The end of Term 2 brings the Blades the chance to claim some silverware. Not only are we moving towards the conclusion of the BUCS league and cup seasons, but we are also busy with BUCS individual championships and non-BUCS competitions. Here's our week 16 review.
Week 16 highlights:
Our Men's Tennis 3rd team made the long trip to Canterbury Christ Church on Wednesday as they looked to continue climbing the table. With only 3 players available, Essex started the match 4-0 down having been forced to concede 1 doubles and 1 singles match. This didn't stop the Blades though, as Will Gurton, Ed Beach and Nikos Chatzinikolaou stormed to convincing singles wins before Nikos and Will teamed up in the doubles to complete an 8-4 victory for Essex.
Essex Men's Tennis 3rd team of Ed Beach, Will Gurton and Nikos Chatzinikolaou following their 8-4 win over Canterbury Christ Church 2nd.
Men's Rugby 2nd welcomed bottom of the league City 1st to Wivenhoe Park looking for a big win to keep up their title challenge. After a 'slight' kit issue, Essex were simply too good for their opponents, winning 76-19. The match included a Matthew Bosley hat-trick and excellent BUCS debuts for Rhys Palombo and Sam Pullen who both played with tremendous gusto. MOTM was shared by Edward Miles (VC) and Jacques Semour for their dominant performances over the 80 minutes.
Netball 1st hosted UCL 3rds in the Essex Sport Arena, in a challenging mid-table clash. With incredible feeds into the circle from Jess Dawson and Tinneisha Mott, the Blades made a great start and scored off of most of our centre passes. The Essex defence was on great form making a number of key interceptions, creating turnovers and chances to score of their own. Accurate shooting from Immy Pickersgill and Katrina Palmer ensured Essex finished the 1st quarter 16-7 up. The Blades continued the strong performance (including a 14-1 victory margin in the 3rd quarter) and finished with an excellent 53-19 win. Nicole Ralphs and Alice Sainsbury also contributed to the win with great efforts and interceptions. Player of the match was awarded to Michigan Buckley.
Goal-shooter Katrina Palmer in action during Essex Netball 1st 53-19 win over UCL 3rds.
Men's Hockey 1st were another of our teams to make the long trip to Canterbury to meet a bottom of the league Kent side. After a few early chances went begging some silky smooth skills were displayed by Elliot Steele, beating 3 before finishing with conviction into the bottom left hand corner to give Essex the lead. Kent levelled shortly after, firing in from a short-corner and then took a 2-1 lead in the exact same way. Matters got worse for Essex as they were reduced to 9 men with 2 green cards awarded in the same minute. On the back foot Essex defended deep, but equalised when a well-read interception by Fox released Lippard 1v1 with the keeper, unselfishly he was able to hand of the ball to a supporting Sadler who loaded up and fired the ball into the net. 2-2 at half time. The 2nd half was a frustrating affair for Essex, with the Kent goalkeeper making a number of fine saves before the Blades dominance was rewarded with a 3rd goal, Robins tapping in 'one of the worst goals you will ever see'. Essex added a 4th when Irvine dribbled the ball out from defence, beating all oncomers and the goalkeeper. A 5-2 win for the Blades was sealed when Steele added his 2nd of the game. A win in Essex's final league game of the season will see them win their league.
Men's Football 3rd were another team hoping to keep their title challenge alive as they made the journey into London to play City 1st, having narrowly beaten them 1-0 the week before thanks to a last minute penalty. Goals from Will Koduah, Charlie Lunnis (2) and Michael Nwankwo sealed an excellent 4-2 for the Blades, who's outside shot of a league title remains a possibility.
Men's Water Polo 1st, led by captain Luca Cammosi, once again travelled west this weekend to play Warwick in a quarter final cup match. Whilst Essex lost 24-10, it has been a great achievement for the team to reach the quarter finals stage (beating both UEA and Bath, twice, in previous rounds) and earning an additional 10 BUCS points for the University. The team has not reached the quarter finals round before, so their hard work and dedication to matches has shown off this season.
Men's Basketball 1st also made sure it was a winning Wednesday as they beat Manchester Met 1st 98-65 to book their place in the BUCS Championship Quarter-Final. Head coach, Ross Norfolk, reflected on the game: ''It was a great team performance. We played our fast paced, disruptive basketball. Huge thanks to all that came down to support. We now begin our preparation for Loughborough in the BUCS Quarter Finals next week.''
Summary of BUCS results - Week 16
Winning Percentage: 51%
Currently, the University of Essex is sits in 35th place across the country, with a total of 926 BUCS points.
Away from BUCS, we had some big competitions and fantastic perfomances this week.
Our Pole Dance club travelled to the University of Warwick for the Inter University Pole Dancing Competition on Saturday. It was an early start, leaving campus at 5:30am, however it was definitely worth it. Essex placed 3rd in the Beginners, Group and Semi-Professional categories, whilst Gina Davis finished 2nd in the Advanced category. Essex placed 3rd overall, just missing out on a spot at Nationals but coming home extremely proud! The club would like to say a massive thank you to their competitors, members who came to support them, and everyone who has supported their ourney this year. Next up, Derby Day!
Essex Pole Dance club all smiles after some very positive results at the Inter University Pole Dancing Competition, held at the University of Warwick.
Essex Dance made the journey to De Montfort University for the DMU competition last weekend and returned home with plenty of medals. Strong performances meant Essex finished 2nd in Commercial, 3rd in Advanced Street and 3rd in Advanced Jazz. As if this wasn't enough, Essex Dance were also named the winners of the spirit award, out of all 17 universities competing. Some great results, well done all!
Essex Dance Commercial squad after their 2nd place finish in the DMU Dance competition.
We round up the Blades Blog this week with a mention for two Essex students who competed for the newly formed Colchester Wrestling Club as they travelled up north for a competition held in Salford. Omar Elderdear, an Egyptian national with an extensive greco Roman wrestling background, found himself in a back and forth battle and was unfortunately pinned and down on points at the 2:46 mark of the first round. Ethan Barry, also an MMA fighter for BKK fighters, found himself up against a GB squad member but held his own very well. Both wrestlers enjoyed the matches and said they would do it again in a heart beat.