Sunday, 13 May 2012

The college sport spectacle

The summer term at the University of York is of course extremely busy as we revise, revise and revise some more. But with the BUCS season now largely finished, it is also a hugely exciting time for college sport, which is in full bloom.

As I’m sure you’ve heard, the football College Cup has returned to the JLD and so far, we’ve had a highly intriguing tournament. There have been numerous giant killings, from the first match when Halifax 3rds scored twice late on to devastate Wentworth 1sts, to Halifax 4ths shocking a strong Vanbrugh 2nds and tournament favourites Halifax 1sts flopping against James 2nds. Almost every match has seen huge crowds gathered on the touchlines to get behind their college, which is why they are usually such great events to report on. The introduction of vuvuzelas this year by Derwent has generated a great atmosphere and I’m sure we’ll be seeing the likes of the Vanbrugh and Derwent ducks quacking their support soon.
Many college sport events are better attended than BUCS
(Photo: Adam Green)

But of course, football is not the only sport in the world. The hockey College Cup made an exciting debut on Saturday with goals flying in left, right and centre; in total, we saw a remarkable 67 goals scored across the six matches. The outstanding result in Group 1 was Goodricke 1sts’ thrashing of Langwith 2nds 11-2, while in Group 2 a Graeme Osborn-inspired Halifax 2nds could not stop James 1sts winning 7-5 in a thrilling contest. The great thing about the tournament is that it encourages beginners to participate in competitive sport. That’s because no men’s 1sts, 2nds or women’s 1sts players are allowed to play. In terms of the destiny of the title, Halifax and James will be the colleges to beat as their squad size and strength far outstrip the other colleges. However, both of their first teams have been a little leaky in defence, conceding eight goals between them on Saturday, so the other college first teams will definitely fancy their chances in attack.

The summer term also sees the return of cricket and rounders, which are played on weekdays except Wednesdays. Both kick off at 5:30pm on 22 Acres and are about to enter their third week of action, although there have been disruptions caused by heavy rain. In addition, college tennis has returned to our courts on Monday evenings from 5pm. The matches are arguably more exciting to watch than BUCS, because the quick format allows for all ties to be completed in under three hours. Each tie comprises three mixed doubles matches which are just one set long, and all eight colleges are participating which is great to see. At the moment, Vanbrugh and Langwith are battling it out for top spot and their match against each other tomorrow at approximately 6:30pm will be one to watch.

Although the college netball season has finished, we still have a number of sports which are continuing their season from the spring term, notably badminton, table tennis and squash. In the badminton, Langwith’s captain Andrew Grantham will be adamant his side can finish the season on a high, and his on-court his partnership with Huang Ting Ang is always a joy to watch. Like cricket, the squash is played out on weekdays except Wednesdays, while table tennis takes place on Fridays. Vanbrugh vs Halifax looks likely to provide the best entertainment from 6:30pm.

In summary, if you have never tried sport out at York before now is a great time to do so at college level. With so many on offer this term, there’s bound to be something which floats your boat! Meanwhile, for us reporters, it’s a great time to just sit back and enjoy the spectacle.

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