UoP BUCS Roundup - 29 January
'There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path – Morpheus, The Matrix.'
Stats the spirit
After last weeks 59% Win Ratio, Pompey excelled this week to record an incredible 70% Win Ratio – a season high in a major fixture week, where a total of 40 fixtures were completed! It was the second highest number of wins in a week this season with 28 all told. At Home, Impressive Pompey recorded a magnificent season high 76% Win Ratio, with a very healthy 65% Win Ratio across our away fixtures. A truly fantastic effort from all the clubs involved this week, especially when you take into consideration the importance of many of yesterdays matches, both at the top and bottom of the league tables. All told, there was something pretty special about the numbers this week, bought about by some very significant performances under pressure. So lets here about the details shall we...?
Here's how our teams fared in yesterdays BUCS programme...
A historic day for Women's 1sts as they returned from Cardiff with all 3 points following an impressive 2-0 win. Linda Savers and Frankie Webster with her 8th of the season, got the goals to secure their 5th win of an impressive Premier South campaign. Results this season, particularly their win against Cardiff Met on their own patch, has really cemented Pompey's place on the BUCS Women's Football map, as they make History by finishing in 3rd – which is certainly the highest finishing position for the club in recent memory if not ever! Congrats to Captain, Beth Roche and her team on this excellent achievement! To say we are all proud of you is a massive understatement! The team will get a well deserved break now until their Knockout fixtures begin on the 19th February as they get underway in the Last 16 of the Championship.
Men's 1sts claimed a valuable point at Home against Sussex 1sts in a fiercely contested encounter at a surprisingly sun-kissed Langstone. Pompey took the lead early in the match through a cracking header from Alfie Clark, and they held on to this lead thanks to some excellent goalkeeping again from Sam Gray, until late in the second half when Sussex equalised following a direct free kick that cannoned off the bar and was slammed home on the rebound. Propelled by an all action, Man of the Match display by the impressive Will Martin, Pompey pushed for the winner and went agonisingly close with the last kick of the game, but alas it was not to be. With Chichester beating Surrey yesterday, Tier 2 looks like this. Brunel are on 7 points at the foot of the table, Reading are on 8 points in 5th. Surrey sit in 4th on 9 points, Chichester in 3rd on 10 points and Sussex, who have drawn 5 of their 7 matches are in 2nd on 11 points with Pompey top on 12 points. With no easy matches and in one of the most competitive BUCS leagues I've ever seen, Pompey face 3 huge games, knowing 3 wins will give them the title. They begin that run in with a trip to Chichester 2nds next week, with Surrey [A] and Brunel [H] to come.
The 2nds travelled to Chichester 3rds and produced a terrific performance to claim all 3 points, following a 4-0 win. Goals from Calum Reeves, Olly Eales, Lewis Haldane and a worldie by Orrin Durrant saw the visitors home. Tom Bond was named Man of the Match for a superb all-round performance which leaves Pompey in 3rd, level on points with Surrey and Brighton and 6 points behind leaders St. Mary's, who visit Langstone next week, where a win for Pompey would throw this one wide open. Also a mention for Orrin Durrant, who was badly injured during the game, we hope your recovery is a speedy and successful one mate.
In the all Pompey clash in the early KO at Langstone, the 4's got the better of the 3's to put a dent in their promotion plans and see both teams settled in mid-table in SE4A. Danny Civco and Belal Ouchan with a free kick were on target for the 3's, whilst for the 4's, Man of the Match on his debut, Stephen Adams claimed a brace, including a worldie of an overhead, Alexander Oke and Joe Wych were also on target with an assist from Ben Sibley. The 4's just had too much for their 3rd team counterparts on the day, but both will go again next week when the 3's play host to Reading 3rds and the 4ths travel to St. Mary's 3rds.
Men's 5ths remain unbeaten as they secured, what in the end, was a vital point on the road against Queen Mary 3rds, as they held their hosts to a 2-2 draw despite not fielding a recognised keeper. Rhys Gillings with his 7th of the season and Ewan Jones grabbed the goals, Said Al-Barwani an assist and Tom Green was named Man of the Match. With Portsmouth and Kingston clear at the top, the title race will be decided by the two matches between the sides that will take place in February and March, but until then the 5's will be looking to return to winning ways when they host Goldsmiths 2nds next Wednesday at Langstone.
Men's 1sts produced the goods when they needed it most to secure their second win of the season, with a vital 17-14 victory against bottom of the table Gloucestershire 1sts in Prem South. Tries from Angus Bankier and Callum Henry were both converted by Arthur Robinson, who also slotted a crucial penalty to secure the points for the visitors. This win keeps Pompey in 5th on 14 points, with 3 games to play. The big games come thick and fast now with a trip to 6th placed Brighton up next, which could see Pompey all but secure their Prem South status with a favourable result against their South Coast rivals. We'll bring you all the news from this one, as the 1's continue their quest to remain at the top table in the South next season.
