By Nick Friend
Over the past week, Hatfield took on Castle in a sporting extravaganza across sixteen sports in the annual Hatfield vs Castle competition.
Coming into this year’s clash on the back of last year’s victory, Hatfield were looking to retain their crown against their old rivals.
The Library (formerly Varsity) was the setting for the opening event, as Castle looked to maintain their stranglehold in the Erg Challenge over Hatfield. Having easily triumphed in last year’s marathon seven-hour rowing challenge, University College were confident of repeating the feat. However, buoyed by unprecedented Hatfield representation, there was a shock as Castle were brushed aside – albeit by the most minute margin of 800m.
Also taking place prior to the weekend was the golf, with Hatfield having the opportunity to take a 2-0 lead in the competition with a win. They took their chance, overcoming Castle with a 3-0 victory.
The week’s results meant that Castle had the tough task of claiming victory in nine of the remaining fourteen matches to be played. Ultimately, it never looked likely after their footballers found themselves on the wrong end of a tight game, losing 3-1. Castle will count themselves unlucky not to have taken more points than they did. A 5-4 defeat in the ultimate frisbee, as well as 2-1 defeats in both the tennis and men’s hockey epitomised the absence of Lady Luck.
Equally close, however, was the men’s rugby. Castle eventually triumphed 12-10 in a gritty and hard-fought contest. Another tight victory in the mixed lacrosse and a comfortable 42-35 win in the basketball gave hope that Castle might be readying themselves for a comeback of Medinah proportions.
Hatfield’s women nipped that threat in the bud, though, with crucial and straightforward triumphs in the women’s football, hockey basketball and netball – although Castle’s second-string netballers took a consolation win in their game. Straightforward wins in the badminton and pool closed out a successful weekend for Hatfield, who won twelve events to Castle’s four, to end a terrific weekend of high-quality competitive college sport.