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The Legends Shield is back for another year and promises to be, undoubtedly, the closest tournament yet. Fylde have remained holders of the shield since its establishment and Pendle, County and Grizedale will look to capitalise on an average sporting season from Fylde so far this year. As things stand, Pendle are at the top of the Carter Shield League and have been leading for most of the season. They have also had an unbeaten season in the college football league and just missed out on the George Wyatt Cup. Early indications show that Pendle could possibly be favourites to win the Legends Shield this year, as Fylde have always won the Carter Shield and Legends in the same year, with Pendle looking on course to secure the Carter Shield this year. That being said, Grizedale and County have been far more impressive this year compared to previous years, so this year’s Legends Shield could be the most competitive yet.
Legends 2013 starts Friday Week 9 of this term and offers a diverse range of sports and activities, from handball to tug of war. There really is something for everyone and, perhaps unlike the Founders Series, Legends has always had a more friendly competiveness about it. That being said, the four competing colleges will be doing all they can to secure victories against one another and rack up the points to mount a challenge for the Shield.
Newly elected sports sec for Grizedale, Abie Apstein, was excited about the range of sports on offer for those who want to compete: “Legends will stretch over a 3 day period beginning on the 21st of June and continuing until the 23rd. Anyone can compete and with the sports ranging from tug of war to ultimate frisbee, there really is something for everyone. Men’s rugby 7’s will be a sure thing to watch out for, and bar sports will remain competitive as ever. Under the sun the campus relay will be a race to watch and rounders will be the game to play.” Epstein also stressed the importance of spectators coming along to support the competitors, and mentioned that after the activities finish, there will be a closing ceremony which will be the perfect platform to “showcase your college pride”.
Pendle’s re-elected sports officer Sean Mooney was also full of excitement ahead of the tournament: “Personally I can’t wait. It’s the pinnacle of college sport for many and playing Carter Shield every other week has only intensified the rivalries. Pendle are ready to get going and bring the trophy home! We’ve done so well in everything from football, to pool and volleyball, so we’re expecting to be challenging in everything.” Mooney carries with him huge optimism for Pendle after such a strong season. It seems that for some Legends may be seen as a two-horse race between Pendle and Fylde, with Grizedale and County playing for the pride of 3rd place.
Pendle President James King further emphasised Mooney’s confidence and assessed Pendle’s chances of securing the Shield for the first time: “After comfortably beating Fylde and County in the Carter Shield, I think it’s fair to say Pendle are looking confidently forward to this year’s Legends.” King mentioned the array of sports on offer and was in a jovial mood about one Legends event in particular: “For me, personally, I’m looking forward to representing our college in the most noble of sports: Fifa! It’s going to be a good one”.
The light-hearted and cheery mood carried by King was also picked up by County’s President Alex Alawode, who was clearly feeling as competitive as ever ahead of the event: “I’m looking forward to County inevitably destroying all other competition in this year’s Legends. I’ll be doing my press ups in time for the Tug of War!” It has to be said that Alawode was perhaps feeling a little more confident than many other members of County College, but his optimism will hopefully inspire his college members to put up a good fight after last year’s disappointing turn-out. Alawode also spoke about events he will be participating in, including the Carter Shield favourite, dodgeball: I fancy our chances this year and hope that County walk away victorious. I will be watching the film Dodgeball on repeat to perfect my skills”.
There has been a tremendous amount of effort that has gone in to making sure that this year’s competition as as big a success as possible. Simon Clarke, Fylde President, also touched on this, saying that “Over the past 3 months, a lot of hard work has gone in to make this one of the best Legends Shield weekends yet, and I’m really looking forward to seeing a high level of participation from all four colleges”. Clarke was also feeling confident in the face of Pendle, who have been exceptionally strong this year: “I’m looking forward to the chance to beat Pendle once again, to win for the fourth time running”. It seems that despite having a certain amount of friendly rivalry behind it, all college are still desperate to win the Shield. It not so much sporting endeavour, but college pride, that is at stake this year as Fylde are perhaps still licking their wounds from a lacklustre Carter Shield campaign.
Fylde sports officer Tom Skinner, who has been pivotal in organising Legends this year, stated that the Carter Shield may not necessarily be a good indicator of success in this year’s Legends. He acknowledged that Fylde have had an “up and down performance” this year in the Carter Shield, conceeding that they may struggle in events such as handball and ultimate frisbee. However, he also pointed out that both Fylde’s A and B teams have gone the season unbeaten in netball. As well as this, Fylde also won the George Wyatt Cup, showing their competence in all of the bar sports.
A perhaps over-used turn of phrase in inter-college competitions is that each year “it could be the closest yet”. However, this year the old adage most definitely rings true. There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding which college can come out of the weekend-long competition victorious. It remains to be seen whether Fylde can continue their dominance of the Shield, or whether it is time for the likes of Pendle to step up and seize victory. Question marks remain above Grizedale and County and their credentials for winning the Shield, but with a good performance on some of the more competitive events could see them pose a real threat to both Fylde and Pendle. This year Legends 2013 could be the inter-college sporting event to watch out for!