By George Bond
Team Durham have continued their 2016-17 success, adding yet more championships to a record BUCS medal haul. Following their March success, the Palatinates were in action across a range of sports over the Easter period, with outstanding performances across the board.
For the fourth year in a row, Durham have a representative in the BUCS Futsal Finals. The Women’s 2s powered their way through the Super 8s, culminating in an 11-7 semi-final defeat of Loughborough 2s. They will now take on Stirling 1s in the Trophy final, taking place at the Copper Box in London on Wednesday 10th May. For the Men, it was not quite to be, going down to a strong Bath side in the Super 8s semi-finals.
Golf’s individual tour, the Order of Merit, came to its conclusion over Easter, with competitors ranked by their four highest scores from a possible nine events. Durham’s James Glenn showed exceptional consistency, being the only participant to compete in at least eight events, out of 249 entrants. Glenn’s four highest scores gave him 425 points overall, enough to claim the prestigious honour of being ranked the second-best student golfer in the UK, behind only St. Andrews’ Matthew Myers. Steven Molumby also made it into the top 10, placing a highly commendable ninth in a field utterly dominated by Scottish universities, who accounted for 16 of the top 20.
Durham Men’s Hockey had dispatched all before them in the National League Northern Conference, producing an astonishing run of 18 wins from 18. This qualified the team for the end of season play-offs alongside Premier League side Canterbury, Western Conference winners Bath and Sevenoaks, champions of the Eastern Conference. The round robin tournament was contested over two weekends in April, to decide which side would compete in the 2017-18 Premier League, England Hockey’s top tier. Unfortunately, Durham finished bottom of the standings, going down 4-1 to heavy favourites Canterbury and losing narrowly 3-2 to Sevenoaks, before their fate was sealed with a 2-2 draw against Bath. Nevertheless, this remains a hugely successful season for the team, with the only 100% regular season winning record in all four divisions of the National Hockey League.
At the BUCS Rugby 7s in Leeds, DUWRFC produced a sensational performance to claim a silver medal. Durham beat Northumbria, Loughborough, Cardiff Met and Hartpury College on their way to the final, where they came up just short against Edinburgh. For the Men, victories over Nottingham, Cardiff and Exeter set up a semi-final with Loughborough, who eventually ran out 35-7 winners.
Durham’s sailors are BUCS Yachting Championships winners for the first time ever. The team came up against Britain’s best in the three-day event at the Solent on the south coast but put in a commanding performance to run out eventual victors. Having taken the lead on the second day, Durham never relinquished control of top spot, and are now national sailing champions.
Durham Women FC remain atop Women’s Super League 2’s Spring Series, a one-off competition created to bridge the gap between seasons, as the WSL gears up to switch from summer to winter. The team, who finished fourth in WSL 2 in 2016, are two points clear of second-placed Doncaster Rovers Belles at the time of going to print, although the Belles have a game in hand. The Belles, two-time league champions and with six FA Cups in their trophy cupboard, handed Durham their sole defeat, emerging 2-1 winners on April 16th at the Keepmoat Stadium. Durham bounced back with a 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion, to add to wins over Millwall, Sheffield and Oxford United, as well as a 1-1 draw at Watford. The team now face London Bees at New Ferens Park, before rounding off the Spring Series with trips to both Everton and Aston Villa. Regular WSL 2 play will restart in September.
Photograph: @BUCSsport via Twitter