As Term 1 comes to a close, here’s a look at some of the highlights and key stats from the first half of the Bristol University BUCS season. Below are some of the highlights before John House goes into the full report.
With the success of last year behind them, a strong pre-season that for some teams began in August and a intake of eager new talented sporto’s, enthusiasm for this years BUCS season was high as Bristol entered the first week.
Straight out of the proverbial gate teams were laying down their markers for the term to come. The Rugby Men’s 1sts romped to a 48-0 win over ‘that lot from Filton’ aka UWE whilst the Women’s Football 2nds smashed 9 unanswered goals past USW. As the first BUCS Wednesday came to a close, Bristol had won an impressive 55% of their matches and the metaphorical ball had got rolling.
Week 2 and 3 saw a further 54 wins come in, including an astonishing 5 wins from 5 in a single afternoon from the Men’s Football club, who buried 21 goals between them before heading to sports night and loudly informing anyone that would listen, and indeed many who wouldn’t, from atop a table. The Women’s Rugby 1st team meanwhile displayed a trademark ruthless streak as they put 102 of the best past Gloucestershire. There was also great success for Bristol at the annual BUCS Surf Championship, as Taz Knight walked away with the silver in the Men’s competition and Flora Lawton took Bronze in the Women’s.
Week 2 and 3 saw a further 54 wins come in, including an astonishing 5 wins from 5 in a single afternoon from the Men’s Football club
With the overwhelming success of October in the wing-mirror, Kate Mactear took home individual gold in the BUCS Cycling Hill Climb and also the team competition alongside Hester Stembridge as Bristol refused to take their foot off the pedal (terrible cycling pun intended) and pushed forward with more fantastic performances.
The first week of November saw 20 more wins, including the remarkable Women’s Football 2nds once again treating their fans to a goal fest as they hit 19 unanswered goals against UWTSD. 24 more wins the week after kept the momentum up, from the big wins such as the Women’s Water Polo 1sts who thrashed Cardiff 23-3 to the tighter affairs that saw teams such as the Men’s Basketball 2nds narrowly overturn Exeter 68-64.
Halfway through November the Men’s Fencing 1sts got their Premier division campaign underway as they épée’d, sabre’d and foil’d their way to top of their league in just one weekend. They won in every weapon against four universities, helping to contribute to a record 31 wins in a single week for Bristol. With teams raking in the midweek wins, the individual performances kept rolling in. Kate Mactear continued her one woman mission to take Bristol to number 1, bringing in a Bronze at BUCS Duathlon alongside fellow triathlete Alex Matchet, whilst in the pool at BUCS Short course swimming Bristol made 5 finals, broke 6 club records and achieved 14 new personal bests. At the BUCS cycling Track Championships, Beth Rolf and Lottie Mallin Martin took Bronze in the Team spring, with Lottie also winning silver in the points race and bronze in the 500m TT.
They won in every weapon against four universities, helping to contribute to a record 31 wins in a single week for Bristol
As the inevitable march of time continued, so did the inevitable Bristol successes; the Women’s 1sts Volleyball team secured their first Premier division win in their history beating Cambridge 3-1, whilst their male counterparts continued their remarkable four year run, as they reached 40 BUCS league game victories in a row by trouncing Southampton 3-0. The Rugby League Men’s 1sts travelled to Exeter and beat them 38-10, before doing the polite thing and inviting them for another BUCS fixture one week later and repeating the result.
November ended on a number of highs for Bristol, the Bristol Barracuda American Football Team notched up their first win of the season against Bournemouth, whilst all three Men’s Lacrosse teams once again highlighted Bristol’s superiority in the sport with a smorgasbord (great word) of wins in the last two weeks, which for the Men’s 1st’s secured their BUCS league title before anyone had even dared open their advent calendars. Top work.
December saw only one week of large scale action, with Bristol securing a further 21 victories, notably from both the Badminton Men’s and Women’s 2nds who both ended their term with convincing victories over Swansea and USW respectively, whilst the Hockey Men’s 3rds came through a nailbiter to beat Cardiff 3-2.
As the term draws to a close it’s fair to say Bristol have surpassed all expectations placed on them for this season, from the unbelievable individual wins to the huge team performances that have been put in on the pitch/court every single Wednesday.
Bristol end the term with a 55% win rate, 13 teams top of their leagues (including 2 league titles in the bag already for Men’s Lacrosse and Men’s Volleyball), with a further 19 teams just one spot away in 2nd and fervently hunting down 1st place.
Not content with being top, some teams have gone further, going through the entire first term without losing a single game. But who are these invincibles you ask? Well - Fencing Men’s 1sts, Football Women’s 1sts, Football Women’s 2nds, Lacrosse Men’s 1sts, Lacrosse Men’s 2nds, Squash Men’s 3rds and Volleyball Men’s 1sts - we salute you.
The top sports at Bristol so far? Hockey currently sit top of the pile for Bristol with 197 points, Lacrosse in 2nd with 180 followed by Tennis, Fencing and then Volleyball. With many cup runs to come though, it’s all to play for.
So where does that leave Bristol - last year at this point we sat in 7th place, barely believing what we were seeing. Well, Bristol has gone one better. Sitting in 6th place, Bristol University and its students are ideally placed for another top 10 finish. I wouldn’t bet against them.
Huge congratulations and thanks to our clubs, teams and individuals who put in so much work every single week to produce such fantastic results. We are beyond proud.
Sport and Student Development Officer