In a tense and very exciting day, Durham and York’s best college sports teams came up against one another in the inaugural College Varsity competition.
The competition, branded ‘Two Historic Cities, One Historic Weekend’, consisted of sixteen matches across eight different sports.
The eight sports involved were men’s and women’s football, men’s rugby, mixed doubles badminton, mixed hockey, mixed basketball, netball and mixed volleyball. For each sport, there were two matches, with each university choosing an A and a B team to compete.
It was an idea thought up by York’s sports committee, their first major project since the organisation was restructured last year, and has been widely publicised across their campus.
To decide on their teams, York’s eight colleges went head-to-head in a qualification weekend earlier this month (8th-9th February).
The scoring system for the completion meant that winning an A match was worth five points, a B match three points, and in the case of a draw the points would be split. This meant each university was targeting 32.5 points to take the overall victory.
The action began at 10:15 with the men’s football A match between James and Hatfield. Hatfield won convincingly 7-2. Meanwhile, Hatfield’s rugby players took on Halifax, in the rugby B match, and continued Durham’s great start to the competition with a 49-0 victory.
Three more matches began at 10:30. The mixed basketball saw St Mary’s trailing early on to Langwith.
However, Mary’s fought back, helped by Langwith’s star man Nicholas Katsafados going off injured, and were within two points of victory with only seconds to go. However, Langwith held on to secure York’s first points of the competition.
There were two more wins for Durham with Hild Bede beating James 37-31 in the netball B match and Trevelyan beating Alcuin by three sets to one in the volleyball B match.
At lunch after five games, Durham had won four and York only one, with Durham leading overall 14-3.
In the afternoon, Trevelyan beat Langwith 8-6 in a thrilling women’s football A match, before Hatfield beat James (a third win of the competition for Hatfield) 6-3 in the mixed hockey A match.
However, York were not ready to be beaten easily and responded with three quick wins in mixed volleyball As, women’s football Bs and mixed doubles badminton Bs.
Rugby giants Hild Bede beat Derwent 19-7 in a dominant performance in the men’s A rugby match before Wentworth beat Ustinov in a feisty mixed basketball A match, 65-60.
St Cuthbert’s secured a good victory against Goodricke in the mixed hockey B match before Collingwood lost 2-1 (thanks to a goal in the last five minutes) to Halifax.
This meant the last two games were crucial, with Durham only needing another half a point to win. However, Wentworth beat Josephine Butler in the mixed doubles badminton A match.
It all came down to the netball A match, where after a nervy ending, Van Mildert beat Halifax 38-28. Durham won overall 37-27 in what was a fantastic endorsement for college sport.
Logo: College Varsity