UoP BUCS Roundup - 27 November
'Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards...' – Vladimir Nabokov.
Stats messed up...
After last week and our infamous brush with the immortal 70% Win Ratio, rain certainly played its part in reducing our outdoor fixture programme, and it most definitely dampened Pompey's spirits as we hit a season low Win Ratio of 44% –
But before heads hang and shoulders slump, before flowers in hands wilt and the toes inside your shoes curl, let us reflect on what you have collectively become... and that is used to winning....as our season average Win Ratio of 58% can attest for.
So what is wrong with being disappointed? What is wrong with being gutted – miffed – a bit sulky and meh – absolutely nothing! Nothing at all! It shows we care and it's all because our collective expectations have been raised, and that's a positive step forward to where we want to be – as Charles Kettering put it – 'High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectations.'
There is no doubt that the Pompey Juggernaut has stuttered this week, but this needn't be anything other than a fly in the ointment, a spanner in the works, a gherkin in the burger, a bump in the purple brick road... so take pride in your collective achievements, take solace in expecting and wanting more, for no rain can put out those fires! Long may they burn, Purple and proud into the night!
The 2perstars! bounced back from last week's cup exit to make it 5 from 5 in the league, with a superb – 67-43 win against their closest league rivals Readings 2nds at Spinnaker yesterday. Player of the Match, Annabelle Couchman continued her dazzling shooting with a huge 55 points on the day with Captain's Player of the Match, Caitlin Johnson getting the other 12 goals. Mia Scott headed the Rebounds stats with 4 from Captain, Kristie Buckingham with 3. Rosie Rusga and Buckingham headed the Clean Intercepts stats with 3 apiece, from Scott  Alex Wilford, Cat Sonkur and Johnson . Top of the Tips was Buckingham with 7 from Wilford and Evie Harris-Jenkins  Johnson and Scott  Rusga  Sonkur and King . This win takes the 2's a staggering 9 points clear as they head into the winter break, to take a well deserved rest, before their season gets back underway on the 22nd of January when they play host to Holloway 1sts. A fantastic first term for the 2perstars!
The 5ths are also flying in the league and made it 4 from 4 for the season with a very convincing home win against Chichester, running out 72-29 winners. Captain El Hayes was named Player of the Match for some outstanding shooting as she maintained a superb 90% accuracy on her way to a massive 53 points on the day. Daisy Bennett  and Freyan Khambatta  got the other points for Pompey. The Clean Intercepts stats were headed by Zelal Nacak with an impressive 8, from Anja Owona Okou  and Daisy McVicar . Captain's Player of the Match, Maria Wathen, Anya Butler and Bennett all got 2 apiece, with Ellie Walton, Hayes and Khambatta one each. Top of the Tips was Owona Okou with 7, from Nacak  McVicar  Wathen, Hayes and Bennett  Butler and Khambatta  and Walton with 1. This win keeps them 3 points clear of Reading 3rds in 2nd place, as the 5ths look to round things off for the first term when they host West London 1sts in their final match, taking them to the halfway stage of a very memorable campaign.
The 6's recorded their 2nd league win of the season at Royal Holloway 3rds, 32-16, to lift them up to 3rd in the table in the Tier 7 standings. They host St. Mary's 3rds next Wednesday in their penultimate outing before the break.
Women's 1sts got back to winning ways as they secured a superb 4-2 away win at UCL 2nds yesterday to remain out on their own in second spot behind unbeaten league leaders, Surrey 1sts. They finish the first term with a Home match against Brighton 1sts at Langstone next Wednesday.
Women's 2nds were on the road yesterday, and here's Captain, Lucy Lee to tell us how they got on in the capital –
Ladies 2’s dominated possession against 2nd in the table, Kings College 4’s, with a 1-0 win, thanks to a goal from Isabelle Smith, to put us top of the league. 100% effort from every player despite only having one sub. GK Meg had the easiest game and didn’t touch the ball once. Player of the Match went to Lea Cato for a cracking performance in defence.. Hoping to go into the Christmas break next week with another win and secure top spot in the league!
And as Lucy said, they take on Reading 4ths at Langstone on December 4th, as the unbeaten 2's continue their quest for the title.
Men's 1sts continued their excellent campaign with a convincing 7-1 win over Surrey 1sts in SE2A to keep them 6 points clear at the top. In some closely contested singles encounters, Jonathan Avery and Long Hin Jonathan Mak both came through to win 2 matches apiece to put Pompey in control. The excellent, Thomas Wood and Chai Chee Hou then continued their unbeaten partnership to claim wins in both their Doubles encounters before Gavin Wan and Jia Ming See set the seal on victory in a superb final match which the hosts just edged. To see Jia Ming See back on court was reward enough for the fans who turned out at Spinnaker but to see him claim a win, sent them into absolute raptures! The Man of the Match award was shared between Long Hin Jonathan Mak and Chai Chee Hou. The 1's will be looking to make it 6 from 6 when they welcome Brighton next Wednesday before they take a well earned rest from proceedings, before they go again in January.
Men's 2nds recorded an impressive 4-4 draw against unbeaten Middlesex 1sts at Spinnaker as the Top 4 teams in SE3A remain separated by just 3 points. Men of the Match, Urjan Shah and James Tse won both their Doubles matches with Nicholas Oh and Dan Kelly claiming another win in the Doubles with Roy Ho taking a single win for Pompey in the Singles competition. The 2's now travel to leaders Sussex 1sts in what is undoubtedly their toughest assignment of the season to date, before they also head into the break.
