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After a disappointingly heavy defeat to York in 2013, Lancaster came into Roses 2014 with the clear desire of not just winning back the trophy, but making a statement to York in the process. Although all Roses tournaments generate excitement on campus, the atmosphere prior to the 2014 competition was particularly special owing to it being the 50th meeting between Lancaster and York. Thanks to a significant advertising campaign, the campus was plastered with posters celebrating Lancaster’s various sporting teams and this, coupled with the promise of some special events to commemorate 50 years, made the atmosphere electric as Roses approached.
In a rare stroke of luck for Lancaster, the Friday of Roses weekend dawned sunny and bright – perfect conditions for the many events taking place that day. Buoyed by the immense support of the entire campus, Lancaster raced into an early lead. Victories in the tennis, netball and indoor hockey paved the way to a lead of 19 victories to 13 when competitions closed for the day. Highlights of the day included a classic contest in the Men’s Cricket, where Lancaster fell an agonising 4 runs short in their chase of York’s 111, and the Women’s Indoor Hockey, where York were trounced 7-0.
Following a day of competition, Roses was formally opened in the purpose-built campus stadium that evening. With thousands of students in attendance, a carnival atmosphere was evident as Lancaster and York battled it out in the Men’s Football match directly following the ceremony, the match eventually finishing 2-2.
The Saturday of Roses 2014 is remembered by many as one of Lancaster’s finest collective sporting moments in recent memory. The tone for the day was set by the Men’s Fencing team, who performed admirably to claim maximum points in both their matches. From then on, Lancaster simply dominated the day. Victories were gained in the Men’s Swimming, Clay Pigeon Shooting and the American Football. As Lancaster’s golden afternoon was taking place, a plane towing a banner reading “I am Lancaster” circled overhead – arguably, this was the finest moment of the Roses weekend.
As celebrations were taking place across campus, Lancaster continued to haul in the points. They secured maximum points in the Running events, before claiming victory in the Mixed Darts, the Women’s Hockey and the Netball. Despite York claiming back some much needed points with two impressive victories in the Water-Polo, Saturday was truly Lancaster’s day.
With fewer points on offer on Sunday, and victory almost assured, the atmosphere around campus was one of triumph as competitions got under way. Immediately, Lancaster began from where they left off, winning five out of six Archery events. Despite a brief blip where York managed to claim victories in the Equestrian and Men’s Basketball, normal service was quickly resumed with superb performances in the Kumite and the Team Bouldering. With Lancaster getting closer and closer to an insurmountable number of points, it became clear that victory in the Women’s Basketball would clinch Roses 2014. In front of a packed sports hall, the team managed to achieve just that, resoundingly defeating York 62-27 to spark jubilant celebrations.
There was still time for Lancaster to extend their lead even further, with a particularly fine performance in the Women’s Football topping off a truly dominant weekend for Lancaster. As the tournament closed, Lancaster’s final points tally came in at 183.5 to York’s 142.5, therefore returning the Roses trophy to Lancastrian hands for at least one more year.