After the excitement of NTUs most successful BUCS Big Wednesday yet, many of our teams looked forward to some time to relax and refresh over the easter break. However, five of our teams could not afford that luxury, with Netball, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Women’s Lacrosse and Men’s Tennis all qualifying through league finishes for playoffs to be promoted into Premier divisions in their sport.
Part 1 of our playoffs saw Netball and our two basketball teams face off against two teams who had also won their respective divisions in the Northern conference, Scottish conference and the team finishing last place in the Northern Premier division. The teams were then drawn into a semi-final and final to leave one team left to claim the spot in the Premier North division the highest league they can all play in BUCS sport.
First up was netball, facing a semi-final against the University of Strathclyde away, it’s always a tough fixture to play a Scottish team with the increased travelling. The girls did not let that bother them, brushing the Scottish 1A champions aside to qualify for the final playoff against the current Premier North team side, Leeds Becket University. The match was at home for the girls giving them the boost of local support and they flew out the blocks to take the lead from the off. Though there were tense moments with only a 6 point gap during the third quarter, the team in pink showed their composure pulling away to win 50-37 to secure promotion which sparked celebrations amongst the club. An unbeaten league season winning Midland 1A, National Trophy Winners and the playoff winning team for 21-22, well done girls!
Following the Netballers on the night were our Men’s Basketball team, also fresh from an unbeaten league campaign in Midlands 1A and a National trophy win, the confidence was high going into the playoffs. The team started with a semi-final at home against Sheffield Hallam, who were Northern 1A winners. They once again showed their dominance at this level with a commanding victory, setting up a final against the University of Worcester, who were the current Premier North team. The draw meant that they were once again at home and a strong crowd were there to cheer the boys on. NTU had another strong start and from there the intensity was too much for their opponents giving the boys a dominant 82-47 win achieving promotion which again sparked celebrations on the court and in the stands. Another great season undefeated!
Finally in this part 1 of the Playoffs, our Women’s basketball team, again unbeaten in the league securing the Midlands 1A, winning National Trophy and now looking to secure promotion through the playoffs to the top league. The girls weren’t required to play a semi-final as Manchester Metropolitan University dropped out of the fixture, so it meant that they had to travel all the way to University of St Andrews for the final- the luck (or not) of the draw. They set off for their long journey north however encountered some hiccups along the way (see the club’s Instagram stories for more) which meant they arrived 5 hours later than they had originally planned. Luckily the opposition was understanding, and the match started 2 hours later than scheduled, but the girls had at least made it to play the fixture. Again, the team who had been undefeated all year, carried that momentum into the fixture, dominating from the start, winning by a huge 86-42 sparking celebrations justifying their 12-hour journey! Well done girls for also being unbeaten all year.
That means 3 out of our 3 playoff teams have been promoted so far, a great end to term 2 and a huge uplift of our teams into the top division in the BUCS competition structure! Head over to our IG stories for updates from yesterdays fixtures.
That means 2 of our teams are left to compete in their respective playoffs, Women’s lacrosse who start their playoffs on Wednesday 20th April at home against University of Newcastle. The team are looking for promotion to Premier A from Premier B so face a 2-legged tie against their opposition. Similarly, Men’s Tennis face Leeds Beckett 2s in a 2-legged match with the home tie being the 11th May winner being promoted to Premier North. Make sure you get down and support our teams!