April 9th, 2015
Wednesday afternoons are already synonymous with sport for many students but Wednesday 25 March 2015 will be remembered as a big day for University of Nottingham Sport for many years to come.
The culmination of the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) season, BUCS Big Wednesday saw four University teams claim national championship victories in hockey, table tennis and fencing. The men’s lacrosse team also came within a whisker of claiming the Championship Cup against Durham, a team that hasn’t tasted defeat for five consecutive years.
Held at Loughborough University, Big Wednesday not only demonstrated the strength of East Midlands sport but proved to be a story of local rivalry with the men’s hockey team coming up against the host university and both the men’s and women’s table tennis teams facing off against Nottingham Trent University.
The history books show that the 1964/65 season was the last time the men’s hockey team claimed the National Championship and it took penalty flicks to separate the two teams this year after a hard fought 1-1 draw in normal time. A Nottingham team featuring 2012 Team GB Olympian Harry Martin held their nerve in front a crowd of over 1,000 spectators to defeat the Loughborough men’s first team and bring the national title back to UoN after a fifty year wait.
Men’s Hockey captain Andy Dalman said: “I can’t begin to describe how much this means to us. Every fitness test and off-season sacrifice over the last three years has been in anticipation of this game. Every late night video session and every early morning run – the hard work has definitely paid off.”
The European adventure starts here
The men’s and women’s table tennis teams served up another couple of victories for the University, securing their places in the European University Table Tennis Championships in the process.
Both titles came within minutes of each other, as the women’s team of Yolanda King and Tressa Armitage produced an amazing display to beat NTU 3-0, with Yolanda winning 3 games to 2 in the final match against England number 5 and Ladies National bronze medallist Emma Vickers.
Shortly after this the men’s team of Paul McCreery, Liam McTiernon, Ben Gardner and James Grayson were celebrating a 9-5 win over a three-time gold medal winning NTU side led by England number 5 Chris Doran.
Exeter’s hopes of victory foiled
The women’s fencing first team put in an outstanding performance to defeat The University of Exeter 117-80 in the Trophy Cup competition and preserve their unbeaten record for the 2014/15 season. The team will be looking to continue that form as they look ahead to their league playoff against The University of Manchester on 22 April, where they will be looking to gain promotion to the BUCS premier league.
Dominant Durham show their class
The final event of the day saw the men’s lacrosse team square off against the team that had already denied them premier league victory this season. This was the third meeting for these two teams this year, and with Durham victors on both occasions they were arguably favourites going into the final.
Despite leading 8-7 at the end of the third quarter, the Nottingham team were unable to provide the cup upset and eventually succumbed to an 8-11 defeat.
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