For most of the Lancaster Judo squad this was their first senior competition. Unlike their York opponents, who had recently competed in tournament in Sheffield, most of the away side were relatively unschooled. It is to their credit then that they were able to claw back some much needed, but unfortunately redundant points for Lancaster late on Saturday afternoon.
York picked up the points from the opening Women’s light and heavy weight rounds. Lauren Bell and Lucy Oliver did admirable jobs, and both seemed to be confident in their maneuvers. The one thing they did not have were the decisions. In the end they both lost out. A recovery was needed to save the squad from the embarrassment of most of Lancaster’s other teams.
As the tournament moved on to the Men’s under 73kg, Mark Wilkinson brought Lancaster back into the contest. Although he himself did not win any points, his constant grappling and pinning forced York’s Chris Lau into a fowl. He was penalised, although one point still went to York’s overall score regardless.
The real breakthrough came in the under 81kg round, where Jonny Tennant made light work of his opponent. The round had barely begun when Tennant hurled him to the ground, picking up a Lancastrian point on the way. Longer was Phil Riding’s match in the under 90kgs. Both players matched up equally. For every move one had the other successfully countered. It ended fittingly with a draw, which neither side could reasonably feel cheated by.
The contest ended with the over 90kgs, which again Lancaster made quick work of. Andrew Lloyd picked up another point for the away team, leaving the final scores as Lancaster 2.5 to York’s 3.5.
After the match Lloyd said he felt the tournament had gone “really well” for all of Lancaster’s squad and hopes to improve upon it in next year’s Roses campaign.