UYAFC 1sts captain have had an excellent BUCS season, winning the title at a canter. They come into Friday’s opening ceremony match with great confidence..
The innate confidence of the 1sts runs right the way through the squad, 1sts captain James Davies told Vision. “I believe we’ve got a great chance, we’ve had a great season and are working hard now to get back to that form. Lancaster always have a good side and, in both years that I have played, have been the better side. If we play to our potential, though, I think we’ll be in with a good shout!”
Elsewhere, UYWAFC will hope to bring plenty to the table. They finished the season strongly after promotion last year. Captain Ellie Whittaker said: “After being named York Sport’s Roses team of the year in 2013, and completing a whitewash over Lancaster, we’ve been working extremely hard to ensure we have another strong weekend. We’re under no illusions that this is an easy task: Lancaster are in the league above us and have had an impressive season, however the tactical and technical improvements we have made this season are sure to set us in good stead for next weekend.
“We’re confident of success in both 5 and 11 a side games, and with our newly formed second team (who will be in BUCS next year) also having a friendly game against Lancaster Alumni at Sunday midday, it again goes to show that women’s football at our university has never looked stronger.”
UYRUFC will go into Roses full of memories of last year’s memorable win at Huntington’s Stadium. Injured 1sts captain Fraser Kirkley said: “The build up to Roses is always special, the season is over and the boys have a new focus. All the shirts are up for grabs, nobody is a dead cert, which makes things exciting.
“Lancaster will be a better drilled opponent this year; they’re undefeated this year and they’ll be wanting revenge on our 5 year whitewash. There’s no doubt that all the fixtures will be thrilling, and I’m very jealous of the boys running out with the crest on their chests. I have every faith that Matthew Thorp, who will be captaining the ones, will lead the side to victory ably aided by the likes of Tristan Burd and Conan Osborn. The steady heads of James Peacock, Matt Darroch and Luke Cunnah will ensure the right results in the other fixtures.”
Meanwhile, the women’s 1sts will arrive as favourites after their unbeaten season. President Mollie Staples told Vision: “As a club we have achieved one of the best seasons in our history with an unbeaten record and a 296 points difference. This success has made us more enthusiastic than ever to secure a win at roses and to remain unbeaten this year. Last year was fantastic with the first win against Lancaster for two years, and we believe we can better it this year as our squads have never been stronger.”
The hockey club have enjoyed a largely successful season, with the men’s 1sts consolidating their position in the league with an improved BUCS campaign and a strong cup run. The men’s 2nds had an excellent season, achieving promotion by winning their league, losing only once. The women’s 1sts have had more of a mixed bag, having to battle to avoid relegation on the final day, but their young side will have learnt from their tough season and will be fired up for Roses.
With a huge raft of fixtures coming up over the weekend in Lancaster, including indoor matches, the team will be tested on all fronts. They will be desperate to match last year’s result, where UYHC lost only once, but ladies’ captain Izi Hutchinson feels confident that the club can achieve this feat. “For UYHC, Roses is everything. For some, it is the most memorable game they will play.
“To represent the House of York in the battle of the roses is not just a historic moment, but also a proud one, and this most certainly will be seen on the indoor court and on the AstroTurf. Tensions and emotions run high from the start of the Ladies 2nd indoor game, to the final whistle of the Men’s 1st outdoor match. Hours of hard work have been spent by the presidents, captains and coaches to make sure we go into our games fighting fit to give Lancaster the shock of a life time. We are aiming for the white rose to whitewash the red across the board in hockey this year.”
What a phenomenal season for UYLC, who are surely the crown jewel among York’s sporting clubs this season. Both the men and women have played superbly, storming to league and cup doubles this season. The men’s 1sts won all 7 of their league games, and edged a tight clash with Durham in the cup final. The women’s 1sts proved equally successful, cruising to promotion with eight straight victories, before thrashing Newcastle in the cup final to seal the double. They will also come together to form a mixed team to take on Lancaster, adding an extra dimension of fun to proceedings.
Last year’s matches on home turf resulted in emphatic victories for all three teams, and women’s 1sts captain Claire Thomas is keen to repeat that feat:
“Roses is always enormous fun for both sides of the club, especially as it gives us the rare opportunity to play mixed. We’ve had an amazing season, including an emphatic win over Lancaster in the quarter finals of our Cup, but don’t want to get complacent, so will come out fighting. The enormous goal difference in our last women’s Roses game is something I want to emulate this year, and these are certainly three points that we’re hoping we can go out and take in a commanding fashion. Lacrosse are always one of the best-performing clubs for the a White Rose, and this year should be no different.”
