The weekend that all sportsmen and women at the University of York have been eagerly anticipating since October is just around the corner. The teams of York and Lancaster, from rugby to debating, will go head-to-head to compete for the Carter-James trophy.
For the first time this year Roses has been bookended by two showcase events; the men’s rugby firsts will kick things off with a bang at Huntingdon Stadium on the Friday night and the men’s football firsts will bring things home on the Sunday afternoon.
There will be countless ups and downs on the journey from Friday to Sunday, ebbs and flows as the momentum swings one way and then the other and you can guarantee that every point will be fiercely competed for.
Every sport is important and honourable mention must go to pool & snooker, fencing, lacrosse and swimming – all sports that have enjoyed a successul couple of seasons and who will be high on the list of potential Roses points winners. The great thing about an event such as Roses is that every individual point could be essential to either side’s hopes of winning the trophy. The sports listed below may get much of the attention but smaller sports such as rounders could very well be pivotal as well in deciding which side of the Pennines the trophy resides in come May 16th.
Roses boasts a history that says much for the competition between the two universities. The competition has taken place on 46 occasions, with York tasting victory 23 times to Lancaster’s 22. 1974 remains an anomaly in that the honours were shared. In more recent history, York have lost only three times in the last ten competitions, while last year’s Lancaster victory was the first in four attempts.
York Sport President Sam Asfahani has done much to raise the profile of the event with the rugby match at Huntingdon Stadium representing a major progression in the tournament’s stature. It is the largest inter-university tournament in Europe but there is still some way to go until it receives the respect it perhaps deserves outside of the two institutions taking part and ‘Friday Night Lights’, as it has been dubbed, will be a historic night in the history of the tournament. Asfahani himself commented: “Ticket sales are going swimmingly. It looks very likely that we’ll sell out the seated stand”.
Lancaster enjoyed dominance last year and having surrendered the trophy in 2010 the White Rose will be extremely keen to regain it. In order to do so Nouse looks at some of the games and sports that might turn out to be pivotal, as well as some others that are simply bound to be absorbing and entertaining affairs.
MEN’S RUGBY FIRSTS
When & Where? Friday 8pm, Huntingdon Stadium. Tickets are still available at Your Shop, The Studio, the York Sport Committee and online at www.yusu.org/shop
How many points is it worth? 4 points
Why will it be important? What a way to start proceedings. This game will be so important, not just in terms of points secured, but in terms of laying down a marker and securing momentum. Under the leadership of Tom Weir, it has been another strong season but Lancaster have enjoyed a superb campaign with their Vice President (Sports) Marc Handley even stating: “With the form they’ve [Lancaster’s rugby firsts] had this year, they should dominate York”. Nouse aren’t generally prone to rallying cries but our rivals Scan are predicting a first away win for the Red Rose since 1985, so we say bring it on.
What happened last year? 19-17 to York. Same again would be lovely.
When & Where? Where else but on the River Ouse, 1pm on Saturday.
How many points is it worth? A whopping 20 points are on offer.
Why will it be important? The rowing will be important for a number of reasons but the prime one is the sheer number of points on offer. If my maths is correct, and that is a big if, there are 285 points to fight for in this year’s Roses. This mean’s the magic number for both sides is 143. If it is tight, which it very well might be, 20 points either way is a titanic number. Roses was born from rowing and as such it always holds special importance in the schedule. A sunny River Ouse with (hopefully) a victorious York rowing side would be a lovely scene and one that might very well be a crucial factor in regaining the Carter-James trophy.
What happened last year? A clash with the BUCS Regatta meant the event never took place and York started Roses with a 12-point deficit. Controversial.
When & Where? Saturday on the JLD. Men’s thirds: 10am. Women’s seconds: 11.30am. Men’s seconds: 1pm. Women’s firsts: 3.30pm. Men’s firsts: 5pm.
How many points is it worth? 13 points
Why will it be important? If you’re too tight to part with your cash to watch the rugby firsts at the Huntington Stadium then make sure you’re at the JLD to watch the two hockey clubs go at it hammer and tongs. Always fun, often spikey, much drink and debauchery guaranteed on the touchlines and fierce rivalry a definite on the pitch. Andy Harris’ men’s firsts have had a good season, as have Charlie Bartlett’s women’s firsts, and both will be confident. The atmosphere at the hockey is what makes it special and expect nothing different this time round.
