by Matthew Todd
This season has been a huge success for the university’s football teams. There were two league titles and a BUCS cup victory shared between the men’s sides and a respectable mid-table finish for the women. In addition, the college leagues have proved competitive, with the season finale yet to come.
Where better to start than the University Men’s 1st team. They secured a historic double triumph; going unbeaten all season in the process and dropping a mere six points. The Northern Conference league was captured in fine style ahead of both Liverpool university sides, with a 2-1 victory over Liverpool university, and 3-0 against John Moores proving the difference. All this after the season had started with a stuttering 1-1 draw away in Cheshire.
The BUCS knockout cup began in fine style with a 5-0 demolition of Liverpool Hope’s 5th team, an ominous sign for the competition. The second round saw league rivals Liverpool University dispatched 2-0, avenging the 2nd team’s loss to the same opposition in round one.
Four more assured performances saw Lancaster progress into the final. In a dramatic tie it was Lancaster that triumphed thanks to a narrow 2-1 win over Sheffield Hallam. The hero on this occasion was Mike Hogg who notched the decisive strike.
Remarkably the men’s 2nd team also won their league to bring more silverware to Lancaster. The potent attacking talent contained in the squad was decisive, an average of three goals per game enough to secure the title. The magnitude of this victory made even more impressive considering the opening game ended in a 5-1 defeat to closest rivals MMU.
The second team would recover and won the remaining seven league games, driven by the inspirational captaincy of Creegan and the dynamic management of Jimmy Huck. Highlights included the crucial 2-1 victory over MMU in the reverse of the opening day and the 6-2 demolition of Liverpool Hope which saw the team hit top spot.
The women’s side produced some entertaining football, their 11 matches yielding 81 goals, but were hit by a dramatic mid-season slump which saw them finish fourth in the league. An opening 7-0 loss against Edge Hill was followed by a run of three victories and an astonishing seven all draw against tormentors Edge Hill.
However, with the team clawing themselves back into the title race, a run of four defeats put the brakes on Lancaster’s progress. The frustration was compounded by a cruel 4-3 defeat to Edge Hill in the first round of the cup. However, the season ended in typically dramatic fashion with a 5-4 victory over Liverpool.
Running in parallel with the university football, the college leagues are now well underway.
The top of the A league has a familiar look with Fylde heading the table. However, a battling performance from Cartmel saw them claim a 2-2 with Fylde to leave Grizedale looming four points behind with a game in hand.
Pendle are the main surprise this season, languishing in seventh with just two points. With most teams having two games left, there is still plenty to play for in a congested league table.
The B league also sees Fylde top having secured the title with a game to spare, seven straight wins has given the prolific side a perfect season so far. This has left Grad, Bowland and County scrapping for second, with other sides also closely matched at the foot of the table.
The cup competion, which sees A and B sides pitted against each other will also be played this term. So far Cartmel A have overcome Graduate to make their way through the qualifying round and have been rewarded with a tie against Fylde A.
Although the B-active league has yet to finish, a remarkable run of six wins looks set to net History FC yet another title. Below the runaway leaders a group of teams, including new boys CYFC and Pendle are battling for second place in what is proving a highly competitive league.
The summer term will see the annual knock-out competition which takes place over one day and is a favourite with the players; History will be hoping the retain the cup.