UoP BUCS Roundup - 12 February
'Heroes become heroes flaws and all. You don't have to be perfect to fulfil your dream – Peter McWilliams.'
Is stat a fact?
Last week our collective Purple Avengers assembled to amass an impressive 64% Win Ratio, which this week dipped just a little, to a still very respectable – 61% Win Ratio. The forward momentum continues for Pompey and with some high profile wins for our teams this week, there is much to be proud of. At Home over the weekend and yesterday, Pompey were near bulletproof with a second highest win percentage of the season, a superb 80% Win Ratio, losing only 2 of their 10 matches. Away from home this week Pompey had to battle for every point with some tough draws in the cup to contend with and recorded a 50% Win Ratio, the second lowest percentage of the season. We can still boast a 62% Overall Win Ratio, for the season, well in excess of previous seasons, and all the focus now turns to our Individual Competitors at BUCS Big Weekend as they look to hit the headlines in Sheffield in the search for Medals and BUCS points. Of course we will bring you a bumper Wash Up on Tuesday to record how our clubs got on as well as new from Futsal and that all important American Football league decider.
So here are the highlight from yesterday's matches –
A fantastic night under the lights at Langstone, with the added coup of having Premiership Rugby Referee, Adam Leal officiating, saw Men's 1sts rock UWE 1sts with a stunning 24-7 victory, running in 3 Tries on the night to take them to the dizzy heights of 3rd in the Men's Premier 2 South table, behind Hartpury and Exeter. The try scorers were Luke Simmons, Ryan Newton and Callum Henry, all converted by Arthur Robinson, who also slotted home a penalty. Man of the match was awarded to Ben Tame for being a work horse on the pitch all evening and making a tremendous amount of tackles. After losing heavily to their opponents in November this was a superb victory for in-form Pompey who have moved steadily up the table during a fantastic run of results in the New Year. To record 3 back to back wins is tough enough, but to take 3 Premiership scalps in a row is huge testament to Men's 1sts and their form post Christmas. A magnificent effort from the team. They will face competition for that coveted 3rd spot from both UWE and Reading who have games in hand, but Pompey will be looking to give it everything when they travel to Exeter 3rds to complete their season in a fortnight's time, looking to secure a record points haul at this level.
Men's 4's once again stepped up and played some great rugby on their way to another bonus point victory, despite illness and injury ravaging the camp. They came away with a 38-7 victory at King's College 4ths thanks to a hat-trick from the in-form, Max Benson and further tries from Ben Shorrock, Ade Owabi and Tom Sherwood. Luke Stallard kicked 4 conversions and Christian De Jager was named Man of the Match as the 4's stretch their lead at the top of the table over Sussex 3rds to 8 points; though their rivals still have 2 games in hand. It's going to go down to the wire as to who claims the Tier 5 title, with the 4's finishing up their campaign at Home to Imperial 5ths in a fortnight and Sussex taking on Imperial, SOAS and Holloway, before the victors are determined.
Allow me to hand you across to the very steady, clutch-putt at any time, booming drive sensation, that is Mr. Sean Doyle, as he has some pretty epic news to share about Golf's 1st Round match against Reading in the Trophy.
I will cut straight to the chase today because what a result from the boys and we're all buzzing on the trip back! Let's start off by saying that at one stage the projected score was 5-1 Reading, but things didn't finish that way.
First out were Dan Colman and Jack Fairhall who took on two tough opponents and after close games fell just short – Final scores 2&1 Loss for Dan and 3&2 Loss for Jack, but you couldn't fault the efforts of either player in highly competitive matches.
Next up was Sean Doyle and Ben Manning. Sean bouncing back from a rare loss last week was up from the second hole and comfortably saw his game out 3&2 Win. Ben being 4 Down at one stage turned up the gears on the back 9, carding a level par 9 holes to clutch his game 2&1 ...What a win this turned out to be!
Last out was the old school partnership of Nick Roebuck and Iain Clarke. Iain back to his old winning ways controlling his game from the get go and secured an 'expected' 4&3 Win. So it came down to Nick Roebuck...what can we say. 4 Down with 5 to play, the echoes of 'playoff' worked their way around the course, until Nick turned it on when it mattered most. Playing some remarkable golf to shoot 3 under par in the last 4 holes saw him get back to All Square standing on the 18th tee. Only needing a half to secure the win Roebuck takes an Iron for safety...carnage, the ball flies out of bounds (2010 Masters Rory Mcllroy breakdown comes to mind). However, somehow he still found his way to the hole after some 'unfortunate' tree-action from his opposite number. This left Nick to see out the hole in stylish fashion which of course he did with utter 'Roebuck-like' aplomb...cue, amazing scenes! What a win from the boys and what a night of celebration was had by all. Even now we are all left wondering how exactly he won – 1 UP.
