By Ollie Godden
Varsities are commonplace now, from infamous Oxford vs Cambridge derby days to more obscure Leicester vs DMU grudges.
Durham’s own varsity holds slightly more significance, however. Whilst it may not be against their geographical neighbours, the fierce rivalry between Durham and Loughborough counts not only for pride and bragging rights, but crucial BUCS points.
On 25th October, Durham travelled 160 miles south for ‘D-Day’, a day of competition across 8 sports and 11 teams. Golf was first, and this continued throughout the day whilst other teams fought for supremacy.
The second match-up saw men’s badminton win 6-2, so it was then up to men’s and women’s football to restore order. This is exactly what they did, as the men put in an assured performance to comfortably win 3-0, while the women went two goals better, hammering the opposition 5-1.
As push back started in the hockey, Durham led 2-1, with seven teams still to play. The Palatinates had failed to beat their counterparts in the previous two BUCS campaigns but cometh the hour, cometh the team, and Durham saw off Loughborough comprehensively with a 4-0 scoreline.
Loughborough never looked like catching up as women’s rugby, women’s basketball, men’s fencing and men’s water polo cruised through their clashes to take a massive lead despite a heavy women’s hockey defeat.
Loughborough were unable to ruin Durham’s party atmosphere despite wins in men’s basketball and golf. ‘D-Day’ was Durham’s day, with a 7-4 overall victory. For now, the Palatinates hold the bragging rights.
Photograph: Briana Rose Norton