By Kieran Moriarty
In the first Varsity event of its kind, Durham emphatically stormed to a 13-2 victory over their fierce BUCS rivals Loughborough last week. The Palatinates produced an incredible performance across eight sports, winning 12 of the 15 fixtures on the day and only losing one.
The day began with a sign of good things to come for Team Durham as the DU Golf Team got the ball rolling with a comfortable 5-1 victory at Brancepeth Golf Course. In the other action elsewhere from Maiden Castle, Women’s Tennis were involved in a titanic contest with their Loughborough counterparts which ended in honours even, with a final score of 6-6.
At 13:00, the action kicked off at Maiden Castle with the hugely anticipated match between Durham Men’s Football 1s and Loughborough 1s. The game proved to be a tight affair in which the league leaders Durham were the more dominant team. Unfortunately, the game proved to be Durham’s only real disappointment of the day as they were undone by a highly controversial sucker punch goal.
However, normal service was resumed courtesy of the ladies in purple. Women’s Hockey crushed their Loughborough opposition 6-1 in front of an incredibly vocal crowd on MC Hockey Pitch 2. Meanwhile out on the grass pitches, Women’s Rugby were carrying out their own demolition job, running riot to thrash their opponents 37-7. Men’s Hockey were unable to repeat the feat of the womens’ team and were held to a hard fought 3-3 draw.
Nevertheless, from this fixture onwards, the victories kept coming for the home team. Durham Women’s Badminton edged to a well-deserved 5-3 victory while the ever impressive Women’s Lacrosse team firmly reminded Loughborough of their championship winning pedigree, dispatching their opponents with an authorative 11-7 victory.
Where the Men’s Football Team unfortunately faltered, no such luck was needed for the Women’s Football 1sts to beat their rivals. The Palatinates cruised to a comfortable 4-0 win to continue their title challenge while pushing their opponents further down into a relegation dogfight.
In the final fixtures taking place over the course of the evening, Durham sealed the rout. Men’s Badminton completed the double for the sport with a comfortable 6-2 win inside the MC Sports Hall. This was then followed by a huge 80-66 win for the Women’s Basketball team, which the Men’s Team then later trumped with their own 91-78 victory to end the proceedings for the day at Maiden Castle.
The varsity ended with winning ways across at Freemans Quay as Water Polo completed the double across both teams with resounding wins, smashing their Loughborough opponents 16-1 and 21-4 respectively.
A 13-2 overall victory over Loughborough in the Varsity exceeded all expectations that Team Durham had approaching this event. However, the icing on the cake arrived from a fixture outside of the Varsity programme. In arguably the shock of the day, Durham Men’s Rugby 3s stunned MC by recording an unbelievable 34-24 victory over Loughborough 2s.
All in all, the day was a huge success for showcasing the best of Team Durham sport against the undoubted pioneers of University sport.
Image: Team Durham