This point in the BUCS season is the culmination of weeks of hard work and effort from our NTU teams. BUCS Big Wednesday is the end of season show piece event, where National Champions are crowned, and legacies made. University of Nottingham were the hosts for the event bringing together 100s of players and spectators in a celebration of elite HE sector sport.
NTU has traditionally been a bit part player in these finals, but their recent rise into the BUCS top 10 overall has seen stronger and stronger representation each year and raised expectations. This year we had 6 teams representing NTU at the finals, another fantastic achievement placing NTU up with the traditional heavy weights of HE sport.
The Women’s Hockey 1st team were in the National Vase Final, facing rivals University of Bath and looking to finish the season strongly after a challenging league campaign where they still need to secure a playoff win to stay in the National league. They didn’t let previous results against Bath phase them and started strongly taking a 2-0 lead. The NTU team couldn’t finish them off however and Bath managed 1 goal back to set up a nervous last 5 minutes, however the girls saw out the game fantastically and were crowned National Vase Champions for the 2nd year in a row.
Over at DRSV, Table Tennis achieved a 1st for NTU, with the Men’s 1st team making the National Championship finals once again. Not content with this, the Men’s 2nd team had also made the National Trophy final (trophy final is for teams in Tier 1 – still a national trophy). The 2s were first up and faced University of Warwick 1st team, while the 1st faced their long-term rivals and Table Tennis giants University of Nottingham. The 2s put up a great fight but were beaten by their opponents 10-6 but made history by reaching the finals. The 1s were equally up against it and fought valiantly but were eventually beaten 10-4. Two silver medals means another fantastic year from the whole Table tennis programme.
Next up were Women’s Football 1st team, again in the National Trophy Final, and facing league rivals University of Cambridge 1st, looking to win the title for the 3rd year in a row (with a covid enforced gap). The game was an instant classic, with NTU racing to a 2-0 lead, only to be pegged back by half time. Cambridge took an early 2nd half lead, only for NTU to reply twice in quick fashion to lead 4-3. More drama unfolded and Cambridge equalised against the run of play to take the game to extra time. Nothing separated them for 28 minutes of extra time, until a deep cross found an NTU player in space at the pack post, to head home the winning goal. 5-4 AET and a 3rd National Trophy secured.
Final match of the day was the big one. Our Men’s Lacrosse 1st team faced local rivals University of Nottingham 1st team in the National Championship final, looking to be crowned best team in the UK. Revenge was motivation for the NTU team who had failed to beat UoN twice in the league campaign. The game was understandably tense, and nothing separated the teams at half time, 4-4. NTU then took control of the fixture showing great composure to score 4 unanswered goals to lead 8-4. UoN got one back but the boys held out and won 8-5 to become National University Champions. An incredible achievement by all involved.
A special mention to our Women’s Rugby 1st team, who were crowned National Trophy Champions via a walkover as opponents Brunel conceded the fixture without playing.
A great end to the regular season for our NTU teams, our most successful ever so far. Next up are playoffs and summer events, but we are looking strong for our highest finish ever again in the BUCS overall table. Well done to all students and staff involved.
Here are some action shots from the day: