By John Evans
A brilliant season for Durham’s sports teams was sealed with some impressive results in the final round of sporting fixtures at BUCS ‘Big Wednesday’ event at Loughborough.
The event played host to the finals of the knockout cup competitions, and for Durham’s teams it was a last chance to showcase their talent before the summer break.
The Palatinates set several records over the course of the day, including winning over 1000 Cup points for the first time in Durham’s history. This mammoth total also surpasses sporting powerhouse Loughborough’s highest ever total.
In tennis, the women’s 2nds got the day off to a good start by winning the National Trophy, beating Cardiff 1sts 10-2 in a match that was closer than the score-line suggests.
One of the greatest successes this year has been the number of Durham teams who have gone unbeaten all season. The women’s lacrosse team were faced with the daunting of prospect playing Loughborough away in front of a very large and partisan crowd, but made sure of their unbeaten status with a 10-6 victory. The men were almost shocked by a Nottingham team who scored four goals inside the first 10 minutes of the game, but Durham dug deep and made an inspired comeback to win 11-8, securing a very impressive fifth season in a row without losing a single match.
The men’s water polo team ensured they went a season without defeat with a 14-5 victory against a very strong Bristol team. The women’s team thrashed Warwick 30-8 in the Trophy final to ensure that both of Durham’s 1st water polo teams were unbeaten all year.
The women’s football 1st XI matched the achievement with a 2-1 victory against Birmingham, to claim the double as Premier North and Championship winners.
The men’s tennis 1st team built on the success of the women’s earlier Trophy win to secure the Championship title by beating a strong Bath side 10-2. This secured yet another undefeated season for a Durham team.
Durham’s women’s volleyball team travelled to Loughborough for the tough task of competing the national final with the best team in the country – Northumbria. The Palatinates forced the game to a final set but in the end the favourites ran out winners, with a final score of Northumbria 3 – Durham 2.
The women’s tennis 1sts suffered their first singles defeat of the year, losing out 8-4 to Bath in a fiercely competitive final of the Trophy. Bath proved to be just too good for the Palatinates, who had already secured the Premier North title earlier in the season.
In the final BUCS match of the year, Durham’s men’s basketball almost upset the odds against a much-fancied Northumbria side. Durham led the competition favourites 68-60 going into the final quarter but couldn’t prevent a Northumbria fightback, with the score finishing Northumbria 90 – Durham 79.
It was a fitting final day for what has been a record-breaking season for Durham’s sports teams, with all student athletes, no matter how they fared in competition, doing the University proud.
Photograph: Team Durham