BUCS: Week 1 Results, Week 2 Preview

All the latest on which teams forgot to show up to their fixtures, the many creative ways in which we can screw Cambridge this week, and tennis.


BUCS (British Universities & College Sport) is back. It’s back. It’s definitely back. Let’s get to it.


OK, we said it’s back, but it was on relatively limited terms last week really – a number of teams and/or leagues try to avoid scheduling games in the first week for various reasons. Notably, with the football teams in the throng of tours and old boys’ games, only the Centaurs played out of the four, notching up a 1-1 win away to BCU 1sts.

The Oxford Gaelic football team is unbeaten this academic year apparently. But it’s not BUCS, so I mean, who cares, right.

Also relatively bare was lacrosse – the Mens’ Blues beat Portsmouth 5-2 in the only fixture there – and hockey – three teams out of six featured, with wins for the Mens’ Blues and Occasionals but a 2-0 loss to Exeter for the Womens’ Blues.

It was a mixed bag for those sports who were active. Basketball saw a massively important victory for the Mens’ Blues, as they beat Brunel 69-64 to improve to 4-3 and 2nd in their division; on the other hand, the Womens’ Blues went down 81-45 to a division-topping Cardiff Metropolitan. The Womens’ Twos were also in action, picking up a win over Staffordshire (Stoke).

In rugby league, it was a great day all round; the mens’ 2nds trounced Brookes 2nds 44-12 up at Harcourt Hill, while the mens’ 1sts got a vital result with a 24-6 win at Northampton – by all accounts it will either be Oxford or Northampton who go down from this division, and by doing the double over them our boys have almost certainly avoided the drop for this season at least.

All that grabbing of each others’ vests paid off, guys.

Tennis saw one of the rarer occurrences in BUCS, as our Mens’ Penguins and Mens’ Polar Bears teams played each other, ending up with a 6-6 tie. Convenient, that. The Womens’ Swifts spanked Bedfordshire 1sts 12-0, but the Mens’ Blues went down 8-0 in an upset to LSE – fortunately, the only implication is that they will likely now finish 3rd rather than 2nd in the Premier South.

In volleyball, while the mens’ 1sts went down to inexplicable powerhouse Cranfield, the womens’ 1sts benefited from a walkover against Aston. We also gave up a walkover of our own, as the table tennis mens’ 1sts failed to show up at Loughborough, hopefully inconveniencing all involved.

Imagine the look on their faces when they were told “no, no table tennis for you today”. Haha. Hahaha.

Five games among two teams were played at the weekend. The table tennis womens’ 1sts lost to Cambridge and Nottingham but narrowly beat Warwick, while the fencing mens’ 1sts suffered beatings at the hands of both UCL and Cambridge.


All eyes will be on the womens’ 1sts volleyball team this week, for several reasons. Number 1: they’re up against the Tabs. Number 2: they’re at Iffley. Number 3: a win will see them secure their first conference title since 2010. Number 4: it will also deny Cambridge the title, and could see them drop to third in the division. A truly massive fixture.

A city awaits with baited breath.

The mens’ 1sts will probably attract less attention, since they’ve already been relegated; they now look to avoid the shame of a winless season against fellow strugglers Birmingham.

Potential shoeing could also be had in lacrosse; the Womens’ Blues host the Tabs at Uni Parks, while the Womens’ Swifts play concurrently in Cambridge in a match with major implications for the conference title race. Meanwhile, the Men’s Blues are confirmed for a fourth-place finish, but will look to upset Exeter’s title challenge with a win there.

In hockey, things have fallen quite interestingly for the Womens’ Blues. They host Cardiff, knowing that a win will see Cambridge relegated – however, if they lose, then Cambridge can stay up and send them down with a win next week.

Elsewhere, it’s a promotion six-pointer for the Monkeys as they face Birmingham, the Hos attempt to keep their title hunt alive at Aston, the Occasionals need a win against Warwick if they are to have any hope of survival, and after having their ten-game BUCS winning streak brutally cut down the Infrequents look to pick things back up by mathematically securing a division title at Northampton.

In football, the season resumes in earnest with both the Blues and Centaurs at home – the former look to put some distance between them and the relegation zone with a league-topping NTU side, while the latter could go top with a win against Aston at Uni Parks.

I’m not saying necessarily “do this”, but yeah, do this.

The Womens’ Blues meanwhile will seek to avoid complacency and win against Worcester 2nds, while the Furies – having finally pulled out their first BUCS victory in forever – will hope to continue that form against Staffordshire (Stoke).

There’s a fairly decent slate of home games in all – apart from those mentioned already, teams in water polo, table tennis, regular tennis, both types of rugby, squash, netball, basketball and even fencing all are at home.

An OUWRFC win secures their survival in the top flight; if not, it’ll come down to whenever their game against Cardiff is played.

Two ‘late kickoffs’ to note: the womens’ 1sts in water polo will play on Sunday evening (we think, at least; the BUCS site is such a mess that the league table it uses doesn’t award points for wins). In American football, it’s rivalry weekend across the league, and as such the Oxford Lancers face the Oxford Brookes Panthers on Superbowl Sunday as both sides attempt to claim the Cavaliers’ Cup.