College Varsity Qualifiers: Preview


In the men’s football competition we have two fixtures, Derwent face Alcuin and James go up against Vanbrugh. It is hard to see past Derwent and James progressing from their semi-final matches, although Alcuin pushed Derwent to the end a couple of weeks ago. It would be brilliant to see a couple of closely-fought games, and anything can happen in one-off matches! Assuming that Derwent and James do progress to the qualifier final, then we are in for a treat. James will want to reassert themselves as a valid competitor to Derwent after being overshadowed so far this academic year by a dominant black and blue 1st XI.


This competition should see a repeat of the recent fixture which produced a drubbing for James College at the hands of Derwent. Derwent should ease past Halifax and James will most likely defeat Heslington East. This envisioned scenario would set up the aforementioned rematch, except this time round James will surely be doing all they can to make up for the 36-7 loss suffered a couple of weeks ago.


One of the tightest leagues last term, basketball qualifiers see league-toppers Vanbrugh take on James, with Derwent facing up against Constantine in the other semi. In their match last term, Vanbrugh squeezed past James by a margin of just two points. Vanbrugh will no doubt be seen as the favourites in this semi-final, but with their previous outing ending so close, anything could happen. The other semi-final sees Constantine’s only representation in this year’s qualifiers, with their team doing admirably to finish third last term. Derwent have been looking strong recently, finishing behind only Vanbrugh, but once again this game could go either way.


Wentworth have dominated college squash over the past year. A sizeable six point gap separated them from the rest of the field last term as they went through the ten weeks undefeated. James had finished fourth last term, highlights including a closely-fought victory over Vanbrugh.  The second semi-final looks to be a much closer affair. Vanbrugh have the slight edge over Alcuin with a three point advantage from last term.There is the potential for a big upset, but it is hard to see past Wentworth progressing to Durham.


Wentworth have been long-term champions in the college league and they will definitely be strong this year as well. Halifax have shown the biggest improvement since last year, so they might come with some surprises. Nevertheless, the other two teams playing in the qualifiers – Alcuin and James – are not to be underrated! Expect interesting matches and definitely a strong team to go up against Durham!


The first match of the day will see Derwent face off against Goodricke. The last time these teams met resulted in an overwhelming victory for Derwent, but Goodricke’s strong team finished first in the league last term and is not to be underestimated. The result may well be very close indeed.Langwith and James will compete in the second match of the day and again, it’s hard to pick a winner out of these two teams. Each have beaten the other once this year and both will be eager to secure a place at Varsity. It’s difficult to place who these teams will be, but it’s bound to be a day of exciting and high-standard badminton.


Hockey qualifiers see autumn league winners Goodricke take on Alcuin, and the other semi pits Derwent against Vanbrugh.
Derwent played well last term, finishing second, only 2 points behind Goodricke. However, with Vanbrugh finishing just 1 further point back from Derwent it looks to be a tasty encounter.
Goodricke are expected to overcome Alcuin in the other semi after winning the league last term. They finished last season with an impressive goal difference of 21 so expect a high scoring game.


We have the top four teams from last term so it will be a tense play-off. James are in the qualifiers after playing in Varsity last year and will be wanting a repeat of that result, playing against Alcuin. It is set to be a tight game with James’ fantastic and agile attack against Alcuin’s rock hard defence. Derwent also look to be strong competition after finishing second in the league. They will play Halifax in the second play off game. It should be a tight game and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.