Sadly, the main season is now over for many of our teams, but we certainly finished with a flourish. Week 20 saw us achieve a 56% win rate in BUCS and be crowned national champions in several different sports.
It has been an exciting and successful year for many of our teams and Essex overall has gained more BUCS points this year than last, with some still hopefully to come.
WEEK 20 HIGHLIGHTS:
There's only one place to start this week. As mentioned in the last Blades blog, our Men’s Volleyball 1st team became the first Essex team to reach the BUCS Championship final... and they went one better. A commanding performance in the final on BUCS Big Wednesday gave Essex the 3-0 win over previously unbeaten Durham 1st, crowning them national champions. A huge congratulations to the team; the whole University is proud of you all.
Our Men's Performance Volleyball 1st team with coach Alex Porter after their 3-0 win over Durham in the BUCS Championship Final.
Netball 1st faced their last game of the season against St George’s, University of London Women’s 1st. Essex dominated and won 38-17, finishing 3rd in their league and gaining some BUCS points!
Netball 2nd travelled away to London Metropolitan 1st and smashed the whole game, winning 50-19! They finished an impressive second place in their league table.
Men’s Football 3rd hosted Anglia Ruskin 4th on the Wivenhoe pitches, recovering from a goal down to dominate the rest of the match and cruise to a 6-1 victory. A 3rd place finish for the 3rd's, narrowly missing out on the top 2.
Men’s Water Polo 1st hosted LSE 1st a couple of weekends ago, narrowly winning by 9-7! After some up and down performances this season, beating 2nd place LSE was a great way to end the season.
Mixed Korfball 1st competed in the BUCS Trophy Championships in Sheffield at the weekend. The team placed 8th out of 16, gaining Essex Blades some BUCS points. Unfortunately, their top goal scorer in their local league, Johnny Keogh, was injured for the tournament so the team faced some tough matches. Impressively, half the squad had less than 3 months experience, so to achieve 8th was a very good rank and everyone played brilliantly.
A key game which demonstrated the Blades talent was the third game of day 1, where Essex faced Bristol and beat them 10-1; only conceding with the last shot of the game. They dominated on all areas of the court and really showed their strength, with President Alex Burr scoring 6 that game and consistently outplaying the defender.
The Blades goal of the tournament was scored on the second day in the first match. The whole game against Birmingham showed great offence and defence from both teams. With 10 seconds to go and being down by 1, Vice President Gemma Tighe stepped up and hit a game-tying shot that sent the game to penalties. Although the Blades ended up losing the penalty shootout, the atmosphere in the hall was amazing after Gemma’s goal.
Club President Alex Burr took home two tournament awards, finishing top goal scorer of the tournament with 25 goals scored and being named Male MVP of the tournament. This makes it two years in a row that Alex has achieved this, showing his dominance in the sport and importance to the team.
Our Korfball 1st team with coach Eamonn Tighe after their 8th place finish in the BUCS National Trophy.
Men’s Table Tennis 3rd also achieved a great result in their last BUCS fixture of the season, beating Surrey Creative Arts 1st 11-6, who are two positions above them in the league.
SUMMARY OF BUCS RESULTS – WEEK 20
Winning Percentage: 56%
Currently, Essex stands in 35th place in the BUCS table, with a total number of 1037.5 points.
Away from BUCS...
Cheerleading spent their weekend away at their last competition of the season; the ICC University Nationals. They took 4 competitive teams to perform at the Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, Blades (L1 stunt), Inferno (L2 stunt), Pom and Lyrical.
The Essex Flames outside the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, ready to compete in the ICC University Nationals.
Both stunt teams (choreographed and coached by Scarlett Hooker and Argyris Gabriel) gave it their all on the mat and performed the best they ever had. The standard of competition in both categories was fierce and whilst they did not reach a top 3 placing, their performance and team work stood out.
The Lyrical/Contemporary team (coached by Sarah Lloyd), gave an emotional performance and impressed their judges with their timing and technique, rising above previous winners Anglia Ruskin Raiders to take the National title!
Essex Flames Lyrical/Contemporary team after being crowned national champions at ICC.
Last but not least, Pom (coached by Emma Sainty) competed in the co-ed category. The team’s attack and energy led to a 1st place finish! This is a double win for the Pom team this season as they also placed 1st at the Future Cheer University Nationals.
A very happy Essex Flames Pom team, who completed a double winning season with a 1st place finish at the ICC University Nationals.
All the Essex Flames competition routines are available to watch on the Essex Flames YouTube page.
A final thank you to everyone that has represented the Essex Blades in the first two terms of 2018/19. You've been amazing.
And a final good luck to our American Football 1st team, who play the Royal Holloway Bears in the Southern Conference Cup Final this Sunday. 1pm kick-off on the grass pitches at Wivenhoe Park. All support welcome!