UCLan have lifted the Varsity trophy after overcoming Edge Hill across a host of sports played at the UCLan Sports Arena and the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre on Wednesday afternoon.
The format of the event was that all of UCLan’s sports teams, from football to squash, face their Edge Hill counterparts on the same day. The winning side of each match gains a point for their university, with the points added up at the end of the day to decide who takes the trophy home; which today was UCLan.
After the last event of the day, a UCLan victory in the netball, it was over to Activities and Participation Officer Josie Linsel to present the trophy to all of Team UCLan.
She said: “I am really proud of all the teams that played today. There were some really tough games, and it was close, but in the end UCLan did it! I really look forward to seeing the event bigger and better next year.”
Earlier in the day UCLan had appeared down on the scores after a few unwelcome results at the UCLan Sports Arena. The women’s rugby union was the first event of the day and it wasn’t good for UCLan with Edge Hill taking the 32-0 victory.
Women’s rugby captain Jenny Pendlebury remained in high spirits about the day though. “It’s totally different to normal games because you’re just up for it a bit more with the whole uni being involved and we’re trying to win a big cup.”
Other losses at the Sports Arena included the men’s football 5-1 defeat in a heated match and a 29-24 setback for the men’s rugby union, even after leading 24-8 at one point in the second half.
Captain Scott Lancaster was disappointed but respectful of the determination of the rivals.
“We just lacked a bit of game management while being in the lead. Fair play to Edge Hill after the sad loss of their coach recently, it really drove them on. They showed him a lot of pride today.”
It wasn’t all doom and gloom at the Sports Arena though with victories for the women’s football, women’s hockey and UCLan’s own American football team, the UCLan Rams, in what was the last ever game for captain Stuart Robinson. He reflected: “It was good, always good to play against a new team especially on a nice sunny day like this.”
Victories in the squash, badminton and ultimately netball over at the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre ultimately proved to be the difference between the two universities.
UCLan keep the coveted trophy this year but they will head to Ormskirk for an even bigger, more prestigious Varsity tournament next year.