What happened last year? Comebacks were the theme but York came out victorious overall, winning 8-5.
When & Where? Sunday in the tent is the place to be for netball. Thirds: 10am. Seconds: 12pm. Firsts: 1.30pm.
How many points is it worth? 8 points.
Why will it be important? Despite the cold a very good atmosphere can often be generated inside the tent and York’s supporters could well lift the roof off if York can claim all three victories in the netball. Netball shares a place with the likes of football, rugby and hockey as traditional sports and as a result there should be a sizeable following for Cesca Dessain and the rest of her team. Lancaster firsts are two divisions above the York ladies but given the team’s cup exploits this year where they completed one memorable scalping they should go into the game with some hope. The seconds and thirds tasted success in 2010 and would love to repeat that feat.
What happened last year? A mixed bag as York won two out of the three matches.
When & Where? Where else but the Sheffield Ski Village. The action kicks off 2.30pm on the Saturday. Entry is free for those whistling the tune to ‘Ski Sunday’.
How many points is it worth? 8 points.
Why will it be important? Snowsports doesn’t get the acclaim it deserves,perhaps because it’s not the easiest sport to follow. Once again those wanting to track YUsnow will need to undertake a fair trek, where’s the dry slope Asfahani? Sort it out. A very successful side, they’ll look to repeat last year’s hammering.
What happened last year? Controversy reigned as a 12-0 whitewash for York became a 10-2 victory following an appeal. Nevertheless it was a crushing victory for a side that had spent most of the weekend being on the losing side. Asfahani will be hoping for another win this year, hopefully in more favourable circumstances.
When & Where? Saturday, Main Hall. The Mixed and the men’s seconds get underway at 10am, the men’s and women’s firsts are a 5pm start.
How many points is it worth? A potentially pivotal 14 points.
Why will it be important? Similar to rowing, you can’t underestimate the importance of so many points belonging to one sport. A good weekend for York’s badminton sides will go a long way to bringing the Carter-James trophy. Injuries have hampered the men this year but skipper James Davies will want a repeat of 2010’s exploits while the women’s side have had a great season and will want to carry on their good form.
What happened last year? A rare victory for the right side of the Pennines as the men’s and women’s firsts secured 6-3 and 8-1 wins respectively.
MEN’S FOOTBALL FIRSTS
When & Where? Sunday, 4pm, 22 Acres. Be there – bring a banner.
How many points is it worth? 4 points.
Why will it be important? The men’s football firsts is always a hotly anticipated contest. Football of course holds a special place in the hearts of British sports lovers and watching your university do battle with a local rival while receiving some very tame abuse is a nice moment, especially if they win. Last year it wasn’t to be but Lancaster – a division above the White Rose – have endured a torrid season and sit bottom of the Men’s Northern Conference 1A. Conor Brennan’s side’s season might not have been much better, with mid-table mediocrity being the order of the day, but with the Red Rose winning only twice all season and shipping 2.7 goals a game, confidence is bound to be low. The good and the great of University football are currently kicking lumps out of each other on the JLD but come Sunday May 15th they will all be united behind the common cause of bagging four points for the University of York.
What happened last year? A deluge of seasonal British rain put pay to York’s chances as they suffered a 3-1 defeat.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL FIRSTS
When & Where? Sunday, 10am. Main Hall. Head down to support a York side that has achieved promotion this year.
How many points is it worth? 4 points.
Why will it be important? Women’s basketball firsts are perhaps a contender for York’s team of the year, being the most successful in terms of BUCS team points, losing only once all season and boasting a win percentage of 91.67 per cent. Promotion to Northern Conference 2B was sealed comfortably, with a gap of twelve points between themselves and Newcastle in second place. Last year they came unstuck against a talented Lancaster side but come Sunday morning Lydie Mariutto and the rest of her team will look to get the day started by winning some White Rose points.
What happened last year? More of the same Lancastrian delight as the hosts triumphed 49-34.