This week saw the initial rounds of National Championship fixtures for many of our 1st teams. This is the highest level of competition in University Sport and an opportunity for our teams to test themselves against the best in the UK with a place at the BUCS Big Wednesday Showpiece for finalists.
We start our round up with Men’s Football 1st team, last year runners up in the Championship, this year has been much tougher with the team struggling for consistency. However, the cup competition gives all teams the chance to reset and focus on knockout glory. Their league finish meant the draw was tough on the boys with a last 16 trip to University South Wales. NTU were out the blocks quickly racing to a 3-0 lead, only to be pegged back to 3 all. Showing great character, they regrouped and managed to score a winner, 4-3 and into the last 8.
We had several Championship games hosted on Clifton Campus. Our Women’s Lacrosse 1st team were looking to build on their fantastic inaugural league campaign in Premier North 1, where they achieved a 3rd place finish. They faced an unfamiliar opponent, the University of Bath, in the last 16 of the Championship. The girls continued their excellent form, winning 14-9 and advancing to the last 8, a great debut season continues at the top level.
Over in Lee Westwood Sports Hall two more Championship games started at the same time, our Women’s Netballers and Men’s 1st team Basketballers. Both making their debuts in the Championship competition after promotions last year.
Our Women’s Netball 1st team faced Cardiff Met University, unfamiliar opponents again, which added to the challenge. A lightening start for the girls gave them a great platform to build on, however it was nip and tuck up to halfway. An excellent 2nd half meant NTU powered home 53-45. A last 8 place secured.
The Men’s Basketball 1st team faced Bournemouth University in their 1st Round tie. This match really ebbed and flowed, with Bournemouth racing to a 1st quarter lead, with only 2 points separating them at half time. It remained tight for the final 2 quarters and ended up only 1 basket apart. NTU managed to get their nose in front and close out the game 80-78. A nerve-racking match, but another last 8 spot secured.
Our final result of the week is a National Trophy fixture for our Men’s Hockey 3rd team, the national trophy being 1 step below Championship. This is our 1st ever 3rd team to make the National Trophy, an incredible achievement which highlights NTU Hockey as one of the best University Hockey programmes in the country. The team faced a long away trip to University of Lancaster 1st team, adding to the difficulty of the tie. The team didn’t let any of this phase them, wining 4-2 and advancing to the semi-finals, one match away from BUCS Big Wednesday and the only non-1st team left in the competition.
There were also some excellent league results this week, with many teams securing titles and promotions, as well a Conference cup final spot for Men’s Rugby 3s.
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