This year has been the most successful in the history of UEA Sport with triumphs in BUCS, local leagues, tournaments and, of course, Derby Day. So Concrete is going back to the noticeboard as our UEA sportspeople share their favourite moments from a season to remember.
Paul Neary, UEA Head of Football:
Our season was defined away to Bungay, where we drew 2-2. Bungay could have won the league at the time. We were chasing Mundford and they came to watch. We were 2-1 down and with about 28 minutes to go we threw caution to the wind, went 4-2-4 and just went for it. We got an equaliser, and that equaliser was the catalyst for us to win everything.
Seb Grant, UEA Lacrosse President:
Of course, we’re a club of two halves. From the women’s side a highlight was seeing how much they improved over the course of the season and in particular their amazing cup run, where they got to the semi-finals of the BUCS Midlands Conference Cup. For the men’s team it was undoubtedly Derby Day when we won for the first ever time, the scenes at the end of the crowd running onto the pitch will be something I remember for a very long time.
Fraser Harrop, UEA Rugby President:
Without doubt, my favourite moment of the season was watching the boys reclaim the Derby Day trophy at Colney Lane. After last year’s bitter disappointment, the club couldn’t have hoped for more drama or a better performance.
Ally Artuch, UEA Squash Secretary:
My personal highlight of the squash season was the UEA Ladies away match against Loughborough. It was the deciding match to see who would win the BUCS League. Despite the crowd cheering for the Loughborough ladies team, we won 3-1 and came top of our league! I was so proud to see all of my teammates playing at such a high standard and supporting each other, even when it felt as if the odds were stacked against us going in to our match. The UEA Ladies team won the league in their BUCS debut and I am proud to be a part of that.
Tony Allen, Concrete Sport Editor:
My highlight of the year was in Lacrosse, when our men’s team stayed up in the league they were promoted into last year thanks to an extraordinary 4-3 win over Nottingham Trent at Colney Lane. UEA were 3-1 down with five minutes to go and staring relegation in the face. Our captain Trav Payne scored twice which completely changed the mood, before Jhan Tibudan got the winner with seconds left. The sideline erupted with celebrations. Earlier that day the women reached the semi-final of the Midlands Conference Cup for the first time in their history, so Colney Lane was rocking.
I also particularly enjoyed the men’s football 1s’ win over Kings Lynn in the Norfolk Senior Cup at the FDC in Bowthorpe. It really put UEA Football on the map in terms of the local game, it didn’t matter that it was a scrappy goal from our defensive colossus Richard Black that won it for us. It’s been a superb season for them under the new Head of Football Paul Neary, but they’re losing a lot of players who like myself are graduating. I’ll still be an interested spectator at Colney Lane next season to see if they can adapt to the higher leagues they’ve been promoted to.
Ethan Brickwood, UEA Lacrosse SEMLA Captain:
Alex Blinston’s goal away to Cambridge was absolutely outstanding. We were in the second quarter, one of our boys came running round from X behind goal and passed it to Alex quite wide out on the right. In one smooth, fluid motion he caught the ball, wound up, and it was in the back of the net. The whole team ran on the pitch. It was something you see some professionals can’t even do. For him to do it out of the blue was so unexpected, because everyone thought he’d receive it, turn and pass it off, but the execution of it was outstanding. That was one of the best goals I’ve seen this season, it was stunning, especially from a Lacrosse fresher.
Matt Ladd, UEA Futsal men’s seconds Captain:
My personal highlight was watching fresher Theo Martin step up and convert a long penalty to take it to 4-3 against Anglia Ruskin in the Midlands Conference Cup quarter-final with 40 seconds left of extra time. After we missed chance after chance, it just felt like it wasn’t going to go our way. He showed outrageous guts to just take responsibility for the kick, in front of a very decent crowd.
Claire Bilsborough, UEA Trampolining Social Secretary and UEA Dancesport Media Representative:
Trampolining has doubled their medal intake this year, and everyone has improved so much! Our highlight of the year has to be BUCS, where we had 6 finalists and 3 medalists.
Dancesport has had an amazing year; not only was UEA Strictly a huge success for everyone involved, we’ve also exceeded ourselves in competitions. Our highlights of the year were winning Team Match at Nottingham competition and Hannah and Sam winning Rock ‘n’ Roll at Blackpool!