SGS College witnessed a nailbiting Varsity Netball contest - the first time ever the sport has had a standalone date in the Bristol Varsity series.
11 February saw the latest fixture in UoB’s and UWE’s fierce netball rivalry. In the last 5 years of matches only 15 goals have separated the two sides, making netball one of the tightest events in 2017-18’s #BristolVarsity series.
The series so far has been an exciting affair. In November #WeAreBristol took the first point of the series when Bristol’s darts team took victory in The Walkabout. #TeamUWE soon leveled the playing field when the UWE Bullets beat the Bristol Barracuda at Coombe Dingle during the ‘Friday Night Lights’ showdown earlier this month.
Now it was the turn of the netballers to try and secure a victory for their university side. Though the teams have both played each other before, this was the inaugural year of the sport being included as a standalone event in the Varsity series. In fact, Varsity netball is the first ever women-only event since the series’ inception in 1995.
The derby’s Varsity debut took place at the SGS College WISE campus on the northern outskirts of Bristol. Despite the event’s distance from the centre, nearly 200 supporters from both sides came to show their colours and cheer for their respective teams creating an atmosphere worthy of this historical Varsity event.
The first team game was a real nail biter. Both sides played excellently with not much between them to start, but as the game unfolded UWE pulled ahead. However, as the final quarter got underway Bristol launched an aggressive comeback.
It looked like they might they might be able to clinch the victory but UWE fought back with all they had. In the end, despite a brilliant final fifteen minutes of netball UWE managed to defend their lead and the game ended 36-30 to them.
After the first teams had played, an alumni team from each university took the court. Though an entertaining game, it definitely belonged to UWE who won their second victory of the afternoon with an impressive final score of 68-35.
Though these two #TeamUWE victories do not give them a Varsity point on their own, they put them in a strong position to secure one when the remaining Netball fixtures are played on Varsity Day.
The next event in the series is another new one: The Big Colour Run. Scheduled for March 3rd, this fun run is open to everyone - students, staff, alumni and all - so if you feel like getting involved this Varsity series make sure to buy your ticket!