The BUCS Cup second round provided a welcome distraction from the bread and butter of league competition yesterday, with several of York’s sports teams aiming to avoid elimination and progress another crucial step further towards glory. Nouse reviews the very best of Wednesday’s action here.
The natural starting point is the excellent victory recorded by the men’s football firsts against Northumbria University seconds. Goals from in-form striker Mark Gouland, an opposition own goal and late third from substitute Anton Murphy, opening his account for the season, ensured a comfortable progression. By a quirk of the draw system, York must again confront Northumbria in round three, albeit their fourth team on this occasion. York skipper Matt Witherwick will draw encouragement from a professional performance in the face of an often aggressive opposition – one member of the visitor’s midfield was dismissed for aiming a punch at Dom O’Shea – and will hope the result acts as a springboard to better fortunes in all competitions. This weekend, York make the journey to Cheshire with the intention of preserving their winning sequence in the Northern Universities League.
Elsewhere, York’s second and third teams’ interest in the competition was ended in rather humiliating style. The seconds went down 5-0 against Leeds Met Thirds, while the thirds lost 6-0 at home to Northumbria thirds.
The men’s rugby firsts were handed a bye to the next round, where they will travel to play Northumbria fourths, after Leeds Trinity forfeited their contest. The second team carried the flag for the university, but found themselves dumped out of the cup by Leeds University seconds, 34-0. York, who brought in a number of first team regulars, played much better than the scoreline suggested, but found themselves up against a disciplined defence and were unable to register any points.
There was success for the netball sides, however, with the first team particularly impressive in their 55-2 rout of Sunderland seconds. York wasted no time in establishing a dominant rhythm and when Sunderland suffered an injury in the third quarter, the game was prematurely abandoned. The seconds will face Leeds University seconds next after seeing off the spirited challenge of Sheffield Hallam 39-21.
Facing a Chester team composed of players with National league experience, York’s basketballers produced a valiant performance before losing 59-101 in their cup encounter. Inspired by a rowdy troupe of cheerleaders, Chester’s offensive game proved the difference, with accurate long balls down the court, consistent three-point hauls and fast reactions to rebounds. Nevertheless, York produced their finest display of the season to date, particularly during the final quarter and they will gain great confidence despite the defeat.
The fortunes of York’s hockey teams proved to be vastly different: the men’s team crashed out of the cup 4-0 away to Durham University thirds, as their season still struggles to gain momentum. The women’s firsts, meanwhile, demolished Leeds Trinity and All Saints 24-0 on the road and will now face a significantly tougher challenge against Sheffield University firsts, who themselves put 19 goals on the board against Sunderland.
York’s lacrosse teams enjoyed a productive afternoon, participating in BUCS League fixtures away from home. The women’s side continue their high-scoring season, winning 20-2 against Northumbria, meaning they have netted 81 times so far this year in just five matches. The men were involved in a closer tussle at the same university, emerging 9-8 winners.
Other teams competing in standard league fixtures on Wednesday were the men’s volleyball side, who recovered winning ways in a straight sets triumph at Liverpool, but the men’s fencing team lost for the first time this season, 111-135 at home to the University of Manchester. Better news from the women, however, who travelled to Durham and won 130-115, thanks mainly to a strong performance in the sabre discipline.
Returning to BUCS Cup action and the men’s seconds badminton side cruised past Bradford 7-1 and await news of their opponents in the next round. There was controversy for the first team, though, with their result against Leeds Met seconds under review following a scoring dispute. On the tennis courts, an excellent series of results in the singles rubbers secured York firsts’ passage, beating Leeds University seconds 6-4, although the margin of victory should have been more comfortable. The seconds sadly went down 8-2 against Sheffield Hallam seconds, which meant their premature elimination from the competition. On a final, positive, note York’s table tennis team travelled to Teesside and duly picked up their first BUCS League victory of the season, winning by a superb 17-0 margin.