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UEA Season Review 2013-14

Men’s Football 1st team
The title was there for the taking on the final day of the Midlands 2B season. Three teams realistically stood a chance of taking the championship, with UEA’s opponents, the Bedford 2nd team, possessing a highly superior goal difference heading into their clash.

Men's football

It was disappointing, then, that such a congested fight for top spot should be resolved in such an emphatic manner. Bedford hit UEA for five to claim the title on home soil by three points, with the visitors finishing the campaign in third place. Nonetheless, UEA enjoyed a successful season that included a three month unbeaten run, ultimately ended by Derby in a thrilling five goal cup match; a loss that would prove the catalyst for two straight defeats in the final matches of the season.

The men’s Derby Day draw against Essex seemed a fitting reflection of the season as a whole. A promising first half, in which the team led 2-0 at the interval, was countered by a second half comeback from the home side. The UEA captain Gwion Ap Dafy conceded after the match, “After leading 2-0, coming off the field at the end with a draw feels like a loss.” Indeed, events in Colchester mirrored the last few matches of the league season, in which two straight league defeats condemned the side to a third place finish.

Women’s Rugby
An incredible 2013/2014 season for the women’s team was capped off in a stunning 44-0 Conference Cup victory over Leicester at the end of March. The Cup win at Colney Lane ensured UEA completed somewhat of a grand slam, having already won their Midlands league on goal difference and won convincingly against Essex on Derby Day.

Nina Crowther’s powerful runs stole the headlines in Colchester as the team ran out 71-0 winners. Just two weeks later, the league title was secured by winning 67-7 at Anglia Ruskin. Five days after that match the destiny of the Conference Cup was also confirmed. The vocal home support were treated to 44 points without reply and confirmation that UEA will be the team that everyone will want to beat next season.

The league campaign was almost faultess, with only one defeat recorded in amongst seven impressive victories. Perhaps the highlight of the season was the resounding win at Northampton in December. If the rest of the league weren’t aware of the threat posed by UEA already, then the 154-0 win will have caused them to sit up and take notice. Cup competitions can often be seen as unnecessary distractions to league matters, however UEA progressed to the Conference Cup final with ease, conceding only 17 points in the whole competition.

Summer reinforcements are likely to ensure that this talented group of players will be in pole position for trophies next season, too.

Hockey
Despite finishing the season 11 points off the Midlands 2B pace-setters Nottingham, UEA comfortably staved off relegation to finish on 14 points. The other Nottingham outfit, Trent, finished 12 points behind UEA in fifth, meaning that the team were never in any real danger of dropping below the dotted line.

An up and down league campaign was reflected in the defeat to Essex on Derby Day. The visitors dominated for long periods of the match in Colchester, but conceded on every rare occasion that Essex crossed the half way line. A consolation goal from Jessica Wilson did little to comfort the side, although the partisan UEA following kept spirits high.

Perhaps the fixtures against Nottingham Trent and Loughborough in November best encapsulate the lack of rhythm that UEA were able to find in the league. After trouncing Trent 5-0 at the Sportspark, UEA were routed themselves by an equally ruthless Loughborough. With inconsistency a major factor in the mid table finish, the women will be hoping for a more settled campaign when the new season begins in October.

The men’s first team enjoyed an enthralling season, missing out on the title by a point. UEA, Nottingham and Wolverhampton were the teams involved in the race for the title, with Wolverhampton visiting the Sportspark on the last day of the season.

An impressive 6-3 win for UEA wasn’t enough to stop the away side winning the title. However, the team finished the campaign with a six game winning run and will hope to carry this momentum into October.

The men’s second team enjoyed an even better campaign, clinching the title by nine points in their 5A league.

Lacrosse
The women’s lacrosse side earned a mid table finish in their Midlands 2A league, but were only six points off the top spot at the season’s conclusion. The team lost three of their last four league matches to damage their chances of taking the title from eventual winners Nottingham.

womens lacrosse

The champions won 16-3 at Colney Lane in February to knock the hosts back with just two games remaining. Fifth placed Beford finished 15 points behind UEA, ensuring that the yellow and blues were never in contention to face relegation. However, there were plenty of positive signs throughout the season that next year could prove to be more successful, particularly after the team won their Derby Day match against Essex.

A 9-3 win on Colchester soil proved to be a crucial point as UEA won back-to-back Derby Day titles. The Essex side, top of their BUCS league, were favourites to claim victory and raced into a three goal lead. However, Susannah Cant converted to kick-start the comeback for UEA, with the visitors’ first official victory of the day being secured in emphatic fashion.

The men’s side weren’t able to emulate the successful league campaign that the women enjoyed, as they finished second from bottom on nine points. League winners Oxford ran away with the title, although second placed Cambridge finished just seven points clear of UEA. The team were also beaten in their Derby Day match against Essex.

29/04/2014

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