpless to prevent the onrushing forward Ben Pugh tucking away the rebound.

Just before half-time Tait made a crucial save, diving at a Hartpury forward's feet to keep the score at 2-1.

Edinburgh equalised immediately after. Beacher broke down the left and his cross was flicked on by Beck-Friis to midfielder James Brownie, who made no mistake from close range, making the score 2-2 at half-time.

Second half

With their tails up, Edinburgh continued to press, with second-year James Craigen, once of Championship club Preston North End, pulling the strings in midfield.

Tait made several good saves to keep Hartpury at bay, but was powerless to prevent a close-range shot by Peter Macklin after a clever cross from the right.

That goal came against the run of play but, as Edinburgh sought another equaliser, Hartpury sealed their win with 15 minutes to go with another breakaway goal scored by Isaac Shaze after another good initial save from Tait.

Strong performance

While the final score was a disappointment, the team - captained by Alasdair MacKinnon - did exceptionally well to come back so strongly against a gifted side with considerable experience at this level.

Edinburgh's James Craigen was named Player of the Final after a composed performance.

We played extremely well and it was an excellent game of football. The team did tremendously well to reach the final, which in itself is a great achievement.

Professor Sir Timothy O'SheaUniversity Principal

Scottish first

Scottish universities have been taking part in the British Universities Championships in football since the 1992/93 season.

Edinburgh has previously reached two finals - winning in 1993/94 by beating Cardiff 2-1, and losing in 1995/96 to Roehampton Institute.

No other Scottish University has ever reached the final. This season Edinburgh beat York St John, Sheffield Hallam, Leeds, Birmingham and Bournemouth on the way to the final.

This season, the Edinburgh first team has already won the Scottish Universities title and the Queen's Park Shield, as a result of winning the SUS Scottish Conference Merit League 1.

A winning university

Our sports facilities and programmes are among the finest in the UK.

We were rated 5th out of 147 institutions in the BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) league table.

We provide bursaries, training programmes and a range of support services to help gifted students realise their sporting potential.