By Nick Friend
Collingwood and Hild Bede will be tested on Sunday as the finest that York college football has to offer makes its way to Maiden Castle. Represented by Derwent and Vanbrugh colleges, there is belief in the white rose county that the Durham College Premiership’s top two could be in for a surprise.
Derwent, long regarded as the best footballing side of York’s nine college sides, feature five University players – though they will not be eligible for Sunday’s Varsity match. York student Simon Hurst told Palatinate that the side’s recent form give York reason for optimism ahead of the matches.
“York will be going into this with huge confidence, especially with Derwent in such fine form over the last term and a half.”
Indeed, Derwent won the College League and were last year’s beaten finalists in the College Cup.
Both competitions have undergone recent revamps with promotion and relegation added to the top three divisions. Moreover, September 2014 saw the introduction of a new ninth college, Constantine, which has only further increased competition levels. Due to their size, however, the newbies only have teams in Division Three.
The College Cup, a combination of Durham’s Floodlit and Knockout competitions, is York’s flagship tournament. With a group stage consisting of groups of six (1st, 2nd and 3rd teams), it leads into the knockout stages, with matches often garnering large numbers of spectators.
Photograph: Team Durham