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Sunday, Week 6, saw the fifth and penultimate sport take place as each college aims over six different sports, to gain the most number of points and be victors of the 2013/2014 Carter Shield. The Carter Shield has seen all the colleges compete in a wide variety of sports, from hockey to handball, playing fixtures every three weeks, to get as many people involved in college sport as possible. Although largely variable, this year has seen generally strong levels of participation in the competition which highlights the more casual and social aspect of Lancaster University sport, but nevertheless does not take away from each colleges’ desire to top the table by the end of the year.
The latest sport for each college to sink their teeth into was handball. One of the Carter Shield’s best aspects is the ability to get more people at university playing and experiencing fringe sports, such as handball and sports that have already taken place like dodgeball and indoor frisbee. This was evident as most of the colleges were represented by strong teams, competing to win the handball competition and take advantage of the tightly contested league table. Bowland and Pendle dominated the handball competition winning most of their respective matches, whilst both Furness and County were not far behind, leaving them to finish third and fourth respectively. In the deciding match, Bowland proved to be superior winning by two goals to nil over Pendle, moving both Bowland and Pendle up in the overall standings.
Despite their victory in the handball, Bowland still stay reasonably far from the top of the table unlike Pendle, who with a strong performance in the final sport could retain the title which they won last year. They are not the only college able to win the Carter Shield however, as Lonsdale and Fylde are also in good positions going into the final competition. Fylde had been looking likely victors after leading the competition following their victory in the indoor Frisbee, but lost their substantial advantage by only finishing seventh in the handball.
Lonsdale Sports Officer James Pender spoke to SCAN regarding his college’s performance throughout the competition. “Having won Volleyball and coming second in hockey alongside a couple of 4th place finishes, I think Lonsdale are doing well.” Pender, however, was also eager to point that participation is vitally important to the carter shield, stating that “our participation has been up and down, we’ve always managed to get a team together but when some colleges can’t its a shame because they have to forfeit.” He stated his personal desire to ensure, not just that Lonsdale perform well but more importantly, that as many students as possible take part in the tournament. “And I’d want to encourage as many people to get involved as they can because it is a really fun event. Each time I get someone to play one week, they always want to play again in the next sport.”
Lonsdale have not been the only college to state their hopes of success this year and encourage student involvement. Pendle Female Sports Rep Beth Hart said “I’m very pleased with the Pendle Carter Shield team’s increased turnout and I am confident that if numbers stay high another win for Pendle is on the cards. I want to thank all those who have come and had a go so far, you have been awesome.” Week 9 will see the Carter Shield sewn up as all the colleges take part in basketball to see if they can win the last event and try to replicate Pendle last year by being crowned Carter Shield champions.