York reclaim Varsity on home soil

Potency of a home crowd strikes again as York win their second Varsity title 73-55

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YORK’S COLLEGES HAVE reclaimed the Varsity title in front of a home crowd with an impressive and spirited 73-55 victory against Durham to add a second Varsity title to their trophy cabinet and send the visitors back to Maiden Castle empty handed.

It was a repeat of York’s 2016 inaugural Varsity win, as the home side put victory past the clutches of the visitors before the pool and darts fixtures had finished.

The result avenges the heavy 31-94 defeat experienced on the road last year and complements the pattern of home Varsity wins with 4 of the last 5 varsities being won by the home side, proving the potency of a home crowd.

The major difference between last year’s whitewash and this year’s success can be found in the ball sports category. In the 2017 instalment, York took just 21 per cent of the available points in this category, with winless performances in rugby, football, and netball. Whereas this year they won an impressive 78 per cent of available ball sports points. Therein lies the Varsity-deciding difference.

On confirmation of York reaching the all-important 64 points mark during badminton, York Sport Union President gleamed: “Massive thank you to everyone who came down, who played, who supported, you’re all a part of this victory. We are one team, one York!”

York raced into a 6-0 lead early on in the day, helped by St. Cuthbert’s failing to field a team for the men’s football B match and a win for Derwent laxitutes in the lacrosse B game. Durham then clawed their way back with a strong win in rugby B, a late equaliser in the hockey B fixture, and a win in netball B to cut York’s lead to just 3 points.

However, York again started to pull away from the travelling contingent with important victories in the A tier matches of football, rugby, volleyball and basketball – in total worth a sizeable 20 points.

York’s chances of a second Varsity title looked increasingly promising after Derwent earned a seminal 10-7 victory in their headline rugby A match, while two goal-packed women’s football victories in quick succession took York to within 12 points of victory.

Victory was eventually sealed during the badminton in which York won 75 per cent of the available points. That flurry of points proved to be the decisive blow that ensured York would be lifting the Varsity title this year and for the second time on home soil in the short history of the collegiate competition.

For a full recount of the day’s action, see our live feed here.

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