Women's 1sts continued their dominant form with another [3-0] straight sets victory, this time on the road at Goldsmiths 1sts – 25-21, 25-19, 25-18. This win saw Pompey inflict the first defeat of the season on their opponents, their closest rivals for the title, and puts them clear by 3 points at the top with a perfect 3 from 3 record. Captain, Megan Harvey was top of the Successful Receives with 2, Wiktoria Wysoczanska topped the Successful Attacks with 7, from Dina Grosu with 5 and Aleksandra Kowalska & Harvey with 4. Successful Blocks were topped by Grosu, Wysoczanska and Harvey with 1 apiece, whilst Ana Pereira Bastos dominated the Assists stats with 14. The Aces on the day were Grosu and Pereira Bastos both with 4 service Aces each and Jo Haszczyn was awarded the Player of the Match award. The 1's are on the road again next week when they head to St. Mary's 1sts, looking to defend their perfect record and continue their first term momentum, as they bid to stay top of SE3A.
Men's 1sts were in dominant mood as they travelled to Bucks New where they posted over a hundred points, coming out on top – 106-58, in what one critic has called 'a blistering performance.' This makes it 4 from 4 in the league for the 1's and takes them 6 points clear of rivals Kingston 1sts, who Pompey host next Wednesday in what is already being labelled in the press as 'unmissable' – who will claim the vital win in what the journalist from The News, that I met on the bus yesterday described as – 'It's an early title decider and there's only one place to be to find out who wins this epic encounter on the 4th December, and that's the Spinnaker Sports Centre – 19:00 Tip Off! Be there!'
Yes, he was very informative... and yes I did move seats at Commercial Road...
Women's 1sts continued their unbeaten start to the season with another bonus point win at Langstone. Pompey ran in 8 tries in a 44-5 win, and racked up over 40 points for the second consecutive week. Incredibly, Bryony Cox crossed the whitewash 5 times, with Marlyse Sifre also grabbing a hat-trick. Jess Charles and Carrie Whymark claimed 2 tries each, with Whymark kicking 2 conversions to seal the points for Pompey. This convincing win sees them join Brunel at the top of SE2A on 10 points, and next up they travel to Essex on December 4th as they look to continue their excellent start to the season.
Men's 4ths took on their closest challengers in Tier 5, Imperial 5ths, and with only 4 regular squad members, the guys from the development teams stepped up in magnificent style as they returned from the capital with a superb 17-12 win in a closely fought encounter. The brilliantly named, Harvard Fitzmaurice with 2 tries and another from Man of the Match, Miles Albert, along with a conversion from Luke Stallard, saw the 4ths remain unbeaten, as they go 4 from 4 to keep Max Clark's boys top going into the half way stage. They travel to Sussex 3rds next week looking for a repeat of the scoreline from back in October, knowing a win here will put the 4's in a commanding position as they head into the New Year.
Men's 1sts were awarded victory at Home to Kent, to give them maximum points and send them back to the top of Tier 1 in the race for promotion with UCL 1sts and Roehampton 1sts. With both of Pompey's rivals yet to play each other in the league, this one still remains wide open. Pompey play host to Imperial 2nds next Wednesday in their penultimate league match and their final home game of the season at Spinnaker.
Men's 2nds made it 2 from 2 for Squash on the day, as they ran out comfortable winners at Roehampton 2nds. This win lifts them into second spot in SE3A, behind strongly fancied Sussex 2nds, with Surrey and Reading in close attendance. Nick Cade, Xavier Crossman and Jacob Richardson all won their matches and will be looking for more success when they travel to Reading 2nds next Wednesday.
Women's 1sts were awarded victory against leaders St. Mary's to remain unbeaten in league and cup as they go 3 from 3. Next up they travel to Kingston as they look to put pressure on the leaders in SE3A during the run-in to the winter break.
After a series of postponements early season, Men's 2nds continued their promising start, with a huge 6-0 win away at Brighton. James Wright [6-3, 6-0] Dmitry Andrianov [6-1, 6-2] Louis Appleby [1-6, 6-4, 11-9] and Jonny Stammers [6-0, 6-0] put Pompey 4 up in the singles to get them off to the best of starts. Appleby and Andrianov [6-0, 6-0] and Wright and Stammers [6-3, 5-7, 10-8] made it a clean sweep with two wins in the Doubles. Man of the Match was Louis Appleby. The 2's will look to go again as they travel to King's College 2nds next Wednesday before they welcome Roehampton 1sts to the Tennis Dome before the end of term.
Completely unrelated fact of the day:
There may have been moments today when many of you would have declared – 'This is like, the wettest place in the world!' However, although I understand your frustrations you would be wrong as that sodden moniker belongs to Mawsynram in the Maghalaya State of India. On average it receives a mind-dampening 11,971 mm of rainfall per annum.
Just so you can put that in context, the UK's average annual rainfall is 1,154 mm. If you can imagine sitting inside a Dolphin's mouth all day – it would be about as wet as that!
So how to reflect on today. I think Roger Miller put it best when he said – 'Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.' –
Although it could also be argued that not many singer songwriters from Nashville have stood around in a downpour on Museum Road waiting for their teammates to show up before they head off for an away fixture, I think Roger has a point...after all he is King of the Road...