College Sport: The State of Play at the Halfway Mark

We have reached the halfway mark in the 2019/20 season and things are hotting up in college sport. Across the board it is proving once again to be a thoroughly engrossing and unpredictable landscape: be it on the crumb, the track or the courts.

One constant, however, is the dominance of one particular college who have topped the points table for eight years running and look well on course to win it for a ninth successive time. Collingwood sit top by some distance and their lead is already virtually unassailable, having racked up 1,883 points so far with Grey and Josephine Butler in joint second on 980.

Let us begin with the courts where college squash has seen growing participation this season. So far Collingwood and Van Mildert have been untouchable at the summit of the men’s table, which means their clash in two weeks time will likely determine who wins the league this year. Meanwhile Hild Bede are leading the way in the women’s Premiership, though a substantial chasing pack in the form of Collingwood, Grey and John’s, who have each won all of their opening five games, will no doubt apply serious pressure until the end.

In Badminton Stephenson are currently the table-toppers in both the mixed and the men’s, although their position in the latter is a precarious one with Van Mildert, Aidan’s, Grey and Trevelyan all breathing down their necks. In the women’s they have won three from three, but must win their game in hand to join John Snow and Mary’s who top the table on twelve points apiece.

Collingwood sit top by some distance and their lead is already virtually unassailable, having racked up 1,883 points so far

Like in table tennis Collingwood are predictably dominant in Netball and look well on course to defend their crown, with their last loss in the league coming all the way back in February 2018. Things are not so certain for Collingwood in the futsal, however, as the men will be aiming to shake off a stubborn Van Mildert outfit if they are to defend the league title.

Down at the pitches of Maiden Castle Collingwood remain their dominant selves in the football as their B team look to win the Premiership for the second year running. They will be looking nervously over their shoulders at the ever-threatening Van Mildert A who remain unbeaten, along with both Collingwood A and C.

Hatfield will not get the opportunity to defend their Floodlit trophy as they were knocked out against an Aidan’s side who have enjoyed a fruitful campaign so far. The quarter-finals will take place over the next few weeks with a series of underdogs left in the competition, namely Ustinov A, who play their football two tiers below the elite in Division Two.

In women’s football Collingwood A are emerging totally dominant in the league and look to put an end to Josephine Butler’s tyranny in recent seasons, having won their opening five games and conceding zero goals in the process. They should enter the quarter-finals of the Floodlit full of confidence, but face current league champions Butler who are currently second and have conceded just three times in six games.

Things are equally uncertain in men’s hockey, with four teams battling it out at the top of the Premiership: Hild Bede, Collingwood, Grey and Mildert. All of these teams have lost just once and have some crucial games coming up in the next few weeks, not least two massive title clashes next weekend with Grey playing Collingwood and Mildert coming up against Hild Bede. It truly is all to play for and this could well be the year that the current champions Collingwood are knocked off their perch.

In stark contrast Collingwood look out of sight in women’s hockey, as they are four points clear and have played two games less than second place Hatfield.

Things are equally uncertain in men’s hockey, with four teams battling it out at the top of the Premiership

In mixed lacrosse Grey have maintained their illustrious form from last season, where they managed to keep a one-hundred percent record in the league, but Collingwood are proving worthy title rivals and will push them all the way. Both have won all of their games but Grey have played two less, which adds extra zest for when they meet in the varsity in a week’s time.

On Friday night Grey became the first side to enter the semi-finals of the rugby Floodlit and will be aiming to make amends for their loss in the final against Hatfield last season.

Elsewhere Josephine Butler are proving untouchable in ultimate frisbee and have developed a substantial lead in pool having won eight of nine games, though the ever-dominant Ustinov will look to close the gap with three games in hand.

In all it has hitherto been yet another gripping year of college sport and plenty remains unresolved. Keep your eyes peeled for more thrills and spills, including within summer sports such as cricket and tennis, along with other exciting events such as the inter-college cheer competition later this term.

You won’t want to miss it.

Photo: Toby Hillery

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