Lancaster opened proceedings with a slender 1-point lead from the pre-weekend events, but after a day which saw York successes in American football, futsal and basketball, the white rose has taken a hard-earned 45-36 lead.
Early fixtures saw mixed results for both teams as the snowsports and indoor hockey matches finished two apiece – with six and four points each respectively. The first big result for York came when Alex Ingham’s four goal haul gave York a storming 4-point win in the futsal. American football swiftly followed as the York Centurions got the best of a high-scoring second half to edge the Lancaster Bombers 22-20.
In the Men’s 2s 50-over cricket match York set an imposing target of of 189-9, which seemed defensible given York’s strong bowling line-up. However, after Lancaster hit 100 in the first 20 overs without losing a wicket, a crucial 4 points were heading the visitors’s way. Lancaster eventually won by 7 wickets with 14 overs to spare.
But York took the bragging rights in the day’s showpiece event. The men’s basketball directly preceded the opening ceremony in front of a sell-out crowd, who were whipped into a frenzy by light shows, cheerleading and music befitting of one of York’s many club nights. With crowds beginning to gather at Greg’s Place in front of specially-erected projector screen, the atmosphere reached fever pitch both inside and outside the arena.
Lancaster raced into an early lead, and by half time they were already ahead by 30 points to 17. As the visitors increased their lead to 15 points mid-way through the the third quarter, after a raft of missed chances from York’s shooters, victory for the visitors seemed assured.
Yet, remarkably, York were able to turn the game around, scoring 20 points in the final quarter. The home side took the lead with just over a minute remaining on the clock, and saw off a series of spirited but ultimately futile Lancaster attacks to claim a 50-47 victory, sending supporters around campus into delirium.
The day ended with the official Roses Opening Ceremony. York Sport President Isaac Beevor and several others gave speeches thanking Roses sponsors, and drawing attention to the tournament’s partnership with mental health charity York Mind. York’s sportsmen and women can reflect on a successful opening day of competition, but with a whopping 69 fixtures coming up on day 2, there is everything to play for.