High hopes? Sport editor Sophie Christian looks at UEA’s chances

The highly-anticipated Derby Day is fast approaching between UEA and Essex, but can UEA win for a sixth consecutive year when sport teams head to Colchester to battle the Blades?

The last time Essex won Derby Day was in 2012 when Essex hosted the annual event at Colchester. Last year saw UEA thrash Essex with a 55-15 win after a 6-1 victory from UEA’s men’s hockey. In 2015, UEA achieved another home win with a score of 42.2-19.5. In 2017, UEA took an early 3-2 lead after clinching two points from Rowing and one in Korfball.

In 2016, UEA began Derby Day with a 2-0 lead from the Men’s and Women’s rowing events, demonstrating that Rowing has kept up their winning streak and continue to provide the vital advantage UEA need each year.

Lacrosse are one of the strongest teams heading into Derby Day, having won the 2017-18 Midlands 2B League with 18 points, earning them a promotion for next year. The Women’s Second team performed well this season, coming third in the Midlands 3A league. This should give the Eagles the confidence boost they need to settle the score with Essex after the Men’s Lacrosse narrowly lost to the Blades in 2017 by 5-7.

Squash are aiming to repeat their success from last year after the Men’s firsts won their opening three matches (in a best of five contest). The Men’s seconds clinched three out of five matches last year, and the Women’s team won three out of four matches. It is not surprising Squash produced strong results last year as the Men’s firsts won the Midlands 3B league, earning them a promotion to the 2B league. Although the Men’s firsts currently sit fourth in the 2017-18 Midlands 2B league table, their success in 2017 should motivate the team to reproduce this result knowing it is perfectly achievable.

Netball will be eyeing up another win after thrashing Essex last year 45-25 and winning 50-23 in 2015 at UEA. The firsts appear to be gradually improving each year since they came third in this year’s league with 16 points – an extra five compared to the 2016-17 season. This should hold Netball in good stead for this year’s Derby Day, and the girls can be quietly confident that they are likely to take home another victory.

In 2016, the American Football match was cancelled due to BAFRA being unable to provide a referee to officiate the game at Colchester. Hopefully, Essex won’t be too intimated to go ahead with this year’s match after suffering an embarrassing 32-0 loss last year. The results from the last three years indicate UEA’s odds of winning another away win are in their favour. The overall score is likely to be closer, looking back to 2016 when UEA won 34-30.

Let’s hope UEA can once again take home the Derby Day trophy, and maybe Essex will pose tougher competition to save themselves from embarrassment after last year’s dismal performance.


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May 2022
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