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College Varsity Preview: Part Two

As anticipation builds ahead of the trip to Durham, the Nouse Sport Team look ahead to Sunday's tournament and where York will hope to pick up their points.

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Varsity 2015

The afternoon of last year's Varsity tournament was a bittersweet time for York's teams. Having pulled themselves back to a situation in which they could have salvaged a draw, Halifax were cruelly beaten 28--38 by Van Mildert in the final fixture of the tournament.

Will the afternoon need to come to York's rescue again? And who should York hang their hopes on should it come down to the wire? In part two of the Nouse Sport preview, we look towards the second half to the tournament and York's chances in the crucial ties in what could be another fantastic finale.


Although its mid-afternoon scheduling ensures that darts will not live up to its beer-stained reputation, to sober commentators its first appearance at Varsity should be an interesting one. Derwent play Castle in the Firsts game, after the Men in Blue - who hold a 100% win record in the league - were led through qualifiers by the likes of Lil Hennessey, Fred Evans, Hayley Arthurs and Alistair 'Butterfingers' Cawdron. However, their qualifiers went down to the wire and they will be without a number of key players on Sunday, so it could prove a tough assignment.

Langwith, who come into Varsity after a lacklustre run of league form, face Josephine Butler as York Seconds after beating Vanbrugh in their qualifier. In the words of the late, great Sid Waddell: "There's only one word for that - magic darts!" TH

Firsts: Derwent vs Castle, 15:00, MC Cafe

Seconds: Langwith vs Josephine Butler, 13:00, MC Cafe

Men's Football

[caption id="attachment_119780" align="alignright" width="300"]Image: James Hostford
Image: James Hostford

Derwent take on Collingwood in what promises to be an intriguing fixture. Derwent are currently flying in the Revolution Premier League (left) and are on course to ease to a second consecutive title victory. Meanwhile, their opponents sit third in their league but they will be looking to claim victory after defeat against Halifax in last year's College Varsity.

Vanbrugh will have a tougher time facing Durham league leaders St. Hild and St. Bede in their fixture. However, a convincing win against James, who they also beat to qualify for Durham, in their Revolution Premier League game last weekend will provide Vanbrugh with a great deal of optimism going into the tournament. MK

Firsts: Derwent vs Collingwood, 15:30, Crumb 2

Seconds: Vanbrugh vs St. Hild & St. Bede, 13:30, Crumb 2


[caption id="attachment_119774" align="alignright" width="300"]Image: Petroc Taylor
Image: Petroc Taylor

Goodricke take to the pitch first, as they play Durham's Hatfield in the hockey seconds fixture. Goodricke face an experienced Hatfield side who tasted varsity victory by beating James College 6-3 last year (right). However, Goodricke have shown their ability to deal with pressure, having qualified by beating Alcuin on penalties. Working as a well-oiled machine, the Greens can boast an equally proficient side to Hatfield, having topped the hockey autumn league and look on track to retain their title during the spring league.

Meanwhile, the hockey firsts fixture pits Vanbrugh against Castle in Sunday's final fixture. Vanbrugh have a strong side with some key university players. Most notably, during qualifiers the trio of Lennox, Watters and Harwood showed fantastic skill and dynamism throughout the match as they fought hard against Derwent. Vanbrugh are a quick side and will definitely provide a stern test for Castle in what could prove a knife-edged conclusion to the tournament. PD

Firsts: Vanbrugh vs Castle, 16:00, Waterbased

Seconds: Goodricke vs Hatfield, 14:00, Waterbased


[caption id="attachment_119778" align="alignleft" width="300"]
Image: James Hostford

The basketball clashes at this year's College Varsity against Durham promise to be some of the most exciting fixtures of the tournament. Last year, the York teams pulled off two incredible victories as Langwith narrowly beat St Mary's 41-39 and Wentworth fought off Ustinov (left), winning 65-60 in a game which was marred with some peculiar scenes, not least a Ustinov player being escorted from the Tent by a bouncer after violent conduct. This year saw Vanbrugh (left) and Derwent qualify to represent York as the first and second teams respectively. If the two York sides play as well in Durham as they did during the qualifier weekend, then there is a strong chance that York will once more triumph over Durham on the basketball court. LH

Firsts: Vanbrugh vs Ustinov, 15:30, Sports Hall A

Seconds: Derwent vs St Chad's, 14:00, Sports Hall A


[caption id="attachment_119777" align="alignright" width="300"]Image: James Hostford
Image: James Hostford

Volleyball, all things considered, will be one of the sports in which York excels and the Black and Gold will expect to take points from Durham. Wentworth, perennial volleyball royalty, are York Firsts up in Durham and play St Mary's late on Sunday. The postgraduates have failed to drop a set in two terms of college competition, beat Alcuin and Halifax 3-0 in qualifiers and routed Josephine Butler by the same, unanswered scoreline in their inaugural Varsity fixture (right). Elsewhere, Halifax take on Queen's College in the clash of second string sides. As it appears that it is scarcely an established college sport at Durham, the White Rose will be expecting to do some damage on the volleyball court. TH

Firsts: Wentworth vs St Mary's, 15:30, Sports Hall B

Seconds: Halifax vs Queens, 14:00, Sports Hall B


[caption id="attachment_119779" align="alignleft" width="300"]Image: Petroc Taylor
Image: Petroc Taylor

James carried their college netball league form into the qualifiers as they beat Derwent to claim the honour of York's first team representatives. They will face St. Hild and St. Bede in a repeat of last years College Varsity fixture which saw the Durham team ultimately edge out James (left). Therefore, James will hope to respond to such a narrow defeat by ensuring the points go in favour of York this time around. In the other netball fixture, Derwent come up against Hatfield and, with both teams positioned in second place in their respective leagues, there is a close fought match in prospect. MK

Firsts: James vs St Hild and St Bede, 15:30, Tarmac

Seconds: Derwent vs Hatfield, 14:00, Tarmac

Nouse's coverage of College Varsity will include online match reports, the return of our Varsity liveblog and full coverage in next week's print edition. Also, stay tuned to our Twitter and Instagram pages for live updates on the day itself.

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