Another 35 BUCS fixtures took place during the 2nd full week of BUCS, with many of our teams looking to build on their solid starts from Week 1 and others looking to bounce back.
This week also saw the launch of Blades TV - our new weekly round-up of Essex Blades action.
WEEK 2 HIGHLIGHTS:
Having experienced a difficult 2018/19 season, Women's Hockey 1st were looking for a strong start this time around. And what a start it was at Lee Valley - final score: City 1st 2-21 Essex 1st. All players played phenomenally and worked perfectly as a squad to achieve such an amazing score; there were outstanding goals from the attackers and a solid defensive structure from the defence and midfield. Marina was named player of the match, displaying phenomenal skill, great runs and most importantly scoring many goals with ease and precision. This squad have come back with a vengeance this year and really are a team to keep an eye on amongst the Essex Blades sporting community. Watch this space.
One of Essex's Women's 1st 21 goals in their hugely impressive win away at City 1st.
Following on from a great week for the club, Men's Football 1st welcomed Canterbury Christ Church 2nd to Wivenhoe Park. In perfect conditions for Football, Essex controlled the game throughout with Chaves, Spiteri and Osei-Asomah linking up nicely across the middle. Canterbury made life difficult and sat behind the ball but it was only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken. 10 minutes before half-time Essex made the breakthrough, Sinclair finding time and tucking the ball away with a composed finished to make it 1-0. Despite continuing to dominate the 2nd half, passing the ball well out from the back, Essex couldn't find more goals. Diment and Matchett remained untested at the back and helped see the game out for a comfortable 1-0 win. 2 wins from 2 for the boys.
In their first game of the season, Men's Football 2nd played hosts to King's College 1st. Despite a few late call offs, there was optimism in the team for the new season. After a slow start, Essex grew into the game but couldn't break down a resolute King's and the 1st half finished goalless. After the break, Essex again steadily found their feet but could not make their dominance count. A game that looked like it would be decided by just the 1 goal eventually was, as King's forced a mistake in the Essex defence and bundled the ball home against the run of play for a 1-0 win. Lots of reasons to be positive for Essex though, who showed great character for a group playing together for the first time.
Men's Football 5th were on the right end of a 9-goal thriller, coming from behind on several occasions to take all 3 points in a 5-4 win over Queen Mary 5th. Goals from Trev, Ike, Hanrahan and Farai (2) secured the points for Essex.
Women's Fencing 1st started life in Tier 1 against Reading 1st following their outstanding performances last year. Promotion into Tier 1 means fiercer competition, and despite narrowly losing in Epee, Essex rose to the challenge winning Foil, Sabre and the overall match 130-117. A fantastic start to the season - well done.
We are Essex! Women's Fencing all smiles after their 130-117 win over Reading 1st.
After a solid start in their new league, Men's Hockey 2nd hosted Kent 2nd at the Theatre of Dreams. The match began with Kent having a lot of the possession and eventually that pressure and passing was enough for the visitors to get a couple short corners, of which the first 2 goalsof the match came. Despite some valiant defending, saves by the keeper, Kent put 2 more goals onto the score. During this defensive period of the game for Essex, a Greg clearance collided with another Essex player, Bruk, who was temporarily injured as a result. Then there was a breakaway for Essex and the ball found its way to Hursh after some nice play, who put the ball calmly into the goal, making the score 4-1 and giving Essex some hope that maybe the comeback was on!
The second half started much the same as the first had started, with Kent being the dominate force with their high press containing and forcing Essex into making mistakes. It was only a matter of time before it became too much and Kent added a fifth, and then a sixth soon followed. At this point Essex managed to catch Kent off guard through a long through ball and Aaron was through on goal but could not finish it. Kent capped the scoring off with a 7th that just creeped inside the front post, much to the goalkeeper’s disappointment. However, the Essex defence was strong and resilient for the final part of the match, having to defend several short corners and shots from the Kent attackers, withone attack having a shot hit Harvey in the hip and then a follow up shot hitting Greg in his face. The final whistle blew with the score 8-1 and a disappointing day for Essex.
Men's Rugby 2nd hosted Queen Mary 2nd, having only one training session together as a full team before the game started. The game was a spectacle for the neutral; closely contested from the 1st minute all the way up to the 80th minute. The scoring was at a deadlock until the 30th minute when Leo Egerton-Gable wrestled across the try line, on his debut in BUCS Rugby for Essex. Unfortunately his effort was not converted and the score was 5-0 to Essex at half time, a fair reflection of the 1st half.
The game stayed fiercely competitive in the 2nd half with Essex’s defence seeming almost impenetrable as Queen Mary could not find a way through, even when Essex had their backs against the wall on our own try line. However, the physical toll of defending the majority of the second half took hold and after an unlucky yellow card given to Omar Opoku-Addo, gaps started to appear and Queen Mary eventually found their way through to make it 5-5 with 12 minutes to go. The rest of the game was just as closely contested as the rest and unfortunately with 2 minutes to go Queen Mary managed to cross over the try line again to score the winning try leaving the final score 10-5.
A game that did not feel like a loss as Essx played so well with heart and passion throughout the whole game, refusing to give in and full of team spirit leaving us all excited for the season ahead. Stand out performances from Rodell Reid (Player of the Match), Leo Egerton-Gable, Josh Barton and Jonny Silverman (all debutants).
SUMMARY OF BUCS RESULTS – WEEK 2 - 2019/20
Winning Percentage: 40%
In 2018/19, Essex recorded a winning percentage of 42% from 43 fixtures during Week 2.
Away from BUCS...
Several members of the Essex Blades Athletics Club competed in the LUCA (London Universities & Colleges Athletics) fixture on Wednesday at Parliament Hill. The event consisted of two laps for the women (~5.6 km) and three laps for the men (~8.5 km). The first race of the season is often the hardest but nevertheless, we have special shout-out for two of our freshers; Connor Holland finishing 48th out of 120 for the men's race and Jamie Garry finishing 25th out of 99 for the women's race. Well done to all those that took part.
In Week 3, many of the Blades start their journey in knockout cup competitions. During Week 3 in 2018/19 Essex won a huge 75% of their cup fixtures. Here's to that again!