It had to come to an end one day, but that doesn’t make this afternoon’s defeat to Birmingham any easier for the UYRUFC firsts to swallow. Their proud unbeaten record in their 22 Acres citadel, which dated back to late 2007, is over this evening as their Premier B opponents narrowly advanced in the BUCS Trophy.
Yet York can be very pleased with a display that proves again their ability to compete with the top University teams in the country. For 75 minutes they matched their opponents and defended excellently against constant Birmingham attacks. However, a try in the last five minutes gave the away side the lead and, despite late York pressure, they held on to end the great run.
Afterwards Captain Alex Redshaw said they had played “fantastically” and noted the improvement in his three years as part of the team. Despite a disappointing end to the season they will look towards Roses and next season with great optimism and will want to remain unbeaten in the league on ‘Fortress 22’ for as long as possible.
The thirds’ fixture with Bradford University finished 22 minutes early following a nasty neck injury to York’s Will Peters, who left the 22 Acres in an ambulance. York were trailing 15-17 at the time.
In the women’s game, York battled back superbly from a twelve-point deficit to beat Leeds Met seconds 14-12, their third win in four matches in League 2B.
Elsewhere on Wednesday afternoon, there was double delight for the men’s hockey teams as they recorded narrow, but hugely significant, victories on the Astroturf. The firsts beat Durham University thirds 1-0 to leapfrog York St. John into fourth spot in League 2B and, with only one round of fixtures left to play, secure their status in this division. Alec Feakes converted a penalty flick late in the opening period after Andy Harris had been blatantly tripped by the Durham goalkeeper inside the danger area.
Joe Walsh goes on the offensive for the hockey seconds during their 2-1 win over Sheffield Hallam. Photograph by Sam Newsome.
Earlier in the day, the seconds defeated Sheffield Hallam 2-1 in dramatic circumstances to condemn their opponents to relegation from League 5B and, in the process, ensure their own survival with one round of matches remaining. After a goalless first-half, York took the lead through Adam Phillips’s poacher-like finish on 50 minutes, only to be pegged back ten minutes later. However, with 90 seconds left in the game, Adam Tyrrell directed a rebound underneath the Hallam goalkeeper to win the match for his team.
Away from York, the women’s firsts maintained their bid to return to League 2B with a 2-1 away win at Norhumbria. They now trail Leeds University, the leaders, by just three points ahead of their meeting next Wednesday.
In a successful day for the Netball Club, the firsts won a thriller 32-31 away at Sunderland taking them back above Northumbria thirds and off the bottom of League 4B. Following their home victory against Sheffield last Wednesday and the Varsity win at the weekend, the firsts have found their best form at the most important part of the season. The seconds, meanwhile, maintained their mathematical chances of gaining promotion from League 5B with a 47-21 win over their York St. John counterparts.
UYAFC firsts completed their league programme with a trypically thrilling 4-3 away success at Teesside University. The win, their seventh out of ten in League 2B, prolongs their hopes of wresting the championship from Sheffield, who beat Leeds Met 4-2 and retain two games in hand.
Jack Beadle was on target for the football seconds in their 3-1 home defeat by Huddersfield. Photograph by Justyn Hardcastle.
The football seconds were outplayed by Huddersfield on the 22 Acres – the 3-1 defeat, inflicted despite Jack Beadle’s goal, means today’s opponents have the upper hand in the League 5B promotion race. The fourths were on the right end of another 4-3 scoreline as they beat Bradford thirds on the road. The women’s team thrashed Newcastle 6-1 away from home, taking the number of goals scored against the North-East outfit to 14 in two matches.
The Fencing Club recorded a stunning double of victories on Wednesday afternoon at this crucial stage of their season. The women’s side recorded a comfortable 133-94 victory away to Loughborough University, meaning they will challenge Newcastle next Wednesday to determine which team is promoted into the Premier divisions. Back in York, the men’s firsts beat Newcastle for the second time in a week by a 135-73 margin to move into second in League 2B and, with a trip to leaders Leeds University next week, remain firmly in the title race. The men’s seconds couldn’t complete the hat-trick, however, losing 80-135 to Durham as they continue to pursue their first win in League 2B.
In the day’s other results, the women’s volleyball team were beaten 3-1 at Sheffield Hallam, the men’s tennis firsts lost 7-3 at Leeds Met, both the men’s and women’s squash firsts were defeated by Northumbria and the men’s basketball side lost 49-46 at Newcastle.