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The final Sunday of May marked the conclusion of the Carter Shield season, with Fylde leading 130-127 over Grizedale at the start of the day.
There were plenty of points still to play for as only three of the four semi-finals on the day were already confirmed; Ultimate Frisbee, Touch Rugby and Rounders. The final event was Tug of war with a full 15 points available to the winning college.
The first event of finals day was Ultimate Frisbee. Graduate College, who were by far the best team in the group stages, competed in just their second Carter Shield event of the season, and were once again unable to find a full allocation of players so had to forfeit their semi-final against County.
[pull position=”left” name=”Ste Rutter” title=”Sports representative for Fylde College”]I am extremely pleased and excited to have won back the Carter Shield after four years of trying.[/pull]
Pendle easily outclassed Grizedale in the other semi-final to prevent them from adding to their Carter Shield tally, much to Fylde’s delight. The final was an extremely tight encounter between Pendle and County, with the few chances that were created snuffed out by the opposition’s defence.
Samuel Grimshaw and Jonathan Rodd provided inspiring performances in the end though, and managed to carve open the County defence to score the only goal of the game to help Pendle win the event.
The second event of the day was Touch Rugby featuring Grizedale up against County, and Bowland against Fylde, with plenty more points to play for. However, all did not go to plan for the two colleges fighting for the Shield, as both lost their semi-finals to superior opposition, setting up a Bowland versus County final.
Once again it was an extremely tight encounter with only three tries scored in the whole match. It was Bowland who came out on top though with a dominant display; and the stand out performers being John Bekalo and Gavin Reid.
In winning the Rugby, Bowland all but assured a third placed finish ahead of Lonsdale in fourth, a great achievement for such a small college, but it’s fair to say they were hoping for much more than third.
The next event of finals day was Rounders, which saw Lonsdale drawn against Pendle, and Fylde up against Grizedale. The latter was a massive game in terms of the direction the Carter shield was heading this year, as it had the potential for a 12 point swing.
Fylde had a much improved side out from the group stages and eased past Grizedale in the semi-finals, winning by 4 rounders. In the other semi-final Lonsdale destroyed Pendle 15-4, having hit the maximum of 15 rounders within the allotted 15 minutes and bowling out the bemused Pendle team in double-quick time.
However, Fylde were much greater opposition in the final for Lonsdale. After winning the toss and selecting to bat first, Kieran Waterson and Nik McCarthy set Lonsdale a fantastic target of seven to beat.
Chris Houston bowled amazingly under pressure, and helped run out Lonsdale’s best batter, Luke Fielding on the very first ball of the innings. This put Lonsdale on the back foot, and they never fully recovered, managing only 4.5 rounders. This saw Fylde go a further six points clear of Grizedale, opening up a nine point gap in the table with only one event left to play, Tug of War.
After a very long and gruelling afternoon of sport there was only one event which could determine the destination of the Carter Shield. As Cartmel, Furness and Graduate were not there for finals day, two groups of three were drawn for the Tug of War. The group to keep an eye on was Fylde’s, as realistically they only needed to win against one of their two opponents to qualify for the semi-final and secure the Carter Shield.
Fylde got off to a perfect start with a victory over Bowland that brought them nine points that guaranteed them the Carter Shield. However, Fylde were not finished yet as they despatched of Pendle in the group stages to guarantee their overall win. This sparked wild celebrations for Fylde competitors and fans alike.
Elsewhere in the other group, Grizedale came first with Lonsdale coming second. Lonsdale, powered on by Azmi Sbaiti and Luke Nutbeen, easily despatched of Fylde in the semis to set up a rematch against Grizedale in the final. Grizedale came out on top in the Tug of War thanks to Jack Kenny, James Braybrook and Jamie Stokes among others.
Sports representative for Fylde College, Ste Rutter spoke to SCAN after his college’s victory. He said: “I am extremely pleased and excited to have won back the Carter Shield after four years of trying.”
“Aveline Cruickshank and I along with the JCR have been working extremely hard this year to further raise the profile of sports within our college in order to live up to our name and I feel that winning this trophy symbolises our college’s desire for sporting success.”
Although Fylde only won the Carter Shield by three points, they were undoubtedly deserved winners, having won five of the 12 events throughout the year, and making it to all but one of the semi-finals.
Rutter also took the time to thank all of the other college’s sports representatives and the inter-college sports co-ordinators, Marc Handley and Lauren Forrester, for making the Carter Shield the fantastic success it was this year.
IC Sports co-ordinator, Marc Handley, echoed these sentiments and thanked “each College’s JCRs, and in particular sports representatives for all the hard work they have put in this year.”
One of the main reasons for the fantastic success of the Carter Shield this year was down to the cash prizes and incentives provided by Marc and Lauren for the college with the highest turn-out to the taster sessions. These prizes went to Bowland College in the two terms where the prizes were available.