March and May of 2022 finally saw the heavily anticipated return of the varsity series between University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University for its 20th anniversary. A two-year pause to the series due to Coronavirus meant that many students in their final year of studies had never experienced a varsity. It was fantastic to have this local rivalry and piece of history from 2001 back in full swing.
Tensions and excitement were higher than ever during the build-up to the jam-packed 2 weeks of events. The series kicked off with American football over at David Ross Sports Hall where the crowds of pink and green swarmed for the first time in 2 years. With UON having an unbeaten record since 2015, NTU had hopes of setting the series off on the right foot but unfortunately, they were tightly beaten by UON 24-21.
As week 1 of the series continued, NTU had some highlights which kept the hopes high for our athletes and spectators. Men’s lacrosse won 10-7 over on Clifton campus, livening the spirits and hopes to level the result for NTU.
As tensions ran high towards the end of the week, NTU football excelled under the pressure of Super Wednesday with a 2-0 win. With a successive run of wins from 2012 this was a perfect end to a hugely successful season for the club.
NTU Men’s basketball went on to build anticipation further at David Ross Sports Village with a 103-81 win over UON. A memorable moment for spectators and athletes from NTU who sent the crowd wild upon lifting the trophy. Another fantastic achievement for the squad on top of being promoted to the BUCS premier division at the end of the season. As we moved to the end of week 1 of the series the score was 5-3 meaning it was all to play in week 2.
May bank holiday kicked off week 2 of the series Men’s cricket despite their strong performance, UON took the win but it was a game to be proud of and a great way to start their season.
One of the biggest games of the season, Ice Hockey, brought a sold-out crowd from NTU to the Motorpoint arena to watch the sides go head to head. Despite being 2-1 down during the first period, the turnaround that the team provided sent the crowds from NTU wild with a final score of 5-2, the first victory for NTU in the Ice hockey varsity in 5 years. Not only was this a fantastic result for NTU but it reduced the deficit to 6-4 further closing the gap between UON and NTU.
Other highlights from the week included women’s hockey where NTU took on current BUCS champions and achieved a 1-0 win against UON. A fantastic result for the club!
As we moved towards the final 3 fixtures of the 2022 series, tensions ran high with NTU having to achieve a win in all 3 games to gain victory over UON for this series. In one of the tightest games in the season, futsal, the tight game meant a 5-5 score, the draw which wasn’t anticipated by NTU or UON took the teams to penalties. Unfortunately for NTU the save from UON meant a loss on penalties and a win for UON for the series.
With 2 teams left to play the series wasn’t over just yet and enthusiasm ran high for the netball and rugby fixtures. After an unbeaten season and premiership promotion, the pressure was on NTU netball as they faced UON. This is another team who have been unbeaten this season and being selected as Club of the Year. The pressure was on the team to perform well and live up to expectations, once again the girls performed under pressure and led from the start with a final win of 52-28.
That meant the final score for the series was 10-7, a tight result for the first series back in 2 years! A huge congratulations to the athletes who competed in the series, and thank you to the supporters including Trent Dance and NTU tigers whose halftime performances stunned the crowds and kept the spirits high throughout the series.