It might have been the last BUCS Wednesday of the season, but there were still loose ends to tie up this week in a reduced programme of fixtures.
The main achievement of the afternoon came from the men’s fencing team, who continued a remarkable campaign for the York University Club. They took the League 2B championship with a 131-108 away victory against Leeds University seconds, following hot on the heels of the women’s team, who gained promotion in a play-off last week. With six wins from seven matches, York have finished three points ahead of Durham seconds and have a cup final to look forward to on Wednesday against Keele.
Another match with plenty at stake was the netball firsts’ home clash with Teesside. In a fractious encounter – which came close to being abandoned at half-time because the Teesside Goal Defence was persistently barracking the match umpire – York claimed a dramatic 28-26 win to finish third in League 4B. Entering the fixture, there was still a slim mathematical possibility that York could drop into the league below, but this was quickly dispelled as some effective shooting from Claire Dinan and Sarah Fisher – despite some aggressive Teesside defending – opened a sizeable lead.
Teesside, the league champions who favoured a long-ball approach, fought back strongly in the second and third quarters but never took the lead. In a dramatic final quarter, York were close to surrendering their lead but held their nerve at the crucial moment – long range shots from Dinan and Fisher securing a narrow, but thoroughly deserved, victory.
In the day’s other netball, the seconds beat Leeds Trinity and All Saints 35-21 to cement second position in League 5B behind Newcastle University fourths. The thirds completed a hat-trick of Netball Club successes with a comprehensive 61-34 rout of Bradford.
The men’s rugby seconds were pipped to promotion from League 3B by city rivals St. John after a 23-13 defeat in Acomb. Having beaten York twice this season, St. John win the title on head-to-head records, despite the two sides being locked together on 33 points, with identical records of ten wins and three defeats from their thirteen fixtures. York also had the superior points difference, but it is destined to be a season of disappointment for the UYRUFC, after the firsts were denied promotion into Premier B because of an administrative technicality.
The women’s rugby team warmed up for Roses in spectacular fashion, racking up 124 unanswered points against thirteen-man Newcastle seconds.
In the final afternoon of the BUCS hockey season, the men’s firsts warmed up for next Wednesday’s BUCS Cup final against MMU Cheshire and exacted a measure of revenge for the recent Varsity defeat with a 2-0 away win at York St. John. The side, who were threatened with relegation just a few weeks ago, finish the season in fourth, comfortably above Northumbria, who slip into League 3B.
The seconds also finished in fourth after beating Bradford firsts 3-1, while the women’s firsts completed their fixtures with a 2-1 away win at Northumbria. They end the season in second place behind Leeds University thirds, despite losing just one match.
In the final round of football fixtures, the men’s seconds lost 3-0 at Sunderland seconds, meaning they finish third in League 5B. There was also disappointment for the thirds, who missed out on promotion after a damaging 3-0 last-day loss against Sunderland’s thirds, which means Hull fifths go up instead.
The women’s firsts drew 1-1 with Sheffield Hallam in the second meeting between the sides this week. York end the season fourth in League 3B.
Elsewhere on the final day, there was a clean sweep of wins for the badminton club, with the women’s firsts and men’s seconds both beating St. John by comfortable margins, 6-2 and 8-0 respectively. The men’s basketball team finish third in their division following a 59-50 success over Hull, the men’s squash firsts were beaten 4-1 at home by Leeds and the tennis firsts drew 5-5 with Northumbria. However, the women’s tennis firsts fared much better, beating Sheffield Hallam 8-2.