This superb win on the road, sees Pompey take the reigns at the top of the Trophy draw, and they will go again in the 2nd Round as they now play host at Fortress Meon Valley, where they will take on Newman 1sts.
Here's Thomas White now, with a blow by blow account of Men's 1sts South East Qualifier A Cup Final, as they looked to book their place at Nationals in April with a win. Here's how they got on!
The last BUCS regular season game of the year for the Men's team awaited. It was time for their Cup Final Qualifier and a ticket to Nationals in April if we could beat Sussex 2nds.
We played on a tilted grass pitch which didn't help our team as we are very used to playing on flat 3G surfaces even though we train on grass. Looking at our average points per game (APG) we knew how hard this game was going to be, at the end of the day it was a true finals match between the two power houses within our league.
Pompey started by losing the toss, which enabled Sussex to choose which end of the pitch they would like to start or if they would prefer to be on Offence or Defence to begin the game. Strategically Sussex decided to play on the higher ground, which was also upwind, leaving Portsmouth to start on Offence and having to play through the wind. Thankfully Sussex underestimated the potential of our upwind ability and Pompey secured the first point with no trouble. The game continued to go blow for blow until Pompey were 6-4 up, 50 minutes into the game, which gave us huge confidence.
It wasn't long however, before Sussex scored two consecutive points to bring the game to an unsettling 7-6 in their favour. When Full Time expired, leaving us playing in a 30 minute soft cap which saw the game being a first to 8 points battle. At this point Pompey were playing Offence on a downwind leg but needed to score two consecutive points to win. The downwind point came with ease but now it was time to play Defence, knowing that Sussex were simply going to huck the disc downfield. This gave us more of an advantage as we could stop that play from converting by playing a man on man Defence whilst prioritising their deep player, putting two players on one deep man. This caused several turnovers in the last point which made it extremely tense.
Eventually Portsmouth managed to secure an up the line (into the wind) sidearm with a beautiful toe drag from Ben Kilgariff assisted by Michael Wakelyn-Green to secure the comeback victory, winning the Cup and a ticket into Outdoor Nationals for our squad.
End score: 8-7 to Portsmouth
Goals: Tobias Greenwood  Cameron Lewis, Alex Glover, Keiran Smith, Harry White, Stephen Heather, Ben Kilgariff
Assists: Harry Allen  Thomas White and Michael Wakelyn Green 
MVP: Harry White
A fantastic league and cup season for the 1's who now head to Nationals in April to join Oxford 1sts, Cardiff 1sts and Swansea 2nds and 6 others as they look to compete for the Ultimate prize!
Men's 1sts continued their unbeaten season with a comprehensive 7-1 victory in their Semi Final at Middlesex 1sts to send them into the Conference Cup Final on March 11th, where they will now play either Greenwich 1sts or UCL 2nds for the trophy. A fantastic effort by the team, in what has been an incredible season. Despite not having Jonny Avery to call on this week, Navinsamy Harikrishnan and Man of the Match, Chai Chee Hou both won all their matches, making it 4-0 to Pompey in the Singles. Tom Wood and Gavin Wan recorded 2 wins in the Doubles with Roy Ho and Jia Ming See also grabbing a win to secure Pompey's seventh on the day and send them into the Cup Final. Roy Ho was quoted after the match at being incredibly humbled to play alongside the super star that is Jia Ming See, and such was the interest at the after match restaurant they had to take a private elevator just to get out alive! The attention was surely down to the coming launch of Jia Ming's official merchandise line, which includes t-shirts, jackets and signed photos with a Gold Insignia, lovely! Put me down for 2 of everything mate!
A superb afternoon's work for the 1's as they continue to go from strength to strength. Next up in a fortnight, the 1's return to league action and a trip to Royal Holloway 1sts where victory will see them crowned SE2A Champions as they continue their quest for the elusive, Double. Another brilliant performance!
Men's 1sts continued their impressive season with a massive 10-2 victory away at King's College in the Conference Cup Semi Final. They will now face Sussex 1sts in the Semi Final on February 26th, away from home, as they continue their pursuit of the Double with all concentration now on the cup before their final league match on the 18th of March at Brunel.
Men's 1sts came out on top in the All-Pompey Quarter Final against the 2nds who put up a really strong showing on the 3G at Langstone this afternoon, running out winners 3-0. Joe McClean opened the scoring with a tap in following a cutback from Ben Starr, before Sam Gray came up with a couple of good saves, before the 2's had a goal ruled out. After the break the 1's went close from a Ben Starr curler, before Louie Gilpin with his 11th of the season, pounced on a rebound to make it 2-0! McClean then rounded the keeper late on to make it 3 and end the contest and see the 1sts progress to the Semi Finals where they will take on league rivals Sussex 1sts on the 26th as they look to defend their title. Next up though the 1's travel to Surrey 1sts as they return their focus to securing their place at the top of SE2A.
