The University of East Anglia played host to Derby Day once again, welcoming the University of Essex’s sports teams for a day of competition on campus.
Photo: Ga Chun Yau.
Despite the changeable weather conditions, a sizeable contingent made the trip to Norwich from Essex, with 53 sports teams travelling to defend the crown they won at home last year.
There had been uncertainty going into the fixtures, with the recent snow and rain forcing five outdoor fixtures at Colney Lane to be rearranged and held at other venues with the American Football cancelled altogether.
The day itself had started with some uncertainty as more snow fell overnight, with the Union of UEA Students and the Sportspark calling for students to come and help clear their outdoor pitches so they would be ready for play.
However, after a number of volunteers came down to help clear the snow from last night, fixtures were able to go ahead, with the first events beginning at 11am.
UEA started brightly as women’s badminton and then both men’s cricket teams took early wins, with netball following suit as both their teams took victories to give the home side the momentum.
Essex could not stem the tide, with UEA’s men’s hockey side winning a superb game 5-4 in front of a raucous home support, with women’s football winning their rearranged match on another of the Sportspark’s astro turf pitches 2-1.
Despite Essex winning the women’s hockey 3-2 in what was showpiece event of the day under floodlights, UEA were assured of the win by the early evening, with water polo the last games to be played at Hellesdon High School.
The Union’s Finance Officer Joe Levell paid tribute to those volunteers who helped clear the Sportspark pitches in what was a highly successful day overall.
“I’d really like to thank the people who came out and cleared the pitches in the morning,” he said. “Without them all outside activities would not have been able to go ahead. It’s been a great day, and I’m delighted we won.”