Roses Sport

Roses Preview - Flashback to 2009

A look back at the highlights from Roses 2009, a memorable weekend for the University of York (Thumbnail credit Dom O'Shea celebrates his goal in the football firsts' 4-0 win. Photograph by Arran Bowen-la Grange)

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York 194.5
Lancaster 79.5

Memories are made of this. Long after they leave the University of York and enter the outside world, those who experienced Roses 2009, whether in the heat of the action or on the touchlines, will look back with pride and fondness on a weekend which exceeded anyone's wildest expectations.

The front cover of the Nouse souvenir supplement, released a couple of days after York's coronation as Roses winners for a third successive year, told you everything you needed to know. It simply depicted a paintbrush specked with white paint, the word 'WHITEWASH' printed underneath in bold capital letters.

The 194.5-79.5 scoreline was probably the biggest winning margin ever recorded in a Roses competition and will probably never be beaten. The weekend was remarkable in many ways - the win was mathematically guaranteed at about 3.30pm on the Saturday afternoon as goals from the women's football team helped York across the finish line, and quickly became an embarrassment as the hosts refused to take their foot off the accelerator. There were stunning York performances in a number of sports, notably tennis, badminton, skiing, sailing, fencing, netball, rugby, basketball and football.

The men's football firsts' 4-0 rout on the Sunday afternoon - earned through goals from Mark McLeod, Ed Murrills, Anton Murphy and Dom O'Shea - and the netball firsts' stunning 49-22 win on the Saturday night were particular highlights.

For Alex Lacy, York's President, the weekend was a glorious vindication of his controversial York Sport project and irrefutable proof, at last, that sport at the university was heading in an upward direction. His committee delivered a successful tournament, breathing new life into the Roses brand with a glittering, all-action closing ceremony in Central Hall featuring cheerleaders, Capoeira dancers, gymnastics and a bombardment of confetti as the Carter-James Trophy was lifted.

Closing Ceremony, 10-05-09, Photo: Justyn Hardcastle

Alex Lacy lifts the Carter-James trophy aloft, capping a fine weekend for York's sports teams. Photograph by Justyn Hardcastle.

Emily Scott, the President-in-waiting, was deservedly awarded Nouse's Most Valuable Player following sterling performances in the skiing and hockey events, earning ten points for the cause. To put this in some kind of context, she won one-eighth of Lancaster's total. Unwilling to let the trophy out of her grasp during the post-presentation celebrations, Scott pledged to retain the trophy - "I'll make it the first time it's been won four times in a row," she said. We shall see.

By contrast, Gaz Coleman, the dignified Lancaster President, was left to reflect on a massively disappointing experience. His sides had been handicapped by the scheduling of the tournament during their exam period, but this reason didn't come close to explaining the vast margin of defeat as York's teams universally showed dedication, professionalism and passion.

One organisational masterstroke was arranging the racquet sports for the opening day, enabling York to capitalise on some of their strongest events to build a psychologically-important 66.5-14.5 lead by the Friday evening. In the showpiece men's badminton clash, York dropped just one set en route to an unassailable 5-0 advantage, while the tennis club didn't drop a set at all.

Mens 1st Rugby, 09-05-09, Photo: Justyn Hardcastle

Mike Callis, the York Captain, goes over in the rugby firsts' 31-8 win. Photograph by Justyn Hardcastle.

Alongside the more spectator-friendly matches, York were accumulating points elsewhere almost under the radar. At Snainton, for instance, in the Equestrian events, the White Rose picked up six almost unnoticed points by occupying positions 1-6 on the leaderboard. At the Rossendale slope too, YUsnow scooped a full set of fourteen points, with a superb, if underappreciated, display.

And yet there was still caution being exercised in the Spring sunshine of the Saturday morning - this wasn't over, Lancaster could still come back. However, by lunchtime all suggestions of a Lancaster recovery were being mocked after thrashings were handed out in the lacrosse, tennis and squash, taking the home side past a century of points.

The well-attended rugby matches merely underlined York's supremacy as news filtered through that the overall victory was in the bag. The men's firsts, the epitome of a winning mentality, swept their opponents aside 31-8, preserving a winning sequence which had lasted months and months. The netball games, played out before a lairy audience, saw another clean sweep - the firsts' comprehensive result a shock as Lancaster competed two divisions higher in BUCS competition.

Mixed 2nd Hockey, 10-05-09, Photo: Justyn Hardcastle

An unexpected interruption to the mixed seconds hockey match. Photograph by Justyn Hardcastle.

The Sunday started sedately but York were in no mood to go easy on their beleaguered guests. The mixed lacrosse and volleyball teams piled on the misery, and the astonishing 200-point barrier was within reach by the time the football sides took to the 22 Acres in the afternoon. Lancaster would be spared this particular humiliation, but back-to-back 4-0 wins for the men's firsts and seconds put a coat of gloss on a remarkable couple of days.

All-in-all, it was an unprecedented Roses weekend, the likes of which we may never see again. It was a tournament that had absolutely everything barring one thing - the opposition.

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2 Comment

~J Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

This year some events have been cut, there are events during our exam period and Lancaster are screwing us over in a few other ways... Let's hit the 200 mark this year :P


love game Posted on Sunday 18 Aug 2019

We will win again no sweat
We have the best teams by far that do not need a lot of preperation for them to be working and playing to their best.
York are clearly the best they have even got Lady ga ga on there side
Lancaster la la la


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