Images: Lily Grant
The York contingent of YUSU President Kallum Taylor, Vice-Chancellor Brian Cantor and Chancellor Greg Dyke demolished their Lancastrian counterparts on Sunday in a highly charged affair outside Heslington Hall.
With the clouds rolling in and the crowd of BNOCs gathering, the scene was set for York and Lancaster to do battle in what was the croquet battle to end all battles. Indeed, all ties and jackets were off, prompting Brian Cantor to admit that “in ten years I’ve never done this”.
Lancaster started the brighter of the two, with their President Ste Smith on fine early form, getting the first of their two balls through the hoops with consummate ease. York, on the other hand, struggled to get to grips with the conditions, with Taylor and Cantor failing to live up to their billing as world beaters in the game.
York hit back though, and stayed ahead, with Kallum Taylor producing a stunning shot out of nowhere that really put Lancaster on the back foot. With the sublime touch of Greg Dyke, York managed to charge into the lead, dominating the middle exchanges and played out their first ball well before Lancaster got close.
In fact the only thing letting Dyke down was his questionable choice of footwear. His tactical nous and experience proved invaluable in getting York over the line in an interesting exchange around the fourth hoop where over 15 minutes was spent.
Indeed, had it not been for Taylor’s poor finishing, York would have been out of sight. Lancaster simply couldn’t live with the intensity of the York threesome.
After the close battle on the fourth hoop, York dominated the rest of the match. Cantor and Dyke used all their experience and deft touch with the mallet to sail through the remaining hoops, whilst Lancaster flailed behind. It only needed one strike to secure victory for York, and in a sporting move, Taylor and Dyke allowed Cantor to hit the winning shot; a happy end to his final Roses as York Vice-Chancellor.
As the crowd erupted, and celebrations ensued, the emotion was evident as the York threesome knew that they had secured a fitting end to the closing chapter of Roses 2013.