Despite narrowly losing their final match of the season to Sheffield Hallam, York Netball firsts came top of their group and delivered a formidable performance through the BUCS season. Autumn fixtures yielded four consecutive wins over Teeside, Chester, Newcastle and Sheffield. Although that run was broken by a 56-31 defeat to the University of Central Lancashire, the 1sts followed up with a draw against Leeds Metropolitan and a second and crushing victory over Teeside 70-9. Those were followed up with a further two wins against Newcastle and Sheffield before the narrow defeat to Hallam.
The 2nds had a mixed bag of results and the 3rds narrowly avoided relegation. Though the 2nds closed on a slender win 45-44 against Northumbria, they suffered five consecutive defeats between October 30th and December 4th 2013.
The 3rds also suffered six defeats in their season. The best hopes for a Netball victory therefore rest upon the 1sts. 1sts captain Bronwen Dalley-Smith commented to Vision: “We’re all really excited for the tournament and hope to go one better than last year and come home with 3 wins.
“Despite our Lancaster counterparts being in higher leagues, we definitely feel like this is the year for UYNC and we’re all ready to fight. Each team has had a great season, with our first team getting promoted, so can’t wait to show Lancaster how it’s done!”
The University of York Basketball Club has endured a season of reasonable success in both men and women’s forms of the game.
The men’s 1sts came a respectable fourth in the final BUCS table of the season. Despite a heavy 103-29 defeat in the Cup to Huddersfield, the White Rose will be pleased after having won against teams from Bradford, Sheffield and Leeds this season.
The women had a marginally less successful season, finishing second from bottom in their BUCS league, but were never really in danger of relegation given the poverty of Sunderland’s team.They will be keen to avoid another Roses landslide defeat after last year’s 71-24 loss on home soil.
Similarly, the men suffered a 75-32 defeat at the hands of the Red Rose last year, and will be keen to make amends when they clash again this weekend, with four points up for grabs for the men and women respectively.First-team member and spokesman for the club Nikos Barbatsalos exclusively told Vision: “We are very excited about the two games on Sunday. We have been training really hard recently in order to stop the current losing streak. Unfortunately some third year players won’t be able to make it to Roses, but we are going to fight till the final second for the win.”
After the disappointment of a home defeat last year, York Centurions will be desperate to win their clash with Lancaster Bombers on Saturday at lunchtime. After a narrow 15-14 victory away in Lancaster in 2012, could history be about to repeat itself?
Their have been some new recruits to the squad in the form of freshers this year, many of whom had never played the sport before they came to university. For this reason, in many ways it has been a season of transition for the Centurions.
Nevertheless, the squad boasts some strong talents, some of who attended trials for the Great Britain national side. One of them was Club President Fred Isaac. Speaking to Vision, the 2014 YUSU Presidential candidate said: “The York Centurions are looking to secure their second ever Roses victory, with several freshers stepping up to the roles we have demanded of them.
“This is also the final game for many of the Centurions who have taken the team from their first 3-2 win to our highest scoring offence ever. It’s going to be a big game for us and Lancaster.But I hope we will, as a team, in my final game, step up to the plate and show everyone what Centurion football is all about.”
Despite arguably going into the game as underdogs, there are four valuable points up for grabs, and they will be ready for a tight contest over in Lancaster.
The University of York Handball Club will have the pleasure of making their Roses bow this year. The club has been going from strength to strength this year, after a quiet 2013, and will be one of a handful of new sports to make their debut in Lancaster.
Chrysanthi Stefanou, who is President of the York Handball Club, exclusively told Vision: “It’s the first time there will be handball in Roses so we will play for no points, but from next year we will have the chance to earn some points for our uni.”
“Even though we only have a couple of experienced players we’ve seen so much improvement from our beginners so we are really looking forward to playing as a team! We only had one friendly game this year against Leeds University, since we are a new team, which we won 37-27 and since then our players are excited about Roses after seeing what they can do. We were really proud of them after that game.
“We’ve been working so hard the whole year because most of our players are beginners so we really hope that everything pays off at roses hoping to attract more people to try for next year this amazing sport!” York are sending two handball teams to Lancaster, with both sides taking to the stage early on Sunday morning. Despite being off the beaten track, the teams are expecting to draw strong crowds on Sunday.