February 2, 2016, by Lee Chrimes
Reflections from the table toppers
Last week saw the University of Nottingham sport clubs excel in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competition, winning close to 70% of their fixtures. Such performances help UoN hold on to 3rd place in the BUCS league with a whopping 2227 points (at the time of writing!). With a staggering 111 teams from Nottingham entered we’re delighted to say that a good 20% of these remain undefeated for the 2015/16 season. UoN Sport caught up with the captains from some of these teams to discuss their highlights, along with their predictions for the future.
Rugby League Men’s 1st
Having already won their league, the Rugby League Men’s 1st team are a shining example of a club that has developed both on and off the field. Team captain and second year Natural Sciences student, Adam Simm, reflected on their standout match away against Oxford University in which they secured a 20 point win to finish 42-22.
“It was set to be one of our toughest fixtures, travelling down to Oxford to face a team who had previously been in the league above. After an awful start to the game, conceding two tries and being pinned down in our own half, the whole squad rallied together to take the lead before half time and then go on to take the win. It was a learning curve that moulded our game plan for the future and showed a lot of the lads that we aren’t untouchable.”
It has been a pivotal season so far for the club, with a solid recruitment drive perhaps being the important factor in their undefeated run up to the Christmas break. Although the team have already secured their top position in the league and were awarded Team of the Term by UoN Sport, they are keen to improve their match play. Adam noted “not one performance has been perfect and as our focus turns to the play offs and the cup we know we need to get a lot of things right if we want to remain undefeated, earn promotion and win the BUCS trophy.”
Futsal Men’s 1st
The season could not have started any better for the Futsal Men’s 1st team. The combination of a new head coach, Roger Augusto and a successful selection to compete in the brand new Super League North has seen them win 6 out of their 6 BUCS games! First team captain, Moe Elmaghrbi told UoN Sport:
“the experience gained from the national league top division clearly is putting the boys in the driving seat for their BUCS division as they push on to get promoted to the premier division.”
With only 4 points required from their remaining four games, it looks like a place in the playoffs is almost guaranteed. The team look to keep up their winning streak and head to the playoffs with a squeaky clean 100% record.
Table Tennis – Women’s and Men’s 1st and 2nd
Staying with the indoor sports, Table Tennis have celebrated many victories throughout the season so far, with both their Women’s 1st team and Men’s 1st team remaining unbeaten and sitting at the top of their respective leagues. The Women’s team have stormed through many of their league matches; winning all of their matches 5-0. Yolanda King, Women’s 1st team captain said
“it was reassuring that our doubles pairings worked so well following the slight change in partnerships affecting both the Women’s 1st and 2nd teams. So far the women’s 1sts are unbeaten but we have some big matches ahead of us, what with BUCS Individuals and the away replays coming up. I think the most exciting matches are yet to come!”
We also caught up with Men’s 1st team captain, second year Economics student, Liam McTiernan, to discuss his team’s outstanding performances so far this season. For Liam beating their closest rivals, Nottingham Trent University away, where they walked away with a 17-0 win, was his pick of the season. “In this game we were all fully composed and put Trent in their place.” Liam’s hope’s for the team is to retain their place at the top of the Premier League and win the BUCS Cup, again.
Badminton Women’s 1st
Although the Badminton Women’s 1st team haven’t had a clean sweep this season, the performances they have put into their matches is worthy of recognition and has seen them clinch the top spot in their league. Ellen Mahenthiralingam captains the team and spoke to UoN Sport about their standout performance against Leeds at home. After some tough singles matches and very close doubles matches, they lost their first away match against Leeds 5-3. Determined to change the result second time round, they won the home match against Leeds 6-2.
“Vanessa Chien and Charlotte Ho played outstanding in their doubles to win both games against tough opponents. Emily Witts put in a solid performance in the singles winning both, and Hilda Ho, who usually plays doubles and was nervous about playing singles, also won both singles matches, showing her strength as an all-round player.”
To be at the top of the league by the end of the first semester is an outstanding achievement and both the club and UoN Sport are very proud of their achievement. Ellen commented that she couldn’t ask for a team who are more committed; “they are all extremely dedicated to training and try their best in every match.” With just one more league match against Sheffield, Ellen’s team are positive that they can secure the win and keep hold of top of the league. In addition to the league matches, they also have their eyes on the finals of the cup matches and have promised to work their hardest to get there.
The Women’s Basketball 1st team and Women’s Volleyball 1st team who both have not only remained unbeaten in the league but have also advanced to the last 16 in their cup rounds without a single loss and multiple convincing wins!
Last season, we were pipped to 6th place in the BUCS league by the University of Exeter. Our stronger start to this season ignited an air of excitement around whether a 7th place finish can be improved upon! The BUCS Nationals 2016 are quickly approaching, widely considered the most important time of the year for many clubs, individuals and teams who are preparing to showcase their talent amongst the top sporting institutions. Competitions take place the weekend of the 19-21 February in Sheffield. Want to support? Find out more and see the event schedule here.
Success thus far is owed to the coaches, students, the Students’ Union and other supporters of the University of Nottingham Sport, to whom a huge thank you is required. Here’s to the next term! #GreenandGold