Hi everyone, I hope you are enjoying today’s sunshine – who knows how much more of that we are going to see this winter?
Before we find out what our sports teams have been up to, let’s take a quick look at one of our societies’ activities: the Hairstyle & Lifestyle society had a culture tour in Durham Castle while wearing traditional Chinese Qi Pao this Sunday. They got to take a lot of nice photos in these ancient walls!
And now for last week’s match results!
Some matches were moved, so this list is shorter than the list of upcoming matches posted last week. A big well-done goes to our Women’s Basketball team who scored their first victory of the season! Our Table Tennis team had their first ever match after forfeiting the one last week due to lack of players and won this one – more in the the second match report below. And of course our ever-reliable Pool A team brought home another victory. Well done to all Ustinovians who represented our college in matches this week, you’re all heroes!
In this week’s first match report, we are going to hear about the Men’s Football B team’s knockout match against Trevelyan C. The report is brought to you by Jacopo Scita, a member of the team:
A thrilling loss for Ustinov AFC team B
On Saturday, in its first cup match of the season, Ustinov men’s football team B lost against Trevelyan C after penalty shoot-outs.
Following a very balanced first-half, ended 1-1 with a nice goal by our offensive midfielder Ali Basher, Ustinov’s striker Alex Santiago dominated the second-half scoring a fantastic double! Despite the apparently safe 3-1 for our boys, Trevelyan C, a well-organised team, tied the game in a thrilling final that set the perfect stage for highly exciting penalty shoot-outs. Finally, it took 10 penalties to Trevelyan C to defeat 5-4 an unlucky Ustinov B, with both goalkeepers playing at their best!
Despite the defeat, Ustinov AFC team B has shown a great team-spirit and lot of room for improvement. Next match will be on Saturday 17 November vs. Grey D at Maiden Castle.
Well done guys, that really sounds like an exciting match! Despite the defeat, it shows that our team are real fighters, so I’m sure we’ll hear more good news from them throughout the season.
The second report this week is about our new Table Tennis team’s first actual match! I captain the team – not because I am particularly good at table tennis, just because I don’t mind the organisational bit – and so the report comes from me:
Close matches and a closer victory
On Sunday evening, the newly formed Ustinov Table Tennis Team finally got to play our first ever match. In table tennis, you always have six people in a team, ranked roughly by skill. Genders are mixed with no set quota. First each team member (from strongest to weakest) plays their counterpart from the other team (best of three matches to 11 points; keep going if you reach 10:10 until one wins by 2 points), then you play three doubles. Every single or double counts as one in the score, so that in the end you always have a total score of 9, which means that there cannot be a draw.
Our match on Sunday evening took place in St. Mary’s College where two tables are located in a room within the college building (we’re so envious…). Our first two players started off by confidently defeating their opponents in two matches each: Henry with 11:4, 11:9, and Baohui with 11:9, 11:5. Our next two fought valiantly too but unfortunately had to concede defeats: Jack with 6:11, 7:11, and Hailey with 4:11, 7:11. Next up were Teddy, who beat his opponent with a strong 11:6, 11:7, and myself who won my first match 11:9 but then lost the second 9:11. By that time all other matches were finished, and so the entire room watched as my opponent and I fought a third round. In a very close match, he finally beat me 13:15.
And so, Ustinov and Mary’s were tied 3:3 after the singles and our first two pairs got ready for their doubles. During their warm-ups, Teddy and I watched how Jack and Hailey discussed how they would best coordinate their movements while Henry and Baohui already circled each other like a pair of familiar dancers. Doubles are always a challenge because the two players on a team take turns hitting the ball, and so each needs to quickly retreat to give the other space to play but then just as quickly jump back to face the next ball. And sometimes, when the ball comes at a bad angle, you just have virtually no chance to get it unless your arms are two metres long. Given these challenges, the doubles matches were much more balanced than the singles. After Henry and Baohui won 11:4, 9:11, 11:5, Jack and Hailey were defeated 6:11, 11:8, 2:11, and Teddy and I lost 11:13 and won 11:9, it then came down to the last match of the final double to decide the winning team of the night. In a fast match where the opposing side led for most of the time, we managed to pull ahead in the end and won 12:10 – victory for Ustinov for a final score of 5:4! A big well done to everyone who came along to play, you all did great! If anyone else is interested in playing table tennis, please feel free to join our practices on Wednesday evenings 7-8pm or just get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m so proud of my team and relieved that this went so well, because I really had no idea what to expect before going into the match. We are now going to continue having matches almost every week, so I hope they continue going this well!
And now, let’s see which of the Ustinov teams have matches in the upcoming seven days:
Pool matches take place at the colleges of the home team, as listed. A similar system is in place for table tennis, although the home team also needs to propose a time and has not done that yet. 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.
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! The greater the variety of photos I get to present here, the better! Even photos from practices could be interesting; for example, the featured image you see in the preview of this blog post on https://ustinovgcr.com/blog/ was taken by Kimberley Liu during the badminton practice last week.
~ Vera, Clubs & Socs Officer