Roses 2009 Preview: Friday 8th May

Ultimate at Roses 2007 - Photo credit: Georgi Mabee

Ultimate at Roses 2007 - Photo credit: Georgi Mabee

Nouse guides you through the events taking place on the opening day of Roses 2009, Friday 8th May.

BADMINTON: Mixed and Men’s Seconds (10:00), Men’s and Women’s Firsts (15:00), Main Sports Hall

Occupying the Main Sports Hall for the duration of the opening day, badminton enthusiasts will be well and truly spoilt at Roses 2009. In the grander scheme of things, however, serious points are available in order to kick-start the weekend for either the White or the Red Rose: four points apiece for the men’s, women’s and mixed events, two points for the men’s seconds.

For many of York’s experienced men’s badminton firsts, the tournament will be a fitting curtain call, with their personal finale a potentially explosive battle of BUCS League champions. Both York and Lancaster reigned supreme this season, beating Durham and Manchester respectively to the silverware, and they will meet more regularly next season in the elite northern division.

Traditionally, the hosts’ strong suite is in the doubles rubbers, something much in evidence during last year’s 8-1 victory in Lancaster, with the well-practised partnerships of captain Will Wiseman/Paddy Clarke, Ricky Kanabar/John Choi and Ed Chuck/Duy Hung hoping for one final hurrah for the York cause. Wiseman told Nouse: “With their team also gaining promotion, they will be in high spirits so it is set to be a close match. We have seen their first pair play in a tournament and know that matches against them will be close. We are looking forward to playing our rivals, as the feeling of beating them is something you cannot recreate in regular BUCS fixtures. All year has been leading up to Roses, and we will put up a fight against them.”

Not that the women’s team would be outdone, finishing second in a strong BUCS League 2B behind Sheffield Hallam. They enter Roses on an even keel with Lancaster, who endured a torrid campaign in BUCS League 1A, ending up bottom and picking up only one point on an unceremonious return to the second tier. This could be one of the tightest encounters of the weekend, with four valuable points at stake but Captain Laura Rutter has every confidence in her team.

“Roses preparations are well under way, with many more practices organised between now and the match. Although we know Lancaster ladies to be a very strong team, judging from last year’s Roses result and their BUCS League status, our own results have shown that we have improved greatly since last year as well. I have every confidence in my team, and we will be going into the match with a winning mentality and putting up a very good fight,” she said.

Rutter is likely to partner Bekki Moore on Friday afternoon, with the other partnerships of Nattha Tritasavit/Katie Wilson and Liz McFadzean/Becky Ward equally influential in determining the destination of the four points. These players and members of the men’s teams are likely to feed into the mixed team, captained by Ricky Kanabar, in the morning.

INDOOR FRISBEE: Mixed (12:00), Open (13:00), Tent

ULTIMATE FRISBEE: Open (15:30), 22 Acres

There’s also a veritable all-day feast of Ultimate Frisbee action on Friday, offering the perfect opportunity to sample this lightning-fast game of wits and reflexes. First up, the mixed indoors: a five-on-five showdown with the only stipulation being that both teams must have at least two players of both genders on the pitch at once. With no points at stake, York and Lancaster (a.k.a. The Fish) will be competing here for the development of their respective squads. Then, the serious business of the open indoors: another five-on-five but without the gender restrictions for two points. Finally, the battle moves outdoors for the afternoon’s Ultimate showpiece, with York seeking revenge for a humiliating defeat last year in the seven-against-seven open match, acquiring four points in the process.

Looking ahead to the weekend, Club President Chetan Padia said, “We are feeling quietly confident, though we know it’s not going to be easy. We’ve played Lancaster a few times this year and won each time, but they have a big influx of beginners who have been improving quickly all year. When we have played them, it’s been really tense. We have quite a mixed bag of experience and hopefully this will work to our advantage. I reckon we’ll win indoors, and win outdoors more convincingly!”

EQUESTRIAN: First and Second Team (10:00), Snainton Riding Centre

Following a successful season in the BUCS Equestrian leagues, which resulted in York narrowly missing out on the Nationals, the riding club will be seeking to end the year on a personal and collective high. For club President Gemma Johnson and A Team Captain Toni Newman, Roses 2009 also represents a personal farewell to the sport at university level and, accordingly, preparations have been intensive, with each team member training hard on their chosen dressage and show jumping horses. Despite Lancaster giving little away, York have already settled on their quartets for the competition: the A team consisting of Toni Newman, Elle Pendred (the Captain elect), Nina Sandhaus and Becca Harris, and the B team featuring Jess Nightingale (Captain), Zoe Jameson (Captain elect), Anna Payne and Gemma Johnson.

