The BUCS Championships – a five-day sporting extravaganza held in Sheffield with no less than 18 university sports on show – was the setting for a string of medal successes for Durham University.
Many sports hold their BUCS finals at the Championships, with Durham highlights including stunning gold triumphs in the women’s hockey, men’s lacrosse, women’s basketball, women’s futsal and women’s tennis (single and double).
Palatinate is first to give you a summary of notable Durham performances, while over the next few days exclusive reports from the frontline will be featured on our website.
If you represented Durham in Sheffield and want your team’s story to be told, write a report and send it to email@example.com
Both the men’s and women’s teams were involved in the BUCS PWC Hockey finals on Thursday, 15 March.
The men faced Exeter – the 2010 winners – in their final and after falling behind 3-1 staged a dramatic second-half fight-back to level scores at 3-3.
With just minutes remaining Exeter scored from a short corner to condemn Durham to an agonising silver medal.
The women, inspired by the men’s courageous performance, established a 2-1 lead over strong Premiership rivals Birmingham and withstood a late flurry of pressure to win the BUCS gold medal in glorious style.
The women’s basketball team surged to a BUCS gold medal after three days of dominance in Sheffield.
Oxford were comprehensively beaten on Friday, local rivals Northumbria were dispatched on the Saturday, before Worcester were outmanoeuvred in the showpiece final on Sunday.
The 75-38 score line in the final illustrates the Palatinate’s superiority.
The men’s team had to settle for a silver medal after a narrow loss in the final to Worcester, who currently sit in second place in the elite British Basketball League.
A spirited comeback in the last quarter was not enough to prevent a 88-81 loss, but significant pride can be taken from the battling final performance, as well as comfortable wins over Middlesex and Northumbria in the earlier stages.
The men’s lacrosse team recorded an astounding 17-0 win in the BUCS final over Manchester to clinch their third consecutive gold medal.
Durham’s all-conquering women footballers added the BUCS futsal crown to their bulging trophy cabinet thanks to a thrilling extra-time conquest of Northumbria in the final.
The Palatinates were one of eight teams at the start of the tournament, but showed their customary winning mentality to see off such strong competition, not least in the nail-biting 4-2 win over Northumbria.
Durham dominance was again the theme in tennis, with Reka Zsilinszka securing BUCS gold in the women’s singles.
She beat fellow Palatinate Kseniia Tokarieva in the final.
Similarly, the doubles finals was contested purely between Durham’s finest.
Lucy Scott and Sally Pearson overcame the pairing of Zsilinszka and Tokarieva 6-4 6-2 to complete an unbelievably successful day for Durham on the tennis court.
In the women’s novice kumite 57kg Lee Ka Vai finished in 2nd place, while in the women’s team kumite Durham came in joint third place with Manchester.
Kira Roberts performed well in the women’s sabre as she secured a magnificent gold medal.
More summaries to follow…