College sport leagues see tense finish

Image: James Hostford

COLLEGE SPORT CAME back with a bang this term, with a host of surprises and close contests in store for fans.

Every league in each term is worth points that will contribute to each college’s final total, with a winning college being crowned in June. Therefore, every league place gained could be vital and with a home varsity with Durham on the horizon, our college sport teams have been giving it their all to be included.

There was an eye-watering clash in college rugby last Wednesday as Derwent RUFC and Hes East RUFC, both unbeaten and both at the top of the table, went head to head. Both Derwent RUFC and Hes East RUFC had scored over 100 points each in their previous three matches. A huge crowd turned up at the RI to witness an incredibly tense game in which neither side gave an inch. Ultimately, it was Hes East who came out on top with a try from debut winger Will Relfe, securing a 7-3 victory. It was a vital win which gives Hes East a three-point lead at the top of the table.

Below them, competition for a top four spot and a place in the varsity qualifying semi-finals is heating up with Halifax and Vanbrugh two teams in the hunt. In a new development for college rugby this year, the league will carry on after Christmas, with colleges playing each other ‘home’ and ‘away’. It’s fair to say the countdown to the Hes East-Derwent rematch, a potential championship decider, has already begun.

Netball has seen similarly close contests. The battle for top spot was decided on Saturday in the final round of fixtures and went to Halifax 1s after a tense 11-11 draw with James 1s, coupled with a favourable result over in the Derwent-Alcuin game, being enough to hand them the league title.

The second netball division also came down to the wire and it was a straight shoot-off between Constantine 1s and James 2s. It was a dramatic 12-11 victory to secure the title for James. Having been down at half-time, it was an incredible effort to come back and win the crucial match.

Over in the premier football division, tomorrow will see a showdown between James 1s and Langwith 1s, with Langwith needing a hefty win to steal the prestigious division title off Halifax 1s. Meanwhile, James 4s and James 5s both won their respective division titles in an energetic Sunday afternoon last weekend.

The coming weekend will also see the culmination of many more college sport leagues, with tight finishes expected in hockey and badminton. The ever-popular college darts league has also continued strongly this term. Derwent currently sit top of the table with a few matches left to play. Meanwhile, the equally popular college pool league is set for a close finish, with Alcuin and Halifax sitting at the top, just five points apart.

It has been an amazing term for college sport and next term will surely bring more incredible matches and some incredibly tight league finishes. There is continued expansion as well, with two new football teams: Constantine 4s and Derwent 7s, and a new netball team, Constantine 2s, joining their respective leagues. To all this there’s the stellar event in the college sport calendar, a home varsity against Durham. I for one cannot wait to see what happens next term.

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