How can you choose a sport for the back page when everyone is doing so well?
With the sporting season fast reaching its climax for many of UEA’s nearly 60 clubs, there has been campus-wide success in the last fortnight.
UEA women’s Lacrosse team (pictured) are now firing in the league with comfortable home victories over Warwick seconds (14-5) and struggling Derby 1s (36-0), sitting in a comfortable mid-table position.
However, attention is very much focused on the Midlands Conference Cup, where UEA’s women are through to the semi-finals thanks to a 14-2 win over Nottingham Trent 2s at Colney Lane.
Phoebe Hartz scored four for UEA with hat-tricks for Adela Milà-de-Puri and Fiona Smith. Emily Winter scored twice, with Cat Stallard and exchange student Carsen Lennon, on her second appearance for the Eagles, also getting on the scoresheet.
Captain Georgie Sutton was pleased with the fact the goals and assists were spread around the team, noting ‘we now have a repertoire of goalscorers.’
Sutton added: ‘I’m so proud. It was really exciting and it’s cool being part of days like today. It feels like the club is going through a transition year, and having days like this really builds on the committee’s work.’
Tomorrow, Sutton’s side host unbeaten Warwick 1s in their tough-looking semi-final clash. However, having recently avenged an early away defeat to Warwick’s second string, few would bet against the possibility of a cup upset.
The men’s team created more history at Colney Lane by securing their place in Midlands 1A for another season courtesy of a thrilling final five minutes against Nottingham Trent 2s.
Travis Payne scored an early goal for the hosts, but UEA were 2-1 down shortly after half-time, with Trent scoring another soon afterwards.
With UEA 3-1 down and time ticking away, captain Payne netted twice to draw the sides level and complete his hat-trick. Buoyed by this, and several marauding runs from man of the match Harry Harris, UEA continued to press. Jhan Tibudan then scored a dramatic winner with seconds remaining to send the sideline into rapturous celebrations and save UEA from relegation.
Many had anticipated a tough season for UEA after promotion last term, but four league wins from nine so far was enough to see the team to safety and make tomorrow’s trip to Birmingham a formality.
Payne reflected: ‘When the goal went in for 3-2 it was exciting. When we scored the equaliser, nothing was going to stop us. It lit a fire in everybody.’
Discussing the goal that completed the comeback, Payne added: ‘We gave [Tibudan] the ball, and gave him room. He took on his man one-on-one, sent him one way and went the other. He hit it low and away from the keeper.’
Payne said: ‘We’re an emotional team. The supporters on the sideline gave us a massive wave of energy when we needed three to win with five minutes left. It gave us a boost. When the equaliser went in, not only were we excited, the sideline erupted too, it got everyone going.’
UEA’s first men’s Football, Hockey and Rugby teams all sealed BUCS league promotions recently.
Hockey’s men scooped the Midlands 3B championship with a game to spare as they beat Oxford Brookes 4-1 courtesy of goals from Harry Badger, Josh Glasford, Matthew Wavish and Dominic Strong.
Both the men’s and women’s BUCS teams are through to the semi-finals of their Conference Cups after a famous afternoon at the Sportspark saw them both defeat their Coventry counterparts.
Men’s goalkeeper Lewis Nicoll made a smart save with his feet early in their game with the score at 0-0, before Ben Thompson netted the only goal to send UEA through.
The women won 6-2, with braces from captain Áine Gransden and Beth Rosier plus goals from Bente Eggink and Libby Bonis seeing them into the semi-final.
There was further excitement for the Hockey club as Dan Mcmahon’s all-conquering men’s thirds mathematically tied up a local league promotion long in the making. A final victory will see the team scoop the title outright.
The Hockey club also last week passed the £1,250 mark fundraising for Meningitis Now.
For the footballers, a 2-0 win away to Coventry 2s was enough to see the men’s 1s seal promotion after a so-far unbeaten season in BUCS Midlands 2A. They also joined women’s Lacrosse, Hockey, and Futsal 2s in the semi-finals of their Conference Cup thanks to a 2-1 win away to De Montfort, setting up a home tie against Warwick on Wednesday.
UEA men’s Rugby firsts have won BUCS Midlands 2A to secure back-to-back promotions, with a perfect record of nine league wins from nine so far with one match left.
The third men’s rugby team are also well on track for a promotion, sitting top of Midlands 4B. A 32-10 win away to Trent 5s also saw them advance to the final of the Midlands Conference Plate.
After a 38-30 win over Trent 4s, the seconds have set up an interesting end to the season, guaranteeing themselves at least second spot in Midlands 3B with a game to come against league leaders Nottingham 4s.
Futsal, featured in our last issue, continues to go from strength to strength in the Haydn Morris Hall. As well as some useful league wins, both the men’s and women’s firsts picked up comfortable home victories in the first rounds of their BUCS Trophies, 9-0 against Surrey and 10-1 against Suffolk respectively.
Women’s captain Kathryn Stanley said: ‘I was very pleased to get the win. All of the girls put in 100 percent and we got the result.’
Stanley also praised the supporters who attended this rare home match for the women, adding: ‘They really helped us lift our game.’
Futsal now tops the standings as UEA’s top BUCS points scorer.
UEA sent several teams to BUCS Nationals in Sheffield last week, with the Swimming club securing some excellent times and results – go to page 22 to read more about that.
UEA Gymnastics club brought home six medals and twelve top six finishes from their BUCS competition in Leicester.
UEA women’s Volleyball team achieved second place in the Student Cup, hosted at the Sportspark. This season they have also enjoyed a number of BUCS wins home and away.
UEA Korfball’s second and third teams both qualified for the upcoming BUCS Plate tournament in Leeds after a successful performance at the BUCS Southerns. Previously, the first team had taken first place in the Eastern Regionals tournament to qualify for BUCS Nationals as top seed and complete another BUCS tournament undefeated. Sissel Färje and Elliott Jones were named UEA’s players of the tournament.
UEA Pirates American Football team took an historic victory at Colney Lane against old adversaries Kent. After a tense match with no score, UEA finally broke the deadlock with a touchdown in the final minute to win 6-0 and spark huge celebrations.
President Connor Kennedy told Concrete: ‘The atmosphere in the last drive of the game was incredible, leading to us punching in the only touchdown of the game with 34 seconds left on the clock.
‘The last time we beat Kent was in 2015 so this win has been a long time coming, especially with our 7-6 loss to them in the regional semi-final last year due to a controversial refereeing decision. It’s given us a lot of hope going into our final game of the season [last] Sunday against Queen Mary, in which a win will send us home as Div 1 South East Champions and bound for the playoffs.’
Not a bad fortnight as fortnights go… and there’s still more than two months until Derby Day!