BUCS round-up

Hockey team in quarter final

Sam Meadows

The men’s hockey first team turned in an excellent performance to progress to the quarter finals of the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) cup last Wednesday (12th February). The team travelled to Bristol to play the University of the West of England 2nd team and were 2-1 winners after extra time.

George Unwin had given the Aber team an early lead in the game before UWE struck back later in the game. Both teams had numerous chances throughout the rest of the game but neither could make the breakthrough. Unwin was a constant threat and always looked like creating a goal from nothing.

With the score remaining at 1-1 at full-time the game entered the extra period. Aber didn’t have to wait long for the winning goal as a scrappy move in the first minute of extra time was finished by Captain Phil Branford. Despite a surge of late pressure from UWE, they could not find an equaliser and it was Aber who took the win.

This result sends Aber into the quarter final of the BUCS cup and set up an away tie against the Cardiff University seconds. The boys will be hoping that a cup win could be on the cards.

Aber students best in the world

Sam Meadows

THREE Aberystwyth students have achieved world rankings in the sport of archery. Jon Aldridge, Emily Zaastra and Rebecca Callan attended the European Archery Festival which ran from the 24th to the 26th of January at the Telford International Centre. They were impressive in their performances and managed to achieve world rankings of 252nd, 95th and 96th respectively.

The event was attended by both professional and amateur archers alike. Big names in the sport were in attendance such as Erika Jones, the world number one female compound archer. The British development squad also competed. The three students stated that all the big names were happy to help and give advice which strongly aided their development as archers.

The three students are members of the Aber Archer’s, the university’s archery club. The club has gone from strength to strength in recent years and can be very proud of having three archers who can now boast world rankings.

Jon Aldridge, now ranked 252nd in the world for the sport, said that the weekend had been great fun and that he would certainly be on the lookout for similar events in the future. He also passionately encouraged as many people as possible to get involved in archery.

Badminton club hitting the heights

Max Griffiths

Badminton

Max Griffiths

IT’S FAIR to say that the Aberystwyth University Badminton Club has had a highly successful year. With 126 members, Badminton are the biggest sports club at the university.

We can boast three strong and flourishing BUCS teams. The men’s 1st team are currently nestled fourth in the Western 2B. Despite beating phenomenal teams such as Gloucester 5-3, James Holder and his men have been held to draws three times this season which means if less than six points are gained from the next two matches, promotion will be agonisingly taken away. However, cup dreams are still alive, due to last Wednesday’s match against Winchester being postponed by the ‘apocalypse of Aber’.

The women’s team have also seen their fair share of success this season with a win against Swansea 2nd team and plenty of points gained against Swansea and Cardiff Metropolitan 1st teams. Captain Naomi Hepton has built a strong team this season and there are plenty of good prospects for next year and beyond. Players such as Chloe Hudson have been able to develop into crucial fixtures for the team. Sitting in 4th place in the Western 2B the ladies will also be agonisingly close to promotion if 6 points are gained from the last two matches. They do however march on to the quarter finals of the cup where they will play Cardiff Metropolitan 1st team on 26th February. Hepton has high hopes for the cup after losing out in the final last season.

In the Western 3A the men’s second team have been able to progress to fifth place after a rocky start to the season. Playing with true vigour and quality Max Griffiths’ team were left empty handed at Swansea and Cardiff but gained a point against the University of South Wales. They were also awarded three points due to a walkover against the Winchester 1st team. They also played valiantly against the Gloucestershire 1st team in the last 16 of the cup, but the team 8 places higher in the league system were able to come away with a 7-1 win.

Netball seconds consolidate second place

Jodie Ackland

Netball

Yveline Northern

COMING off the back of an excellent comeback win against Cardiff 6ths, the netball 2nd team were one of the lucky BUCS teams that didn’t suffer a cancellation due to the weather on Wednesday 12th February. They travelled to Cardiff to face the Cardiff 7th team full of confidence. The key factor today was going to be fitness, with only 8 girls travelling to Cardiff due to injuries affecting the squad.

The first quarter was close, with both sides gaining and losing interceptions and valuable turnovers from the centre pass and it finished honours even at 6-6. Aber were determined this week not to allow Cardiff to pull away from them in the same fashion as the previous week and went out hard, managing to pull away from Cardiff to lead 15-9 at half time.

The hard work put into the second quarter seemed to have had a negative impact in the third quarter as Cardiff took advantage over a tired Aber side and gained the momentum. The last five minutes of the quarter saw some key turnovers from Aber and Cardiff pulled the score back to 20-17 with Aber narrowly holding onto the lead.

Aber went onto the court in the last quarter to stop Cardiff from further cashing in on the momentum they had gained and were rewarded with brilliant interceptions in the defensive third from goal defence Jojo Alun-Jones and goal keeper Rhiannon Thomas, which were converted into goals from the in-form Yveline Northern and Amy Affleck. The momentum stayed with Aber and the game ended with 32-23 win, after a blistering final quarter.

The player of the match was Bethan Watkins who had a brilliant game at centre, but special mentions have to go to Jojo Alun-Jones and Rhiannon Thomas for brilliant defensive teamwork, and Yveline Northern who missed only one shot all match. This result leaves the netball 2nds firmly in 2nd place in their division with one match of the BUCS season left to play.

Fencers no match for Royal Holloway

Becky Dunn

Fencing

Scott Friel

THIS week saw an unfortunate loss for the women’s team against Royal Holloway, with an overall score of 135 – 59. Despite this, every member fenced well, even if it was for less than three minutes. Needless to say the opposition were simply another class, and were amazing to watch as they knew exactly what their opponent was about to do before they did it.

Despite many of the roads resembling Norwegian fjords, we still arrived with enough time to compose ourselves after the six hour drive behind some overly cautious drivers. Starting with the sabre, the Aber team fell short in the first bout but then proceeded to play a solid game of catch up, with at least two points scored in all but two bouts and finishing with a score of 20-45, favouring Royal Holloway.

The foil, the traditional training weapon, followed this and the scores remained very close for the first several bouts but unfortunately Aber simply could not contend in the final bouts, finishing on a score of 23-45. Epee was, as standard, the closing weapon, but despite this usually being one of the Aber team’s stronger weapons they simply provided no competition, with a final score of 16-45. With the highest indicator, points gained minus hits received. This week’s ‘man of the match’ was Jordana Smith.

Difficult day for lacrosse team

Dan Sheaff

ON WEDNESDAY 5th, Aberystwyth Men’s Lacrosse team travelled down to play Southampton in the first game of the Semester. They were, perhaps, not fully recovered from the comfort of the Christmas break. As the whistle blew to begin the game, it seemed very much in the air as both sides vied for control of the ball, hoping to get the initial advantage.

It was not long before Southampton gained the upper hand, however, and unfortunately Aber were not able to recover as the scoreline became increasingly large. The final whistle brought the game to an end with the score of 16-2.

The score does not reflect the opportunities Aber had throughout the game and you can’t help but wonder if the game might have gone differently had the team’s attackers made better use of them. As it happened, Southampton were the better team on the day and this result moved them up to the top spot in the league.

Despite this defeat, the team has not become disheartened and are now redoubling their efforts in training to ensure that they return to the pre-Christmas form that has seen the team top of the Aber leaderboards. Having won two out of the last three games, the team is confident that this result is not going to bring them down. The focus now turns to the Varsity weekend.