A perfect record this season for the women’s basketball 1sts was broken as they were knocked out of the BUCS Cup semi-finals on Wednesday by Hull University Firsts. Despite York’s spirited resurgence, the visitors showed character to edge out York 51-44 in what was their final match this season.
York came into this game full of confidence, having won all 11 of their fixtures this season and finishing top of their league with 24 points, 15 more than second-placed Durham. This scintillating promotion form meant there should have been no inferiority complex beforehand against opponents a division above them in the BUCS leagues.
Hull began the game the stronger team though, overwhelming York physically and quickly taking a 4-0 lead. The home side seemed to be slow off the tracks, with York’s captain and playmaker Lydie Mariutto becoming visibly frustrated with her team’s lack of movement around the basket. By the end of the second quarter Hull were up 28-20 and in command.
However the third quarter saw York come storming back into the game, as they capitalised on sloppy fouls from the visiting side to quickly make up the points deficit. And when Mariutto stole the ball to break away into empty space and make it 33-32 to York, it looked like the home side would go on to seal a memorable comeback and a place in the final.
Hull showed admirable determination to turn the tide back in their favour though, regrouping to snatch the lead back from York just before the close of the third quarter. The fourth quarter saw the visitors at their best, playing with pace and precision to stride ahead into an unassailable lead. Although the home side showed great determination to catch Hull and make the final, the final result was a fair reflection of a fantastic game in which Hull ultimately had slightly too much for York.