University Sport: Week 3 results, Week 4 preview

A few postponements, a few big victories, and some definite shenanigans. Just another week of BUCS…

The weather outside is frightful, but the fire (of competitive passion expressed through sport) is delightful, so since we’ve no place to go, let it BUCS, let it BUCS, let it BUCS. I know. I’m not even trying anymore.


The weather threw up some problems this week for teams, and while most of the schedule was played there were a few omissions. Notably, both mens’ football games were called off after Coventry and Derby (Buxton) reported waterlogged pitches.

On the other hand, their womens’ counterparts did manage to play – the Womens’ Blues recorded an emphatic 3-0 victory that keeps them in the Midlands 2A title hunt, while the Furies were less fortunate in their 8-0 drubbing. To be fair, it was to Loughborough.

This seems an appropriate partnership, really. I’ll let you figure out why.

Also apparently postponed was the rugby league mens’ 1sts fixture against St. Mary’s; the BUCS website shows it having been moved to last Saturday, but with no score recorded yet it’s entirely possible it might have been pushed further back still.

The womens’ rugby union fixture, however, did go ahead. Played at a half-underwater ground up in Cardiff, the team came home 30-0 fixtures to secure a 5th-placed finish.

Could OUWRFC beat the current Welsh national side? I say yes.

The other definite postponement was in American football; the 11th-hour call from Harcourt Hill will almost certainly force the Oxford Lancers (and their opponents, the Solent Redhawks) to play three games in a week in order to complete their schedule.

In more positive news, the basketball double-header went ahead as planned with strong results; the Womens’ Blues came away with a surprise win, 59-50, over Southampton Solent to keep them in the hunt for 2nd, while the Mens’ Blues triumphed 78-58 over Bath to do the same.

I only just found this photo of the mens’ basketball side and I love everything about it.

In hockey, it was a mixed week – the Occassionals’ relegation was secured with a 5-2 loss to Cambridge’s 1st team, and the dying embers of a Hos promotion push were extinguished by Nottingham 4ths. The Monkeys beat Coventry, but Birmingham 3rds secured the top spot in that division with a 11-0 thrashing of Worcester.

On the other hand, the Infrequents all but secured promotion with a 7-2 victory over Harper Adams, and the biggest victory came in a game where no Oxford players played – only needing a win against a Bath team with nothing to play for, the Cambridge womens’ 1sts lost 3-0, thus consigning them to the relegation playoffs – and saving the Womens’ Blues from the same fate in doing so.

On a side-note, the book you’ve all been waiting for is here. I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say #BUZZ like the club’s Twitter feed suggests, but I respect that emotion.

The big winner of the week was fencing – five fixtures played, five wins (the mens’ 2nds beat Staffordshire (Stoke), the womens’ 1sts thumped Surrey, and the womens’ 2nds dispatched Warwick, East Anglia AND Loughborough in the space of a few days).

The mens’ 1sts in volleyball lost again, but it was a huge week for the womens’ 1sts – they got the win over Birmingham on Wednesday, then took on Cambridge with the league title on the line…and drew. Somehow. We don’t know how, because volleyball is first to 3 sets or something, but that draw was enough to give them the title. We’d love to hear the story behind that.

seriously what the hell

Badminton and water polo also swept their fixtures, though things were rougher elsewhere – the netball womens’ 1sts lost a heartbreaker 30-32 to Nottingham Trent, and there were losses abound for lacrosse and table tennis too.


So, this is actually a pretty big week in BUCS, because it’s the week that the majority of sports move on to the post-season national championships. A lot of teams have byes, but no less than twenty-three teams will start their quest for a title, including six for the top-tier title in their sports.

I don’t know the last time we won a non-rowing-related BUCS championship. I’m willing to bet “a long time”.

Both lacrosse 1sts teams are in the first round of their Championship tournament, and by coincidence, not only are both playing at home, but they’re actually playing the same university, as Manchester come to town for a laxtravaganza.

They should be favourites in both games – their rivals finished with a combined 5 wins in 20 games in the regular season – but they’ll need to avoid complacency as they seek to improve on twin semi-final finishes last year. The Swifts are also in action as they take on Bristol 2nds in the first round of the Trophy (BUCS’s second-tier national cup competition).

Apparently Manchester hosted the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships. I did not know that! Now I do, and it makes Manchester’s recent struggles all the more embarrassing.

Fencing sees two more title runs start at home – the mens’ 1sts take on Manchester, and the womens’ 1sts  face York. The womens’ 2nds, meanwhile, are entered in the Trophy, and face UCL to start out.

The hockey Womens’ Blues also kick off a championship run as they travel up to Nottingham, while three reserve teams are in their respective Conference Cups (the third-tier, regional competitions) – the Hos travel to Warwick while the Monkeys host Bedfordshire and the Occasionals have Nottingham 3rds.

Rounding out the slate, the Mens’ Blues travel to Bristol as they look to win out to secure the Premier South title for the first time, and the Infrequents host Brookes’s 4th team in the worst derby imaginable.

I mean, really. Four teams per gender. Did you just look at OUHC and say “well, we’re never going to beat them on the field, but we can at least outnumber them”?

The remaining two Championship fixtures are in rugby union, as the womens’ 1sts host a formidable Birmingham side, and squash, with the womens’ 1sts hosting KCL while the mens’ 2nds head out to face Nottingham 4ths in the Conference Cup.

Badmintonnetball and table tennis all have Trophy runs starting, while three tennis teams and both womens’ football sides are in their respective Conference Cups.

Only eight league games are scheduled for this week. The Centaurs will travel to Derby (Buxton) to make up their postponed fixture, and there’s another double-header of basketball at Iffley, as the Mens’ Blues take on Middlesex while the Womens’ Blues look to avenge a narrow loss in November against LSBU.

Payback time.

The table tennis mens’ 1sts and the rugby league mens’ 2nds are two teams united in one common goal: host and beat their Nottingham 2nds counterparts.

The only late game as currently scheduled is as usual in American football, as the Oxford Lancers look to pull off one of the greatest upsets in recent history when they travel to face the 6-1 Southampton Stags.

No word yet over whether star Lancers player Jonny “Priest” Brooks will actually get around to painting his Stags helmet to the correct colour before they actually play the Stags.