BUCS Roundup: Premier League sides fare well (18/2/15)

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Football

It was a week of contrasting fortunes for Durham’s 1st and 2nd XI Football Teams. The 1sts stormed to a 4-1 victory over Bath, in a match where the scoreline could have been significantly higher for the Palatinates.

Gus Silva continued his scintillating form this season with a brace, pushing him further ahead in the club goalscoring charts as his season total rises to eight. Ben Cohen also continued his impressive goalscoring form by getting himself on the score sheet. The emphatic victory was secured in style with Tom Weedon scoring Durham’s fourth with a well-taken finish at the near post in injury time, ending his slight goal drought.

Such an impressive performance has been a continuation of the 1st team’s excellent league form in the closing weeks of the season, in which they have scored eleven goals across their last three fixtures. This is an ideal time to be hitting such great form as they approach their quarter-final with Cardiff next week. This fixture has an added edge as there is recent history between the two sides. It was Cardiff who knocked Durham out of this tournament at the exact same stage last season, when Durham lost 1-0. There is a strong desire to inflict revenge upon their Welsh opponents for that disappointment and a firm belief within the camp that they can progress to the semi-finals.

However there was disappointment for the 2nd XI as they were knocked out of the Northern Conference Cup at the quarter finals stage, with a 2-1 defeat to Manchester. This is the furthest a Durham 2nd side has gone in this competition over the last five years and there is collective frustration that they the result went against them on this occasion.

Despite Manchester being two divisions above the Palatinates, Durham matched them in all areas across the pitch but failed to take their chances when presented to them. In contrast, Manchester were ruthlessly clinical and scored twice, with goals that Durham will feel were completely avoidable. Nevertheless, there is plenty to play for this season, with four games remaining this season in the league and the title to contend for. Despite a need for Northumbria to drop points, promotion is there for the taking, provided that the side can recover from this defeat with a run of positive results.

 

Womens Hockey

The Womens’ Hockey 1st XI stormed to an impressive 4-0 win over Oxford Brookes, giving them the perfect start to their Championship campaign. The Southern Premiership rivals were no match for the Palatinates, who are confident that they can have a successful season if they replicate performances like this.

Durham were never pushed out of their comfort zone by their southern opposition and they were ruthless in taking any scoring opportunities that they created, settling the contest in clinical fashion. Laura Bevan was particularly impressive, firing in Durham’s first two goals to give them a comfortable lead. The win was all but secured when Pippa Lewis scored Durham’s third goal of the game, pushing them into an unassailable lead. Amelia Johnson rounded off an emphatic win by slotting in a fourth for the Palatinates. Despite not getting on the score sheet, the man of the match was Mollie Rawnsley, who produced an exceptional performance that was instrumental to Durham cruising to such an easy victory. All in all, it was fantastic performance all round and is exactly the positive start Durham were looking for to kickstart their Championship campaign.

Their next fixture involves a long trip to Cardiff in the next round. However, on the basis of this performance and assessment of the quality of the squad, Durham are extremely confident of getting the win and progressing to the next round.

 

Squash

Men’s squash fell to a 4-1 defeat away at Exeter. A disappointing result but considering that Exeter boast one of the strongest teams in the country, it was not too much of shock. Durham put up a fight against their southern opposition and were unfortunate not to claim victory in more than one tie. The highlight from the encounter was a victory for Jim Harris, who beat an Exeter player who has competed on the European circuit.

Photograph: Team Durham

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