This last week has been a surreal one…the fact that York have just won Roses 2008 is still slowly sinking in, but the fact that it’s gone is even harder to accept. Roses has been a distant date on the back of my mind since last July, and now it’s been and gone and there is a void in my life.
What a weekend. After going into the weekend 12 points down from the rowing, I was a little concerned that our little jaunt across the Pennines wouldn’t be as successful as I’d hoped.
But Friday and Saturday couldn’t have gone better. We were winning the fixtures we were favourites in, and winning the ones that on paper we should have lost. At one stage on Saturday afternoon we were 24 points ahead of Lancaster, and the Lancaster tournament secretaries were starting to look extremely concerned.
Perhaps we became a little complacent after sitting 18 points clear on Saturday night after clean sweeps in the skiing, fencing, sailing and tennis. Coming into Sunday, we needed just 19 points from an available 54 to win an Roses away.
Sadly we made life difficult for ourselves. With just three fixtures remaining it could have gone either way. All we needed was a draw in football, hockey or table tennis, and with just minutes to go, we were losing all three fixtures and contemplating a long trophyless journey home.
I spent Sunday afternoon enjoying the gentleman’s pastime of croquet with the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor. I had a great start, but as reports of scores kept coming, I lost the plot. Neither James nor I could focus on the croquet, we were both nervous wrecks. I have never felt so sick in my life.
I couldn’t have told you who won the croquet. As soon as we scored the equaliser, securing York the Roses win, I abandoned my mallet and sprinted down to the Astroturf, nearly falling head-over-heels in the mud on route.
I am so proud of the teams, they really deserve all the credit for last weekend’s success. York has now won an awat Roses three times in the last sixteen years, whereas Lancaster hasn’t taken the Carter-James trophy home from York since 1985. So what made the difference this year? Was it simply that we had the better players? Possibly. But for me, the professionalism and passion of the York teams was the fundamental difference.
Plain and simple: we wanted to win more.