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Lancaster’s BUCS teams have fought hard this season, with differing degrees of success. Overall the University has maintained their position in the national standings, with a ranking of 47th, just one place below the previous year. There has also been a moral victory, after Lancaster finished two places above Roses opponents York.
Four clubs won promotion from their respective leagues and will compete at a higher level in the coming year.
The men’s rugby union first team completed a stellar year, winning the league and being narrowly defeated in the semi-final of the cup by UCLAN; it was a result only repeated on two other occasions during their BUCS campaign. Their remarkable consistency saw an unbeaten run of 12 games which stretched from October to February. The title was won after a nerve jangling 15-10 victory over their bogey side UCLAN in the final game of the season. The title is testament to the strong leadership of Dave Wrightson and the hard work the team puts in during their regular training.
Another league winning side were the men’s table tennis first team. Like the rugby side they also progressed well in the cup; being beaten by York in the final, a result which was spectacularly overturned in Roses. The side only lost one game in their league season and stated off with an eight game winning run. This feat is more remarkable as Lancaster conceded an average of just 4.3 points whilst winning 13.
Promotion as league winners was also achieved by the netball second team. The title was clinched after a nail biting 34-33 victory over UCLAN which maintained Lancaster’s three point advantage. Defeat in just two league games stands the side in good stead for a tougher league next year, where they will compete against first teams from other institutions.
The final league winning side were the men’s hockey thirds, who pipped Cumbria’s first team to the title; Lancaster beat their local rivals 3-1 in what turned out to be a decisive fixture. The team were also able to hold their nerve in the final league game to defeat Manchester and earn a well deserved title and promotion.
At the other end of the scale, the men’s cricket first team were relegated after final day defeat. The side lost to Liverpool University after being skittled for just 80 in what was a must win game. Jack Aspden’s side will rue the postponement of their tie with Newcastle as they slipped out of the league by a narrow margin; finishing second from bottom.
The men’s rugby union second team also found themselves relegated after finishing bottom of the league. The team had a very poor campaign and won just two league games, with a run of nine defeats to open the season. However, it was always likely to be an uphill struggle as the league contained six first teams from other universities.
Similarly the women’s badminton first team had a torrid campaign and finished propping up the league. In what was a strong division, the side struggled to some pretty comprehensive defeats; with two draws against MMU Cheshire proving the highlights.
Another team that was relegated by a reasonable margin was the women’s basketball firsts. The team struggled to gain their first win; starting the season with seven consecutive defeats. The side will be hoping to build on the momentum of a win over Leeds which was secured in the final league game.
The same fate befell the men’s firsts football team, as they slumped to sixth and last place in their league. The season was marred by injuries and unavailability which prevented a settled team from being selected. This disappointing season sees the team slip back into the league from which they won promotion 12 months earlier.
The final side to taste relegation were the women’s squash firsts. The team were unable to make an impression on their opponents and contrived to draw only one of their 11 games, collecting a mere four games in the process.
One side at Lancaster earned a reprieve, as they finished bottom of a league without relegation. The men’s seconds tennis team finished bottom after winning just one game, their opener against Keele. The hope for next season is that the team can build on their good fortune and secure promotion.
Next year promises to be more successful; with the new sports centre providing superb facilities for many of our sports clubs. The emergence of numerous promising first year students also bodes well for the future, in terms of BUCS standings and with an eye on reclaiming Roses on home turf.
If you would like to take a closer look at any of Lancaster’s other sporting teams www.bucs.org.uk is the place to check for all of the stats and facts from the previous season.