For the first time, College Varsity has an opening ceremony, and it is the Men’s Rugby, a fixture which is set to kick off the competition. Representing York, Hes East will be full of confidence coming off a 31-0 over Vanbrugh and 22-5 win over James in the qualifying semi-final and final respectively. The Hes East rugby side will feel confident after remaining unbeaten this season in league play. In St Cuthbert’s, they are facing an opposition in less than fine form, with the York side competing against a Durham college yet to win a league fixture this season, with a -79 points difference from just three league games. In the Men’s Rugby B fixture later on Sunday, James will be looking to come back from their qualifier loss with a win against St Hild & St Bede, who are second in Durham’s second tier of college rugby.
This year’s College Varsity basketball qualifiers were some of the closest fought of any sport. Halifax and Derwent went through to the final after a 26-21 win against Langwith and 35-34 win against Vanbrugh respectively. Halifax took a 45-36 win in the final to earn the right to represent York in this year’s A fixture. Both Halifax and their opponents have played two league games this term. Halifax have won one and lost one, and Van Mildert earned their second win with a nail biting 48-47 win over Ustinov, after a 40-0 win against John Snow in January. Derwent, who have lost both their league games so far this term, will face off against University College in the B fixture. University have lost all three of their games this term in Durham’s second tier college basketball competition, but did come within 11 points of winning in their previous game against league leaders St Aidan’s.
James College’s men’s football team has had a difficult path to win the right to represent York in the Men’s Football A game at this year’s College Varsity, going as far as a penalty shootout in their semi final against Derwent after a 3-3 draw. Both the James and Derwent men’s football 1s have been unbeaten this season in York’s college football Premier League. They won the final more comfortably, 4-1 against Constantine, and now go on to face Collingwood this Sunday. Collingwood, like James, are unbeaten in the top tier of Durham college football, drawing 2-2 in their last game out against top of the table St Aiden’s. As they represent York, one player to watch out for from James could be Harry Dodgeson, who has scored four goals in four league games this year. In the Men’s Football B fixture, Constantine will be looking for a win against University College, who are top of Durham’s second division college football table.
The Netball A fixture was one of the best attended of any sport at College Varsity 2020, and Halifax College will be hoping to match that support as they face off against Grey College in this year’s game. Halifax earned their spot in the game after a 37-17 win over Derwent in the semi final, and scored the same number of points again in a closer 37-30 win over Alcuin, who go on to the B fixture. Grey College, Halifax’s opposition on Sunday, have lost just two of their eight league games this year, sitting at third in Durham’s top tier college netball league. Halifax are in second place in York’s college netball Division 1, with their only loss coming in a 20-11 defeat to Langwith. In the B fixture, Alcuin College, who have also lost just one league game this year, will be facing off against St Mary’s College. St Mary’s have recorded five wins, two losses, and a draw in their eight games this year, sitting in mid-table in Durham’s top tier netball league.