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With the arrival of the Christmas holiday also came the mid-point of this year’s BUCS season. 249 fixtures were played over the 10 weeks of Michaelmas term, proving just how busy our sports clubs have been. Lancaster has won 82 of those games, a success rate of 33%, so it seems this season has, so far, been an uphill struggle. But there have also been some outstanding wins and great team results.
The Men’s Tennis 1sts were the most successful out of all Lancaster teams last term, winning all seven of the matches they played, whilst Men’s Tennis 2nds were close behind winning five out of their six games.
Despite there also having been some weaker performances by teams over the term, these have been far outweighed by some notable victories. This is especially true of the Women’s Rugby Union team who, despite being fourth in their league, have had a couple of landslide wins including one 68-10 win over Bangor University and a 70-5 win over the University of Chester earlier in the term.
With every new year, new challenges are created. Last year, the Women’s Basketball team were a team to watch, reaching the play-offs for the Northern Premier League. Their President Anya Rasaiah explains how their season has gone so far: ‘The first half of our season competing in Northern 1A has been challenging to say the least, but a highly rewarding one for Women’s Basketball. We started the season with a very different roster to last season, competing against elite players, including some from the States. We’ve fought hard to win some games and conceded others with narrow defeats. Our current ambition is to finish mid-table in the league, with our cup journey yet to commence, and the road to Roses 2015 looming. Now with a new coach, added training sessions and workshops with a personal trainer, we are looking to elevate the team for the second half of this season.”
Of course, with Roses now only just over a term away, we can’t overlook Lancaster’s record so far against York. Many Lancaster teams are in different leagues to York’s, with only four games being played against the rival university this term. These have all been won by York, questioning Lancaster’s ability to beat them come the summer. However, the majority of these games have been incredibly close, with just a couple of points separating the two sides and with a term still to go, there is still time for Lancaster’s teams to improve and pull out a win when Roses 2015 arrives.
Throughout last term, there was an almost constant increase in success rate with just 15% of games being won in Week Two compared to 48% of games won in Week Nine, the last week of the term with a full quota of games. Despite an initial shaky start, with this steady improvement of performances across the term, next term could be the one the one to watch, especially with the annual series of BUCS individuals, cup matches and Roses 2015 heading our way.
After an at times challenging season in the Northern Premier division, Lancaster Women’s Squash Team will be looking for maximum points in their two crucial remaining fixtures against Newcastle and Durham. After dispatching Durham so convincingly at home earlier in the season, the women will be hoping for a similar result to help them pull away from the relegation zone. Also in need of points is the Lancaster Women’s Hockey 1st team, who currently sit bottom of the Northern 1A league with zero points. With just three games left, including home fixtures against Sheffield and Leeds, the women need to pick up maximum points if they are to pull themselves away from relegation. Despite also sitting bottom of their league, the Lancaster Men’s Basketball team will know that the season still has a long way to go. With a full round of fixtures still to play, and Liverpool sitting just three points ahead in the league, it’s clear that the team could pull a successful season out of the bag.
Currently enjoying a very successful season is the Lancaster Men’s Football First XI, who at present sit second in their league, just two points behind Edge Hill. Also with a full round of fixtures to come, the stand-out fixture is the away match to Edge Hill at the end of January. With a win there, Lancaster could go top and seize crucial momentum in the run-up to Roses 2015. Enjoying a mixed season so far is Lancaster Women’s Netball 1st team, who after five fixtures sit in fourth. However, with a game in hand on the top two teams, it is clear that with a couple of positive results the team will be climbing the table.
After enduring a number of injuries in the Michaelmas term, the Lancaster Rugby League team will be hoping for a more positive 2015. Despite sitting bottom with zero points, the team will know that a victory against visiting team Manchester Metropolitan on Wednesday Week 4 will almost certainly seem them leapfrog the visitors and begin to climb up the table. Riding high in the Northern 2A league is the Women’s Lacrosse Team, who, after four games, sit in third place, just one point behind Chester. With Chester visiting Lancaster on Wednesday Week 4, everything points to that meeting being a battle for second place.
With Roses looming, all teams will be looking to go from strength to strength this term. With a number of cup competitions reaching their conclusions as well, SCAN will be there to report on all the key developments in Lancaster University’s sporting world.