Cachia catches the eye as Hallam show their fighting spirit in defeat, against one of the country’s heavyweight hockey sides

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Sheffield Hallam men’s first team faced a real baptism of fire in their first home game in the Now Pensions: Men’s Hockey League Premier Division, going down 3-1 at the hands of last season’s national league runners-up Surbiton.

The visitors have been a club always to be found at the top of English Hockey, winning the first ever hockey league title in the country back in the 1960s when in the London League, and their line-up contained nine current internationals, including GB Olympians Matt Daly and James Tindall.

Unsurprisingly, the visitors started the match on the front foot and it took a few minutes for the home side to settle and begin to fight back.

With six minutes gone, Sheffield took the lead from their first penalty corner of the game. A low, straight power flick from Mike Shaw beat the Surbiton keeper - and lone post defender - to find the net.

Surbiton won their first penalty corner after 16 minutes, and the resulting strike was well saved by Sheffield keeper Jamie Cachia.

But he could do nothing about the rebound, which was volleyed into the net from close range by Surbiton’s McCabe, to level the scores at 1-1.

The next Surbiton attack saw them go 2-1 ahead, from Alan Forsyth’s penaty stroke.

The fear was now that the floodgates may now open but Sheffield showed they are made of sterner stuff, with Cachia again proving why he one of Britain’s top rated goal keepers.

He was unlucky to be caught out by a slightly mishit reverse stick shot from Surbiton’s Forsyth from the top of the circle, to give Surbiton their 3-1 cushion.

Sheffield Hallam women’s first game of the season, meanwhile, took them to leafy Chester, where they hit back from 2-0 down to secure a plucky 2-2 draw.

After a goalless first half, Sheffield started the second period slowly and Chester took advantage of two penalty corners to quickly establish a two goal lead.

But Sheffield hit back, and notched the equaliser with two minutes remaining.

n Sheffield Bankers, meanwhile, beat their rivals from Sheffield Hallam 5-1 in an eagerly-anticipated derby clash at the weekend.

Bankers, newly relegated from the North Premier division, were very keen to impose themselves from the very start and did just that when James Osborne deftly netted the rebound from a penalty corner.

Further strikes from Owen Davies, Oscar Evans and new boy Nick Fletcher, plus a second for Osborne, wrapped up the win before Hallam scored a late consolation.