The University of Nottingham (UoN) hit form once again in the British Universities and Colleges (BUCS) leagues and cups, winning 53% of their matches last Wednesday and retaining third in the overall BUCS rankings with 3657.3 points.

In the game of the day, it was a resounding performance for the men’s firsts against Durham firsts at the Nottingham Hockey Centre with a rampant 4-2 win, guaranteeing their place at Big BUCS Wednesday in Bath tomorrow after the semi-final cup victory.

At a packed out Nottingham Hockey Centre last Wednesday, the ‘Green and Gold’ booked their place on the coach to Bath with a convincing comeback. An early goal from England International Tom Sorsby was cancelled out with two neat finishes from Durham’s Men’s firsts to make it 2-1 mid-way through the first half.

However, on the stroke of half-time, UoN levelled at 2-2, when Jonny Ruiz played in a short corner which was laid off by Mo Gandhi and hammered home by Sean Cicci, through a forest of Durham defenders from the edge of the shooting circle.

James Hodgkinson made it 3-2 just after the interval with an accurate finish after a goalmouth scramble. Durham struggled to contend with the rampaging dribbling from NUHC 1s defender and American international Mo Gandhi throughout the match, who was a standout performer for the home side in the player’s last game for the club.

It was only a matter of time before UoN increased their lead; after some progressive dribbling from Ruiz on the left wing, the attacker slotted the ball nicely into the shooting circle for James Gall who found the net with ease to make it 4-2.

“4-2 last week against Trent, 4-2 today; I’m unbelievably proud of the team’s commitment in this competition. Mo in his last game for the club had a fantastic performance.”

Ali Clift, Josh Rollett and Rolf Steenmester deserve praise for their tenacity in defending the 4-2 lead late in the game. The result means that UoN men’s hockey 1s are through to face Loughborough tomorrow in Big BUCS Wednesday down in Bath.

Men’s hockey president Dom Moralee was beaming with pride after the home victory: “4-2 last week against Trent, 4-2 today; I’m unbelievably proud of the team’s commitment in this competition. Mo in his last game for the club had a fantastic performance.”

Moralee continued: “The 1s got two historic records this season with winning BUCS North A and in the Saturday league as well. The club as a whole has been really successful this season, which gives us confidence going into Varsity, despite there being a lot of players away on international duty when we face Trent.”

“Durham struggled to contend with the rampaging dribbling from NUHC 1s defender and American international Mo Gandhi throughout the match who was a standout performer for the home side in the player’s last game for the club.”

Elsewhere in hockey, the men’s second team beat Worcester 1s 10-2 away from home, the men’s fifth tea, drew 2-2 with De Montfort, while the women’s third and fourth teams were involved in 2-1  and 8-0 wins against Leicester women’s first team and Oxford Brookes women’s fourth team.

In American football, UoN suffered an agonising 28-27 defeat at the hands of Leeds Beckett last weekend in the semi-final play-off; attention for UoNAF will now be focused on retaining their Varsity title.

It was a clean sweep of victories last Wednesday for badminton, including 7-1 triumphs over Warwick, Oxford Brookes and Birmingham for the men’s second and third teams, and the women’s third team. The victory against Birmingham’s women’s second team saw the women’s third team remain on top of Midlands 2A, after an unbeaten season.

The women’s first team face up against Loughborough on Wednesday for an eagerly anticipated East Midlands Big BUCS Wednesday clash.

In Women’s basketball, our first and second teams came out on top against East Midlands rivals Trent 1sts and Derby 1sts, 63-53 and 53-27 respectively at David Ross.  The first team progressed to the BUCS Trophy final against Essex on Wednesday, after winning their league.

“It is a massive week for the rugby league 1s, they face the home team University of Bath in their title defence of the BUCS Trophy on Wednesday prior to the Varsity Series curtain raiser against Trent on Saturday down at Lady Bay Stadium.”

Meanwhile in football it was a good week for the men’s thirds with a 3-2 triumph over Worcester at Highfields, which sees them remain top of the league by a 3 point margin in Midlands 3B. Elsewhere there were defeats for the men’s seconds and fourths and the women’s seconds against Loughborough, Bedfordshire and Birmingham.

For UoN Lacrosse there were victories versus Warwick seconds and Birmingham fourths for the women’s seconds and thirds. In netball it was a 68-39 victory against Birmingham thirds for the women’s firsts while the seconds defeated Oxford firsts 47-28.

In rugby league the firsts defeated Coventry 70-38, while in rugby union, there were wins over Loughborough and Northampton for the mens firsts, thirds and women’s seconds. Both rugby codes have clashes this Wednesday in Bath.

It is a massive week for the rugby league first team, who face the home team University of Bath in their title defence of the BUCS Trophy on Wednesday, prior to the Varsity Series curtain raiser against Trent on Saturday down at Lady Bay Stadium.

“With 14 teams, across 8 different sports, in both the Championship finals and the Trophy & Vase finals, this is the most successful turnout ever at BUCS Big Wednesday from the green and gold.”

The women’s rugby union 1s face Birmingham and the men’s first team come up against Swansea in the BUCS Vase tomorrow in the south west.

For our table tennis teams there was a 5-0 win over Strathclyde, while there were victories over Aston and Warwick for tennis. The men’s 1s face Nottingham Trent, while the women’s firsts encounter Durham on BUCS Big Wednesday down in Bath. UoNTT men’s 2s are also in the BUCS Trophy final today.

With 14 teams, across 8 different sports, in both the Championship finals and the Trophy & Vase finals, this is the most successful turnout ever at BUCS Big Wednesday from UoN. The excellent BUCS form bodes well going into this year’s Varsity Series, although it will be a quick turnaround for some clubs in the first block of fixtures, such as UoN Rugby League.

Best of luck to all teams heading down to the south west today and tomorrow, follow the progress of all of our 14 teams in Bath and those in action in Nottingham on the UoN Sport Twitter account and website.

Joe Tanner

Image courtesy of University of Nottingham Sport

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