BUCS season gets off to a promising start

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We’ve made it to Week 6, which means we’ve reached the mid-point of term and had several jam-packed weeks of British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) matches. With 93 matches already having been played in the space of four weeks, the University’s sportsmen and women have been working hard to make sure their teams are as successful as possible.

Despite a shaky start to Lancaster’s BUCS season from the men’s 1sts rugby union team, losing to Liverpool 1sts 51-19 in the first round of fixtures, the following week saw 34 teams beginning the fight back to show Lancaster’s sporting prowess. Although only four games were won (not including one walkover) and six drawn, it was clear Lancaster’s teams meant business. In particular, women’s basketball showed that despite a first match loss, they are looking to have as strong a year as the last, only narrowly missing out on a victory, losing to the University of Leeds women’s 1sts by one point at 41-40.

When considering the emphasis the University and LUSU are putting on sports and an away win at Roses, perhaps more was expected of our sports teams. Despite disappointing results, Anitha Jayamurungan, captain of the women’s firsts squash team, reflects how there are other benefits to challenging matches: “The season so far for the women’s squash team has been interesting. We have had three matches so far; they were with Leeds Beckett (2-2 loss), Sheffield University (3-1 loss) and Durham University 2nd Team (4-0 win). Despite two losses, each and every game of this season has been exciting and reflected the amount of time and energy the players have put into their training. We are currently ranked third in the BUCS A1 League. I am happy with the performance of the team so far and am optimistic for the rest of the season.”

However, leagues and end of year tournaments aren’t won and lost in a team’s season opener and despite a disappointing first week, Lancaster’s teams were ready to pick themselves up and put in a strong performance in the following weeks. By Wednesday Week 4, there was a clear improvement from the Lancaster University teams with eight more wins gained that day, including a fantastic result from rugby union’s women’s firsts against Manchester Metropolitan’s women’s firsts (Cheshire) in claiming a remarkable victory, 61-5. A special mention must also go to badminton’s men’s 2nds team for winning all three of their matches so far this season.

Considering the already apparent improvement from our BUCS teams, the rest of the coming season looks promising. David Bruce, vice-president of the table tennis club, said: “following an incredible victory for our 1st team on the first day of the season, times have been challenging whilst narrowly slipping to defeats against Sheffield and Northumbria. Performances, however, have been promising, and we remain confident of staying in the Northern 1A League for the first time in the club’s history. Our 2nd team have faced the two best teams in the division so far whilst players are still gaining experience of playing in BUCS. With a couple of eminently winnable games coming up, expectations are high for our 2nd team to grab their first win of the season”.

Strong victories and performances are already being produced and improvements are coming in leaps and bounds. Even as new players experience university standard matches for the first time, it is clear that the 45 Lancaster teams competing in BUCS this season contain a lot of potential. Roses 2015 is a mere seven months away and the rest of the season is just around the corner, but with all the backing from the University and the ever-increasing capabilities of our teams, the future is looking bright for all our sports teams.

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Claire Starr

SCAN Sports Editor 2014-15

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