The events take place at the Snainton Riding Centre, near Scarborough, and the riding club are offering free transport and lunch for any spectators who wish to support them, departing campus at 9.00am. Further information is available by contacting [email protected]. In the meantime, check out more about the University of York riding club on their website http://uyrc.wordpress.com/ or read a recent national magazine profile of them at http://www.nationalequinestudent.com/articles/20090324_3.

CRICKET: Men’s Firsts (11:00), 22 Acres

For Nick Vanner’s men’s firsts, and unlike the majority of teams, the Roses fixture with Lancaster comes right in the middle of their BUCS campaign, so match fitness shouldn’t be a problem. The season started in disappointing fashion against Durham seconds on Sunday: batting first, York suffered a collapse in the upper-middle order but rallied to 186 all out thanks to Tom Hudson’s half-century. However, with the loss of only three wickets, Durham, whose team contained four players from the first-class UCCE squad, reached the target with nine overs to spare. Lancaster, meanwhile, opened their campaign with victory away to Hull University: the Red Rose bowled their opponents out for 177 in 48.4 overs, before knocking off the target for the loss of six wickets with only 13 balls to spare.

SKIING: Mixed Firsts and Seconds, Women’s and Snowboard (17:00), Rossendale Ski Centre

Having beaten Lancaster in every race at every competition during the season so far, the men and women YUsnow have every right to be quietly confident about their Roses chances. Having recently enjoyed an Easter holiday trip to Val Thorens and Alpe D’Huez for the British University Snowsports Championships, York will have another opportunity to fine-tune their assault on the 14 points available this weekend at the King’s League National Finals in Brentwood, Essex.

Snowsports at Roses, taking place at the Rossendale ski slope near Manchester, consists purely of the dual slalom event (teams competing head-to-head on the slalom course) with the first and second mixed, women’s and snowboard teams competing. The firsts ski team is likely to be made up of Captain James Lodge, Ben Corbey, Michael Perkins, Matt Thomas and Katy Huckle. There are three confirmed snowboarders; Marlies Neuner, who achieved third place at the BUSC event at Alpe D’Huez, Max Potter and Rich Ramsbottom, with a fourth place still up for grabs in the absence of Eugene Dodd.

On the prospects of YUsnow success at Roses, Huckle told Nouse: “We are pretty confident – but it’s best not to be overconfident and we know they have been training hard. We have our first national competition of the season this weekend [in Brentwood], so the team will have a chance to get warmed up for Roses.”

SQUASH: Men’s Firsts (15:00), Squash Courts

Fresh from securing BUCS League promotion on Wednesday, following a play-off victory over Sheffield University seconds, the squash team will be seeking a repeat of last year’s comprehensive win against the Red Rose on the opening afternoon. The strength in depth of the York club is shown by the introduction of a second team in the same BUCS League this year, but the firsts, led by Captain Tom Davenhill, who will take centre stage here.

On the team’s prospects of beating Lancaster, Davenhill told Nouse: “We have a really strong team this year, so we are hoping to wipe the board again. The two new freshers we have gained have really improved the team, as they now play [seeds] one and two and rarely lose. This has also meant we have had strength in depth as our bottom order is of a very high standard.”

Despite topping their division and earning promotion, York shouldn’t underestimate a Lancaster side who finished third behind Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan universities in BUCS League 2A this season.

The other events taking place on Friday are:

TENNIS: Mixed (14:00), Tennis Courts

RUGBY UNION SEVENS: Men’s Thirds and Women’s Seconds (14:00), Men’s Seconds and Women’s Firsts (14:30), Men’s Firsts (15:00), Rugby Pitches

AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Men’s Firsts (16:00), Rugby Pitch 1

INDOOR HOCKEY: Women’s Seconds (15:00), Men’s Seconds (16:00), Women’s Firsts (17:00), Men’s Firsts (18:00), Tent

KARATE: Kata and Kumite (15:00), Dance Studio

EXHIBITION EVENTS – KENDO: Mixed (13.00), Dance Studio, GYMNASTICS: Mixed (14.00), Dance Studio, KARTING: Mixed (12.30), Teesside

SOMETHING FOR THE (WHOLE) WEEKEND: YORK HORNETS CHEERLEADING

Fresh from an intensive Easter holiday of Cheer camps and competitions, expect the York Hornets cheerleading squad to make a massive impression over the Roses weekend. The ‘games’ squad will be supporting York’s sports teams all the way from the sidelines, while the ‘competitive’ squad, buzzing after success at recent competitions, will be aiming to teach their Lancaster counterparts a few new moves. Bring it on!

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