UoP BUCS Roundup - 22 January
'Life's not about how hard of a hit you can give... it's about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward' – Sylvester Stallone, Rocky.
So, before we clamber into yesterday's action, we all have a little catching up to do – so here's how our clubs have been getting on since we've been gone.
Way back when on the 15th December, when Santa was still bagging up our train sets and fluffy toys, a clash of Titans took place at Langstone between The Portsmouth Destroyers and the Bears from Royal Holloway. With both teams 4 from 4 – top spot in Tier 1 was on the line, and after a Titanic tussle, Pompey claimed a massive victory [6-0] with a single Touchdown from the prolific, Sam Hassan, being the difference between the two teams. With 5 shutouts from their 5 matches, the Destroyers deservedly go into 2020, out on top of the pack, and next up they travel to Brighton on the 2nd of February looking to go 6 from 6 and take a step closer to the Playoffs.
- Team MVP – A.J Lucas
- Offensive MVP – Dre Walton
- Defensive MVP – Josh Reilly
- Special Team MVP – Nat Thatcher
- Rookie MVP – Harrison Jones
- Hammer Award – Rich Bloomer
- Play of the Game – Sam Hassan’s TD run
With most matches being lost to the weather on the 15th January, Men's 5ths seized the initiative in Tier 6 with a 3-0 win over Queen Mary 3rds. Goals from Ben Chev, top scorer Rhys Gillings and Jamie Odoki and a Man of the Match performance from Josh Nduna were enough to keep them on top, making it 5 from 5 in an impressive first half of the campaign. The 5ths now travel to Queen Mary on the 29th in their next outing, looking to secure another win as they build toward the key clashes against unbeaten Kingston 2nds who currently lie in second place.
Men's 2nds travelled to Kingston on Sunday in their 3rd Round SE Conference Cup Tie and came away from the capital with a superb victory to set up an all-Portsmouth Quarter Final tie this weekend. Marcus Cashinella and Dan Allen both grabbed hat-tricks, Jacques Wheeler got 2 with Sam Johnson, Phil Matthews and Man of the Match Lopen Louis all notching one apiece to complete the scoring for the 2's. Lopen Louis also claimed a superb 6 assists with Wheeler and Johnson 2 each and Allen with one. A superb performance from the 2's, meaning Pompey are now guaranteed representation in the Semis on the 23rd of February.
Stats mixed up
After an impressive first half of the BUCS campaign, the New Year begins with a 59% Win Ratio, in a week that saw more close encounters than even Richard Dreyfuss could get his head around! Away from Home, Pompey were in stunning form, recording a 73% Win Ratio; the second highest away performance percentage of the season. However, results at Home were a little muted with only a 45% Win Ratio recorded, which statistically was the second worst performance of the season in a Home fixture week. So 2020 has begun with High's and Low's, but Pompey still continue to impress the critics with an average 61% Win Ratio over all BUCS fixtures this season.
So let’s see what 2020 brings, shall we?
Men's 1sts completed their league season with a well fought victory, coming out on top of a thrilling encounter at King's College 1sts, 3-2! Wins from Edward English [11-8, 11-6, 11-6] Sherlock Ko [11-9, 12-10, 11-7] and Elliot Dowling [11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9] saw them home to complete the season with yet another league win. However, it was just not quite enough to push them to top spot and Pompey look likely to finish 2nd or 3rd in this one, following a nail-biting title race with UCL and Roehampton. A great season though for Men's 1sts who could so easily have been heading to the Prem' Playoffs next month. They can now turn their attention to their cup competition with the Last 32 Ties scheduled to commence on the 19th of February.
Men's 1sts took full advantage of their game in hand in SE2A to record a crucial 2-1 away success at Brunel 1sts yesterday. Louie Gilpin put Pompey ahead with his 9th goal of the season, before the away team were pegged back by their hosts. Sam Gray put in another quality performance between the sticks to grab the Man of the Match award before a last gasp winner from Ben Linter saw the Magnificent Men grab all 3 points and send them back to the top of the table. They now host 2nd place, Sussex at Langstone next Wednesday in yet another huge game in an incredibly competitive league title race with just 4 points between the Top 5 teams.
The 2nds were into their stride quickly as they dominated their SE3A league encounter with Holloway 1sts at St. Paul's, coming out 55-29 winners to stretch their lead to 6 points at the top of the table and make it a perfect 6 from 6. Annabelle Couchman was in great form again with 47 points on the day with Caitlin Johnson in support with 8. Top of the Tips was Captain, Kristie Buckingham, with 7, from Mia Scott  Captain's Player of the Match, Cat Sonkur  Rosie Rusga, Emily King and Alex Wilford . The Clean Intercepts stats were headed up by Buckingham with 5, from Scott & Wilford  King  and Sonkur . Buckingham also topped the Rebound stats with 6 followed by Scott with 4. Pompey now host Brighton [Eastbourne] 3rds next week, in a top of the table clash, where they will be looking to assert their dominance and take a step closer to the title.
