Conference Cup Final round up

Yesterday on the 9th March 2022, we saw the first Midlands Cup Conference final since 2020 and pre-pandemic. The Midlands Conference cup final is for all our NTU terms who are in tier 2 and below, with the region stretching from Worcester to East Anglia and Nottingham to Cambridge.  This year the finals were being hosted at Loughborough University with some finals spilling onto NTU’s own Clifton Campus.  NTU had a record-breaking 10 teams at the event with many of our 2nd or 3rd strong teams getting the opportunity to play in a final.

The day started with our Men’s Hockey 5th Team taking on University of East Anglia 2nd team in the Hockey Midlands Conference Cup final. This match was evenly contested, and it proved nothing could separate them going into the last few minutes at 1 goal each. With the last attack of the game, NTU forced a penalty corner, and with the clock going past regulation time, the team managed to force a winning goal with the final play of the game, sending the team and supporters delirious! The win reinforces the strength and depth that the NTU Hockey program now has. Amazing drama and it wasn’t even midday yet! 

Due to the number of fixtures being played at Loughborough,  NTU hosted the 2 Conference cup finals for Men’s and Women’s rugby. The Women’s final involved our 1st team taking on Harper Adams 1st team. The Women’s side were looking to keep their unbeaten season going and claim some silverware. They didn’t ever look like losing their grip on the final, running out 32-17 to be crowned Midlands Conference cup champions to go with their promotion to tier 1.  

Back on the Loughborough Campus, Men’s football 2nd team were taking on the University of Warwick 1st team in blustery but sunny conditions. Another tense game followed and a boisterous away following made for a tough match up. Warwick took the lead, but the boys fought back brilliantly to level the game and force extra time. In extra time, NTU took the game to their opponents and managed to score, giving them a 2-1 victory and taking home the title. 

In the netball final, our 2nd team, unbeaten in the league, faced a Loughborough University 3rd team, who with home advantage and being 1 league above our girls, started the match as favourites. A tight first 2 quarters played out with the score staying within 1 or 2 points for most of it. In the 3rd and final quarters, NTU upped their quality and physicality, dominating turnovers and forcing errors, whilst staying calm and collected in possession. In the end, a 45-37 victory sent the team and vocal visiting supporters into celebrations at the final buzzer. Well done girls, champions and promotion to tier 2! 

The final Conference Cup final of the day for NTU was Women’s Badminton 1st taking on University of Birmingham 3rdteam a the Loughborough University badminton Centre. It proved once again to be a tight affair like many of the finals today. It went down to the last 2 games, but NTU held their nerve winning 5-3 to finish the season as Midlands Conference cup winners. 

In the larger sports, there are also competitions below tier 4 of the pyramid that is still based on the midland’s region, in Men’s rugby our 5th team had made the Conference trophy final and they faced Moulton Colleges 1st team. Like all of our other finals, going into the last 3 minutes it was close. With the score at 21-20 in NTU’s favour, a smart restart gave us position, and several controlled yet punishing phases drove us to the oppositions try line where the opposition’s defence was eventually broken with a try followed by the final whistle meaning a 26-20 victory and more NTU celebrations!

A special mention to Men’s Basketball 2nd team, Men’s Rugby 3rd team, Men’s Fencing 1st team and Men’s Rugby 6th team who all were runners up in their finals, giving fantastic performances and representing the University impeccably. Well done to all teams and a historic Midlands Conference Cup for NTU!

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