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Lancaster University’s Judo team battled it out against York to draw 2-2 in this year’s Roses. However, York profited from Lancaster’s failure to send any female competitors to the Roses competition in the women’s under 57kg weight category and the women’s over 57kg weight category automatically earning York two points before the competition had even begun. The final score was 4-2 to York.
By the time the Judo match was about to commence, York has already won the points needed to secure victory and bring the Carter-James trophy back to York. However, this did not deter Lancaster’s Judo team who were composed and focused on the match ahead and appeared determined to keep their title after defeating York in Roses 2010. Many of competitors were not fighting in their usual weight category as some of the team were unable to take part in Roses 2011 due to exams. Again, this did not seem to discourage both teams and everyone seemed cool, calm and collected in anticipation of their fights ahead. Each fight lasted up to four minutes with a further match re-organised if the fight ended in a draw.
The traditional pre-match routine brought the competitors face to face with a ceremonial bow where each fighter stood directly opposite their component. Before the fight kicked off, Judo coach, Stephen Smith showed a strong belief in his team and said “Lancaster has a good chance of winning this year and are prepared for it too”. True to his prediction, Lancaster started off strong with Lancaster’s Matthew Buckland defeating York’s James Talbot in the under 73kg weight category. A string of attacks meant that Buckland dominated the fight making it a clear victory for Lancaster and claiming one point in less than two minutes.
In the next two fights, York fought back. Chris Lau from York defeated Lancaster’s Ollie Fitton in the under 81kg weight category. The match was extremely close with both men initiating offence but it was Lau’s impressive footwork and quick movement which earned him the first point for York making the score tied at 1-1. In the under 90kg weight category, Jonathan Coe from York brought York into the lead for the first time in the Judo competition defeating Lancaster’s Sean Easby making the score 2-1 to York.
The final fight was in the over 90kg weight category with York’s Seth Chen proving no match for Lancaster’s Julian Kossinov winning the fight convincingly. Kossinov was able to out-manoeuvre his rival with series of strong attacks showing a great technique and confidence on the mats. This earned Lancaster a point making the score 2-2. York was then awarded the two points from the female fights which could not take place due to a lack of competitors from the Lancaster side.