So much for winding down to the Easter holidays at pedestrian pace, so much for that week ten apathy. Wednesday afternoon saw some blistering sports action in the long overdue spring sunshine with promotions, relegations, invincibles and cup finals. Just another BUCS afternoon, then. Nouse walks you through the high and lows of a remarkable day.
The men’s rugby firsts completed their superlative league season with a twelfth successive victory, a 31-24 result against Leeds University seconds underlining their domination in winning the BUCS Northern Conference 2B championship. The hosts started in their highest gear as tries from Mike Callis, Gryff Jones, Nick Brown and Tom Weir during the first 30 minutes constructed a 22-0 advantage. However, Leeds, their closest challengers in the standings, battled back with three scores either side of half-time, and edged into the lead at 24-22 courtesy of a penalty. Unfazed, York roused themselves for one final charge and a lengthy team move was culminated by James Stone’s try, before Rob Grant kicked a 30 metre drop-goal to guarantee victory. The firsts will now proceed to BUCS League 1A next season, where strong opposition awaits them in the shape of Durham, Northumbria, Leeds Met and Manchester universities. On the adjacent pitch, the seconds rounded off their season on a high after beating Sheffield University 36-22.
The men’s badminton firsts provided further good news, as their 5-3 victory away to Durham wrapped up the BUCS Northern Conference 2B title on its final day. The team’s 8-0 demolition of Leeds University last Wednesday moved them to the brink, but such was the closeness of the run-in that another win against their closest rivals was necessary. Like the rugby team, York completed the season undefeated, with nine wins out of ten and are promoted to a very challenging BUCS League 1A, where they join an elite band of teams from Leeds Met, Sheffield, Manchester amongst others. Elsewhere, the women’s firsts cemented second place in their division by beating York St. John 6-2.
There was disappointment, however, for the women’s lacrosse team in their season’s showpiece final, losing 8-5 against tournament favourites Durham. The side, who have scored 191 times in 11 matches in all competitions and racked up over twenty goals on four occasions, were unlucky in defeat having entered the final quarter with scores locked at 5-5. Christiana Hambro excelled in goal for York, denying the talented North-East visitors at several crucial junctures, while Elsie Blackshaw, Harriet Rees, Liz Chan and Helen Streeter got on the scoresheet. Captain Rose Morrison said: “It was disappointing in the end but we can certainly be proud of our performance.” One of York’s best performing teams, the lacrosse women have enjoyed an outstanding season, pipped only by Durham in both league and cup.
Agony also for the women’s hockey firsts, who joined their male counterparts in suffering relegation after Sheffield University won 2-1 on the JLD Astroturf. After earning a battling 2-2 draw with York St. John exactly a month earlier, the team were confident of escaping the drop, but successive losses against Durham and Leeds meant the unthinkable. In other results, the men’s firsts lost 6-1 against Durham thirds, while the men’ seconds beat Sheffield fourths 5-2.
The men’s football firsts had to settle for a fourth-place finish in their first season back in BUCS Northern Conference 2B after a 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield University firsts, who nicked the second place York were aiming for. A goal from Anton Murphy levelled the scores almost immediately after Sheffield took the lead, but a second after the break settled matters. Facing relegation a month ago, the team have saved their situation through a 1-1 draw at Leeds Met and an excellent 1-0 win away to Teesside. The second and third teams both overcame Sunderland on Wednesday, with 3-1 and 2-1 results respectively.
Easiest three points of the afternoon went to the women’s volleyball team, who earned a walkover when Sheffield University seconds failed to appear for their scheduled fixture. In the best of the day’s other action, the women’s netball smashed their way past York St. John 44-10, the women’s basketball also beat the Varsity rivals 58-25 and the men’s tennis firsts demolished Northumbria 10-0.