We went into Varsity with a 2-1 lead thanks to the Dance club winning their event and women’s hockey beating Roehampton 1-0 in a very tense game at Barnes Hockey Club on Sunday 26 March. Men’s hockey played a good game and had a couple of chances, but Roehampton were just too strong and converted two penalty corners giving them a 2-0 victory in the game.
Hopes were high as we made our way over to the University of Roehampton on Wednesday 29 March, but we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The day kicked off with the men's badminton and netball second team fixtures. The netball fixture was always going to be a tight game and there was barely daylight between them throughout the match, we were winning until the third quarter, but unfortunately Roehampton proved tougher opponents and we walked away with a 27-20 loss. Men’s Badminton were back in Varsity for a point, for the first time in a few years, the match was the best our boys had all year, but it ended in a 6-2 loss.
Roehampton 3 – Bucks 2
Our women's rugby team played their first game of the season against the University of Roehampton in a friendly 7’s fixture. Not worried about the result, the team loved every minute on the pitch, with some fantastic speed shown by Sophia Potter making a couple of try saving tackles and Jess Hughes, our player coach, at one point going on a run with four Roehampton players, clinging to her. Whilst our team didn’t win either of the games, they had a great time.
We then move onto men’s football where we had four teams playing. Our second, third, and fourth teams have had a difficult season, and although they might have lost their games, the fourth team had their best game of the year losing 7-2. The third team lost 9-0 and the second team had a very close gane but were unlucky to lose 2-1, despite being on top for most of the game. We had faith that our first team would secure us a point in Varsity, as league winners for the second year in a row. Despite the scare of going 1-0 down early on, due to a penalty given away by our very own Fraser Garden, we managed to pull it back thanks to a goal from Captain Jethro Odumosu. After half time Bucks stepped it up a gear and proved their worth with a couple of outstanding goals, with Jethro scoring again and Raz finishing it off with a wonder goal. There was also a goal saving clearance off the line from our defender Jacob Crotch keeping Roehampton out of the game and leaving the team with a final wining score of 2-1.
Roehampton 6 – Bucks 3
Then we headed back to our netball first team, our other league winning team, who made short work of Roehampton's first team, winning in emphatic style 48-33. Summer Knight and Sophie Sobo continuing their outstanding season and scoring all the goals.
Roehampton 6 – Bucks 4
Over to the Roehampton Rec Centre where volleyball and basketball were being played. Our men’s volleyball team had a slow start but won their first set 25-21, they then settled into their game and comfortably won the second and third set. With some outstanding performances we'd like to give a special mention to James Goodwin.
Roehampton 6 – Bucks 5
Women's volleyball were next, who gave it their best shot but succumbed to a 3-0 loss. They fought hard in the last set nearly forcing another.
Roehampton 7 – Bucks 5
With only the basketball and rugby fixtures left to go, many of us made our way to Rosslyn Park where our men's rugby team were playing. The University of Roehampton rugby team were two leagues ahead, so we didn’t hold out much hope. As the rain started to pour, the opposition scored first but were unable to convert. At the same time men's basketball was taking place in a very evenly matched game, there was hardly anything between them at half time. Just before half time at the rugby, we scored a brilliant try through Nico Tissera catching a lovely cross field kick from Tim Cunningham and running 25 metres to put the ball down over the try line. Sadly, Tim narrowly missed the conversion, leaving the score 5-5 at half time.
At this point we had word that our basketball team were losing by 9 points at the end of the third quarter. The next 40 minutes were nail biting with updates coming from basketball and rugby having to play strong in defence. As the rain started to ease over Rosslyn Park, the news came in that basketball had had a close game and unfortunately lost 58-50. The news spread through the crowds at the rugby fixture but it didn't dampen anyone's spirits, in fact the chanting and singing only got louder for our rugby boys.
Rugby kept pushing and pushing with a couple of close calls. Roehampton gave away a penalty kick, which Tim Cunningham slotted perfectly through the posts, the score now being 8-5. The next 15 minuets kept everyone on their toes waiting for the referee to blow the full time whistle. Tom Benton kicked the ball out of play for the final time and the whistle blew… Bucks Men’s Rugby won their third game this year.
Roehampton 8 – Bucks 6
Whilst we may not have won Varsity, or retained the RoeBuck trophy this year, we are unbelievably proud of everyone who played with their teams and we know next year will be a spectacular performance as we battle it out on the field to claim back our winning title and prestigious trophy. Until then, we'll keep training, competing, and of course celebrating the wins.