Women's Volleyball continued their unbeaten campaign with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Kingston 1sts in their Conference Cup Quarter Final [25-21, 25-11, 25-21]. Successful Receives were headed up by Wiktoria Wysoczanska with 11, from Megan Harvey, Athina Dimitreli and Ana Pereira Bastos  Isabela Baez and Helena Faustino Viera  Clara Pons Marti  and Charlotte Lanssens . Successful Attacks were also led by Wysoczanska  from Baez  Pons Marti  Harvey and Viera  and Lanssens . Assists were dominated by Ana Pereira Bastos with 16 from Baez, Wysoczanska, Lanssens and Dimitreli with one apiece and Most Aces went to Baez with 2, from Harvey, Bastos, Pons Marti and Dimitreli with one. There were also Successful Blocks for Clara Pons Marti and Charlotte Lanssens with one each, as Pompey won out on the day. They now progress into the Semi Finals on the 26th of February, where they will face the winners of the New Bucks 1sts v St. Mary's 1sts encounter that took place yesterday. This will be their next competitive match, with full concentration on the cup competition, until their league campaign finishes with a trip to Medway on the 18th of March.
Huge congratulations to Men's 2nds who were awarded victory in their Home Quarter Final against Royal Holloway 1sts to progress to the Semi Finals of the Conference Cup. In the Semi Final, they have an invaluable Home draw and they will take on Imperial 2nds in what should be an incredibly close match at the Portsmouth Indoor Tennis Centre on the 26th of February. Next up they return to league action and a trip to Roehampton 1sts, with anything possible with 4 games to go in this one, with only 8 points separating top from bottom.
Last but by no means least, Men's 1sts produced a brilliant display to shock Surrey 1sts, winning 10-7 at Langstone, to claim their first win of the season, which puts them just one point behind Essex 1sts with two matches to play. They host Imperial on the 26th in their penultimate match before a trip to Essex 1sts on March 11th which will give the 1's hope that a positive result could see them retain their Tier 1 status. With the back-beat of The Great Escape ringing in their heads, suddenly there's real hope for the 1's – can they do it? Find out here, as we will bring you all the action in the thrilling closing weeks of the BUCS season.
Completely unrelated fact of the day:
Did you know that animals are more intelligent than humans?
No, okay well this one is up for debate, but I'd like to act as advocate for the animals and share with you and the jury the benefits of listening to the wisdom of what they have to say.
Now bear with me here, and I'll badger you further if I may, with the promise that I will not rabbit on to the point of going hoarse –
There's something about an animal that talks, beyond the fluffiness, doe eyes and shiny coat, to the point where I have always held more stock in their words over those of human beings – and why is that? Well, it's simply because they don't appear to have an agenda.
Simply put, animals source food and water, procreate, learn how to be independent and then in turn be excellent short term parents, sleep and then die far too early. All this just makes me trust them implicitly.
I just want to test this theory if I may, as for instance, what if a mate of yours said this –
'Some journeys take us far from home. Some adventures lead us to our destiny...'
-well, you'd probably think it was a little pretentious and almost a little obvious, but when I tell you that Aslan said it, well that's suddenly very different isn't it...? I mean how selfless is that big cuddly Lion and look what he did for the Narnians, sacrificed himself and although they made many statues of him, he basically just gets wheeled out when they are in the shit and bails them out of trouble. I mean, he does that for nothing too – I trust that guy implicitly!
Okay let's try another –
'Can is not the same as must...But if you must and you can, then there's no excuse...'
My instant reaction would be – who needs this snooty parental advice, who does this uppity so and so think they are...!? Then, I turn around and discover that these elegant silver-Lyra-tongued words have streamed from the mouth of a giant Polar Bear – Iorek Byrnison no less, well I'm listening now and I'm damn sure I am taking that advice and bringing it back all the way from Svalbard!
My final example, reeks of supreme intelligence in its absolute simplicity –
'Don't spend your time lookin' around for something you want that can't be found...When you find out you can live it without it, go along not thinking about it...'
Now this would be considered an absolute throwaway phrase, to be completely ignored should your best mate turn around and offer this up as a mighty pearl of wisdom, but when Baloo the Bear puts his mighty paw on your shoulder and throws these harmonies down on you – then that's a different pawpaw altogether! Wow! That's some clever, bear, right there... no wonder Mowgli went on to become such a famous actor!
So I hope that in times when you need it, you can take comfort and inspiration from talking animals, wise and animated – take what you will from them, for they have more to say than people would ever tell you...
P.S – please remember, though I'd urge you to heed all advice from talking animals, please do not talk to them in public or engage with them socially or accept lifts from them when stranded in a country lay by.