By Adam Philpott
Read Durham’s preview of York College Varsity 2018 here.
Comparing the 2016 York varsity victory and the 2017 Durham victory highlights that ball sports was the area in which York struggled last year, gaining just 21 percent of points available in this decisive category. The footballing sides of Langwith and Halifax will be looking to avenge Durham’s sizeable 2017 lead in this category.
All the points in rugby went to Durham last year, but York’s top two rugby clubs, Derwent and Hes East, will be confident of ensuring a whitewash does not happen again. After a spicy fixture between Derwent and Hes East in the qualifiers, it was Derwent who came out on top to gain a place in the top tier match.
The basketball qualifying final was a particularly spectacular moment from qualifiers weekend, with Constantine edging out winners 44-39 in a tense and closely-fought contest.
Hockey has been a source of more recent points accumulation for York, winning five of a possible eight points in 2017. This year Halifax and Derwent will hope to at least replicate that tally against Durham’s finest.
Volleyball has often been an assured point-winner for York, having won 72 per cent of points available in this sport since the formation of the tournament in 2014. While this is the first year a strong Wentworth side have failed to qualify, having sealed a first-ever Varsity victory for York in 2016, the equally strong sides of James and Halifax will be hoping to continue the volleyball dominance of York.
Goodricke netball provided arguably the biggest shock result of the qualifiers, as they qualified for Varsity for the first time ever after dumping out a strong Halifax side in a narrow 20-18 win.
Halifax and Derwent dominate the 6 teams representing York in badminton, in which a sizeable 24 points are up for grabs across six fixtures. Since 2014, York’s badminton teams have won 62.5 per cent of matches and will remain hopeful of continuing this form in the Sports Arena later this month.
Photograph: Durham University