Ably supported at pitch side by Men's Rugby, the 4ths made it a Pompey away day double over their hosts, with a superb 47-27 victory which keeps them well clear of the pack in second place, just 3 points behind leaders Surrey 3rds. Player of the Match, Emily Spriggs  Freya Marlow  Sarah Exall  and Hannah Nash  got the goals on the day. Tips were headed by Captain's Player of the Match, Emily Mills  from Captain, Lucy Moyse and Ebony McIntyre  Abbie Elms and Marlow  and Nash . Intercepts were headed up by Mills & McIntyre with 3 each with Elms and Moyse recording 1 apiece. Rebound stats were dominated by Moyse with 6 from Mills with 2. Another great win for the 4's who go again in a fortnight's time when they host Imperial 3rds at St. Paul's.
Men's 1sts continued their excellent season with a 6-2 away victory at neighbours Chichester. Man of the Match, Urjan Shah claimed 1 win from his 2 Singles matches with Tom Wood winning both his to maintain his impressive unbeaten record this season. In the Doubles, Jonny Avery and Darren Chai won both their matches and the most photographed Badminton player in the History of Portsmouth, Jia Ming See, along with Roy Ho recorded another vital win to see Pompey home. This makes it 7 wins from 7 for the buoyant 1's as they move 6 points clear of Holloway at the top of SE2A. Next up to face the leaders at Spinnaker will be Surrey 2nds on the 29th January.
Men's 2nds produced an impressive away performance to hold second in the table King's College to a 4-4 draw yesterday, as they began 2020 on a high note. In the singles, a win apiece for Kieran Cheung and Joshua Ng was followed by wins in the Doubles for Adam Willis and Josh Gillard and Nicholas Oh and David Cheiw to ensure mid-table Pompey returned to the south coast with something to show for their valiant efforts. They now host Imperial 4ths next week at Spinnaker as they look to continue this forward momentum.
In a must win encounter for Pompey, Men's 1sts travelled to the capital and returned after a job well done with all the points following a 4-2 victory over their opponents. Pompey got off to a great start with 2 wins from 2 in the Doubles with Wins for Ryan Andrews & Mike Tudor [6-4, 6-7, 10-7] and Sebastian Langdon and David Noronha [6-3, 6-3]. The Singles Points were shared but wins for Tudor [6-0, 7-5] and Langdon – in a come from behind thriller [4-6, 6-2, 10-7] – saw Pompey get the win they craved. This victory secures their position in SE1A for another season, with 2 matches still to play in the league campaign. They travel to unbeaten Imperial next week, before concluding their season on the 12th February against Surrey. A fantastic performance and a vital win for the 1's.
Women's 1sts were awarded victory by Goldsmiths to leave them 3 from 3 in the league and well placed in 2nd. They travel to Roehampton next week as they look to continue their unbeaten season in league and cup.
Women's 1sts were involved in a thriller in their top of the table encounter against LSE 1sts on the 3G at Langstone coming out victorious by the narrowest of margins 29-26. This win sees Pompey stretch the lead between them and the visitors as they move to a record of 5 wins from 5! The big matches keep on coming though with unbeaten Brunel 1sts heading to Langstone next Wednesday it what is sure to be another nerve-shredding afternoon!
Men's 4ths were involved in another incredibly close finish away at Royal Holloway 2nds, who put out a strong side for the visit of league leaders, Pompey. This one went down to the wire, but the 4's secured a two point win – 19-17 – to maintain their position at the top of the table and record their 5th win of the season. Tries from Chris Herbin and James Bent  and a brace of conversions from Luke Stallard did the trick for Pompey, who now play host to S.O.A.S at Langstone next Wednesday, looking to keep the pressure on Sussex 3rds and Imperial 5ths.
Women's 2nds produced a superb display to stretch their lead at the top of Tier 4 to 5 points, following a 4-2 success away at Reading 4ths. Isabelle Smith  Casey Waisman and Nina Hammond got the goals with Smith also recording an assist. Next up for the 2's they travel to New Bucks 1sts on the 29th January, as they look to add to their impressive 5 wins this season.
Men's 3rds secured an impressive 3 points against Imperial 4ths at Langstone coming out victorious by 2 goals to 1 on the Astro yesterday. Alex Jarret got the goals with assists from Henry Dix and Danny Cross to lift the 3rds into third in SE4A. They now travel to Brunel 2nds next week, looking to record back to back wins and maintain their mid-table position. An excellent day at the office for Will Hope and his troops.
Completely unrelated fact of the day:
O.M.G! Did you know that the now mildly irritatingly acronym of O.M.G, was in fact first used in written form in a letter to Winston Churchill in 1917!?
The man credited with this usage was John Arbuthnot Fisher, a retired Admiral of the British Navy and the excerpt went something like this
'...I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the *tapis, O.M.G. (Oh! My God!) – Shower it on the Admiralty!!'
*tapis – in this context meant 'under consideration' by the way, although the mind boggles at what – Shower it on the Admiralty means...?
Interesting is it not, that this now famous acronym was not invented by millennial teenagers on Smartphones, but by a retired Naval Admiral during World War I.
Strangely, all of this went rather unnoticed until lexicographers at the Oxford English Dictionary added an entry for O.M.G in 2011. Initially, they believed the first mention of the acronym was in 1994 in an online forum for soap fans, until Jon Simon, a former research librarian at the Library of Congress uncovered the letter in Lord Fisher's memoirs.
So when next someone accuses you of being part of a generation that has attempted to destroy the English Language and demean it, breaking it down into abbreviated abbreviations and taking initialism into its initial stages of decay, just point at them with a circling finger and smile with a knowing grin and simply say – 'RTFM -FYI – it was Admiral Fisher – CMIIW – LOL!'