York storm to fourth straight Varsity victory

Netball players in action

York 55-16 St John

York’s sports teams achieved their fourth successive win against York St John in the annual Varsity competition since the tournament’s inception in 2005.

Generally considered to be a warm-up for the Roses competition in the summer term, York went into Wednesday’s event with confidence after emerging victorious in all previous Varsity encounters. The home side did not disappoint, taking the victory with a final score of 55 points to 16.

One of the first events of the day, badminton, proved to be one of the most exciting; the result being taken right to the wire in both the men’s and women’s matches, with York’s women triumphing whilst the men fell just short of victory against St John.

Although some of the events were evenly matched, some appeared to be walkovers. Despite not competing for points in the overall competition, York’s netball 4th team put in a sterling performance by dominating St John’s 4th squad in a match that saw York finish with a 42 point lead.
The only draw of the competition came in the men’s 1sts hockey confrontation, when after going 2-0 ahead, York allowed St John to come back in the second half and eventually snatch an equaliser in the last few minutes to ensure that the points were shared between the two sides.

Although most of the day went without any complications, there was trouble on the Ouse when two of the four scheduled races were abandoned. Both the novice and senior women’s races were cancelled after neither senior squad decided to enter and the York novice women encountered difficulty on the way to the start line, having to turn and back and forfeit the race, which gifted St John three points.

Despite being up against a much more experienced side, the York men’s novice four put in a strong performance, coming within half a length of victory after having to restart the race for crashing the bank on the first attempt.

In other netball action, York’s 2nds were unable to follow up on their victory against St John in the warm-up matches a few weeks ago and lost a close game by just one point in the dying seconds.
Both the tennis and skiing contests were entirely one-sided, with York claiming flawless victories in each.

As the day began to draw to a close, an unlikely highlight was the confrontation between a team assembled from members of Derwent and the York St John rugby league men in the sport known only as dodgeball. Both sides dodged, ducked, dipped, dived and dodged their way through the game, although it was eventually the Derwent side, representing York, that snatched a close run victory.

The athletics teams, who had to reschedule their event, will compete on Wednesday February 20, even though the score will have no bearing on the Varsity result as a whole.
After all matches had been played, the teams gathered in Goodricke dining hall to await the final scores.

The turnout in the dining hall was much like the order of the day – dominated by York. Only York St John’s Vice President of Student Activities, Greg Key and two others stayed on campus to recieve the inevitable news that they been beaten for the fourth year in a row.

Key remained positive in the face of defeat, saying: “It was a great day, we always look forward to Varsity. It’s a bit of a shame really as we won our tri-Varsity event earlier on in the season and thought we could carry the momentum through to today’s event.”

At the presentation ceremony, AU President Jo Carter spoke of the achievement of the sports teams: “I’m so pleased with the teams. The weather was great, everyone played really well and the day went without any problems.”

After such a strong performance, York’s sports clubs will now look ahead to Roses when they travel to take on arch-rivals Lancaster.

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