Welcome back to our weekly Clubs & Socs update! Did you see that sleet on Saturday morning? Winter is most definitely on its way now. A lot of matches on grass pitches were cancelled that day, but our brave Men’s Football B team still played at 9am. Let’s see how our teams did this week!
It seems like getting up early after the Halloween party paid off for our Men’s Football B team – congrats on achieving the first victory of either Men’s Football team this season, guys! A huge well done also goes out to our Men’s Basketball team that was able to achieve their third victory in the third match, even though the scores show that it got really close in the end! It was also a successful weekend for hockey, with the Men’s Hockey team managing to defeat a strong Collingwood B team. As captain Miles Hudson puts it: “Right place, right time for Goalscorer Graeme who didn’t know too much about his deflection into the goal. Can’t win the lottery without a ticket!” Our Women’s Football and Pool A teams also each scored a victory, but you will hear more about these in the match reports below!
A virtual hug goes out to all Ustinovians who fought for our teams on this cold weekend and still ended up losing. I was part of a very frustrating defeat with the Ultimate Frisbee team yesterday, I know how you all feel. But I’m sure that as our teams grow together, we will all become stronger!
And now it’s time for match reports! In some sports, our teams not only have regular weekly matches in the college leagues, but additional knockout competitions that run at the same time. Our Women’s Football team had its first knockout match of the season last week, the first round of the Women’s Football Floodlit Cup. Let’s hear about it from captain Anna Bird:
Ustinov Women’s Football’s first Floodlit Cup match of the season
Trev’s started off strong in the first half, making our defence work hard. However, some amazing play in the mid-field led to the opening goal with a screamer by Laura. Our attack remained persistent, putting a lot of pressure on Trev’s. However, towards the end of the first half Trev’s again applied the pressure and had a good shot that was saved by Lou’s fingers tips in goal. The half time whistle blew with us in the lead.
The second half was end to end football. We made some great runs up the wings and play through the mid-field. Claire had an excellent shot outside the 40 yard box but was denied by the woodwork. Unfortunately none of our efforts could extend our lead. Trev’s made our life hard, making some strong attacks at goal and Emma, who took over as goalkeeper in the second half, was forced to make some great saves. The defence did a great job keeping Trev’s at bay and the game ended with us winning 1:0, putting us through to the quarter finals.
Great work from our football ladies! Someone should really go watch them and send me some photos of them at some point… maybe you, dear reader?
While the above football match was taking place at Maiden Castle, a pool match was running at Sheraton Bar, maybe the pool match of the year. Of course, I had to stop by and take a few photos. Ustinov A vs Ustinov B only happens once a year! Let’s first hear about the match from the perspective of Tom Rose, Pool B captain:
The Derby – Ustinov B
The Ustinov A vs Ustinov B pool match was always going to be a difficult one for us on the B team, but that didn’t stop up trying our best. We were already doing well before the match started; it’s a bit of a tradition for us to dress up and this year we had an interesting mix of bright shirts and bow ties. Fast forward to half time and the games hadn’t been going so well. We all played well, but we were still 5-0 down and to top it off we lost the speed pool (or ‘beer leg’) by a whole minute, though still managed a fairly respectable time. The second half was mostly a repeat of the first with the exception of Vinay’s match, where he played the best any of us have probably ever seen and saved us from an all out defeat!
There is a reason why our Pool A team has been dominating the league for years, but I saw that some of these matches were actually really close. Pool B definitely showed why they deserve to play in the same league as Pool A!
And now let’s hear from Yan Birch, Pool A captain and president of the Ustinov Pool Society:
The Derby – Ustinov A
The Ustinov Pool Derby is a day that held close to the hearts of Ustinov players throughout the society and is often a day of celebration for the breadth and depth of talent within our teams. In the past, there has been an almost bittersweet flavour to proceedings, as inevitably one team would walk away victors, but the change of league format brought a new energy given that a draw could be on the cards. Regrettably, the Derby came much earlier than in recent years, but with both the As and the Bs sporting veterans in their ranks, we entered the match in high spirits. The eventual score of 9-1 in the As favour pays little tribute to the calibre within the Bs, with many frames fiercely contested and in many instances, the outcome hung in the balance. It took the grit of Vinay Utham to end Frankie Chau’s two-year unbeaten streak in a memorable clash; however, by this point the damage had been done. Of course, as captain I am proud of my team, but as President, I am even prouder. Though indeed one team did lose, it is hard to see this as anything other than a win for Ustinov as a pool force in light of the quality displayed by both sides.
A nice way to round off a week of successful match reports, don’t you think?
Before the weather gets much colder – why don’t you go and watch some of our teams’ matches this week? There’s a lot to see:
Pool matches take place at the colleges of the home team, as listed. Most other matches are carried out at Maiden Castle. Find out how to reach Maiden Castle and the precise locations of pitches here: https://ustinovgcr.com/sports-facilities/#mc. Interested in watching Ultimate Frisbee? HERE are instructions on how to reach Whinney Hill! Come and show some support so that our newly promoted team can finally score their first victory of the season!
Disclaimer: If you plan to visit a match, it is always a good idea to double-check the fixture on the Team Durham website: https://www.teamdurham.com/collegesport/sport/. Matches can occasionally be rescheduled, though usually no more than 48 hours before they are supposed to start.
As usual, if you have taken pictures at any Ustinov matches, please don’t hesitate to email them to cs.ustinovgcr(at)durham.ac.uk for a chance to be featured in these weekly updates!
~ Vera, Clubs & Socs Officer