With the first ever College Varsity just around the corner, York Vision takes a closer look at home side the University of York’s teams who will go head to head with Durham’s colleges in eight different sports this Sunday.
Men’s Football: James v. Hatfield, Halifax v. Collingwood
The men’s football matches promise to be two of the weekend’s most exciting events, with James College kicking off proceedings against Durham’s Hatfield on Sunday morning. Ralph Gill’s side were victorious against Halifax in the qualifiers final and have taken apart most other colleges this year, and they will hope for more of the same success against Hatfield on 22 Acres. Key players include winger Freddie Ferrao and prolific marksman Matt Singleton.
Meanwhile, Halifax play Durham side Collingwood in the afternoon. Connor McCoy will aim to lead his side to glory after sealing their Varsity place with a penalty-shootout win against Derwent in the qualifiers semis. The pace of Connor Meckin and defensive solidity of Oli Bull will prove critical if they are to win.
Rugby: Derwent v Hilde Bede, Halifax v Hatfield
Derwent College sealed top spot in the varsity qualifiers with a comprehensive drubbing of Halifax on Sunday. There had been fears that Derwent would be the only York college not to be represented at Varsity, but those fears were quashed by their perennially strong rugby team, who will face Hilde Bede on Sunday. Derwent have blown every other college away in recent years, with a defeat against Halifax last term the only blot on their copybook. Key players in Cameron Strange’s side include forward Paddy Reilly-O’Donnell and full-back Hugo Marino.
Halifax have been a side firmly on the rise this year. A 12-0 win over Derwent was a highlight, and crushing wins over Alcuin and Goodricke have proved that Wiz Collins’ side deserve their place at Varsity, where they will face off against Hatfield on Sunday.
Badminton: Goodricke v St. Cuthbert’s, Wentworth v Josephine Butler
Goodricke will not fear the challenge of St. Cuthbert’s when they take them on Sunday afternoon. The likes of Meredith Daniel, Chivarn Huang and Adam Langerveld played brilliantly in the mixed doubles victory over James in the qualifiers. The team have been in stellar form this year, finishing second in the Autumn table. Other key players include Leah and Dylan Langford.
Wentworth have been the undisputed kings and queens of badminton this year, however, after winning the Autumn league and currently topping the Spring table. Recent highlights have included a 10-0 whitewash over Langwith. Captain Shawmon Fu will aim to lead her troops to victory over Durham’s Josephine Butler College.
Hockey: James v Hatfield, Goodricke v St. Cuthbert’s
James College thrashed Goodricke 5-0 in the qualifiers final, and will line up against Durham’s Hatfield on the JLD this weekend. The Swans, who have a huge squad led by captain Oli McGaw, will fancy their chances, and will hope that key players Chris Butterworth, Nick Mitchell and Polly Sedgwick will be firing on all cylinders come this weekend when they push back at 1:30pm.
Goodricke conjured up something of a surprise when they beat Langwith on penalty flicks in the qualifying semi-finals. They were outclassed by James in the final, but have talented and industrious players in the form of Dhyan Patel, Tara Annison and Ben Crawley. They will face a formidable challenge against a strong St. Cuthbert’s side from Durham, but will take plenty of confidence into their Varsity showdown.
Basketball: Wentworth v Ustinov, Langwith v St. Mary’s
Wentworth will cross swords with Ustinov College this Sunday in the inaugural College Varsity. The talented Siritas Kettanurak and Kai Li will spearhead the attack, and will be confident following their dismantling of Langwith in the qualifiers final. The postgraduate college can also draw on the likes of Kenisha Hanson and the agile Shono Koko when they play Ustinov.
Elsewhere, Langwith will face off against St. Mary’s. Although they were well-beaten by Wentworth in qualifiers, they can draw on the talents of Nicolas Katsafados, Will Oldfield and Sam Smith when they come up against their Durham counterparts. Wentworth will play Ustinov in the Tent, while Langwith will take on St. Mary’s in the Main Hall.
Netball: Halifax v Van Mildert, James v Hilde Bede
The qualifiers final between James and Halifax was an enthralling encounter. James College, led by captain Ellie Redwood, were unlucky to lose, but they will attempt to return to winning ways against Hilde Bede on Sunday morning. James boast a strong all-round team in the form of Rebecca Pay-Savage and goal attack Samantha Hall. Their form has improved this term, and it will take a strong Hilde Bede side to keep them at bay, especially with home advantage.
Halifax, meanwhile, will be buoyed by winning the qualifiers final. Captain Sarah Moody has some fine talents to choose from when they face Van Mildert in the Tent. Becky Gabbitas is a skilful shooter, and the talents of Emily Woodings, Penny Figgis and Mary Sutherland will surely cause Durham problems on Sunday.
Women’s Football: Langwith v Trevelyan, Vanbrugh v Ustinov
Vanbrugh will take the stage to face Durham’s Ustinov College after they beat Derwent en route to the final, where they lost to Langwith. Nevertheless, Vanbrugh boast great attacking prowess, with Rhiannon Roy, the centre-back who also has an eye for goal, and Aimee Hardy particularly deadly in front of goal. Captain Maria Davies is aiming high in Varsity, and they have every reason to be confident going into Sunday’s game in the Tent.
Langwith came out on top in the qualifying games. Captain Ruby Callister led her side by example throughout, scoring multiple goals in a virtuoso performance against James in the semis. Trevelyan will prove a sterner test, however, and Callister’s troops will need to be prepared if they are to continue their form.
Volleyball: Wentworth v TBC, Alcuin v TBC
Wentworth and Alcuin are the two sides chosen to represent York.The Durham colleges taking part have yet to be confirmed.
Meanwhile, York Sport President Cass Brown said in advance of the event: “College Varsity gives college sport players a similar platform to that of Roses for our University athletes, which is exceptional.
“What most excites me though is that our college players are representing not just their college but the University of York – this and the prospect of beating Durham! It’s also been the York Sport Committee’s first project to work on together and they’ve all done a fantastic job.
“College Varsity is going to be brilliant and is an exciting new chapter in the history of college sport at York, so I urge as many people as possible to be a part of it.”