Men's 3rds produced a great display to beat Chichester 2nds, 27-5, in their own backyard, a super result which takes them up, up and away into 5th, level on points with Reading and UCL. As they play catch up they'll need to utilise their games in hand, to track down Kingston in the battle for 2nd place, behind runaway leaders St. Mary's 2nds. Alex Gerhard led the way with 2 Tries, with Zac Levin, James Bent and Ryan Wright running in the others, whilst Adam Tucker slotted a single Conversion. The 3's now host UCFB 1sts at Langstone in the Plate Quarter Final next Wednesday as they go in search of further glory in the cup.
Men's 4ths continued their impressive season with a superb 46-5 win at home to S.O.A.S, running in 8 tries and prompting one spectator to remark that their performance was reminiscent of the attractive, fluent rugby of Japan with a hint of South African grit. Scorers on the day were, Max Benson and Man of the Match, Luke Stallard who grabbed 2 Tries apiece and further tries came from Ben Humphreys, John Webb, Charlie Mills and Jack Garmston. James Dobson  and Luke Stallard added the conversions as Pompey dominated proceedings on W3 at Langstone. This win keeps them top, with the title likely to go down to the wire, between Pompey and Sussex. Pompey's lead is currently 7 points but Sussex have two games in hand. Pompey welcome King's College 4ths next week as they begin their crucial run-in.
And now it's over to Ultimate's Club Captain, Thomas White with his report on a magnificent day at Langstone for the team –
With a relatively long time off over the Christmas and New Year period the team hadn't played together since our last BUCS game just before Christmas which was against Chichester. Trying to maintain our 100% home win ratio this season was going to be tricky considering we lost to Sussex earlier on in the season, but this time around we had 2 lines of players and a couple of substitutes to keep the legs fresh throughout the game. With the potential of putting ourselves in a position of winning the BUCS SE2A title, there was a lot of added pressure, but thanks to our teamwork and strategy we got off to a great start.
Portsmouth started on offense but had to play into the wind. Generically this time around our second line was more defensively orientated with less experience for the offensive push. As it turned out Sussex playing with the wind helped Pompey drastically, forcing countless turnovers by the Sussex team, leaving us to jitter the disc downfield in for a goal. As the game went on, the defence from Portsmouth grew stronger and stronger with offensive plays becoming more structured and exploiting the weaknesses shown by the Sussex side. By half time the score was at a decisive 8-1 to Portsmouth.
Starting the second half with a slower defence enabled Sussex to claw back two crucial points, however this spurred Portsmouth on to regain thought and to take command of the game. With huge individual efforts from most of the team, which saw spectacular defensive turnovers and layout goals to further increase our GD in a bid to cap the score at the magical 15. Portsmouth took full control, forcing countless errors from Sussex and playing a smart offense, taking our time to work up the field and always looking for a dump if there was no option up-field. This calmness and willingness to lose yards for the sake of possession enabled Portsmouth to run away with the game, finishing with a long huck – a long range pass downfield – to a short pass, to complete the game. The result – a soul destroying, 14-3 to Pompey which sees the team maintain their 100% Home Win Ratio. Credit to Sussex for maintaining the spirit of the game throughout no matter the score line.
With one game to play away against Brighton next week, the 1's have all but won the title, just needing to turn up and play, having the better head to head record against Chichester 1sts, who are the only team that can match their points haul. But Pompey will want to finish their campaign with another win, to keep momentum, going into the upcoming Shield Qualifier Final against Sussex on the 12th.
Patrick Sowden and Dan Squire were named Men of the Match, with Goals from Squire  Nick Stonehouse, Harry White and Ben Kilgariff  and Thomas White, Charlie White, Cameron Lewis, Michael Wakelyn-Green and George Ratcliffe . Assists were from Wakelyn-Green  Robbie Bratchell, T. White, C. White and H. White  and Lewis .
The 1's hosted Brunel 2's on Wednesday and ran out victors in a close encounter 45-37, as they look to keep up the pressure on Sussex 1sts and Surrey 2nds in the battle for the runners-up berth behind unbeaten St. Mary's 1sts. Next up they take on bottom of the table Reading 1sts, before their attention turns to a huge Home Quarter Final in the Conference Cup against St. Mary's, where Pompey will be giving it everything in order to make the Semi Finals.
The 2's took on Brighton 3's at Eastbourne and came away with a magnificent, hard-fought victory, coming out on top by 59-48 to make it 7 wins from 7 for the season. Player of the Match, Annabelle Couchman led the way with another impressive goal haul of 48, with Caitlin Johnson in support with 11. Top of the Tips was Joint Captain's Player of the Match, Mia Scott with 9, followed by Captain, Kristie Buckingham with 6, Emily King  Rosie Rusga  and Johnson . Clean Intercepts were also headed by Scott with 12, with one apiece from Joint Captain's Player, Cat Sonkur, Buckingham, Rusga, King and Harris-Jenkins. Whilst Rebound stats were as follows – Johnson  Buckingham  Couchman  and Scott . This win sees the 2's stretch their lead at the summit to 9 points with only three matches to play in SE3A. With Reading 2's still having games in hand the title is not quite confirmed as yet, but two more wins from their last 3 matches would see them crowned as Champions even before the trip to Reading in March. Next up, they welcome Brighton 2nds to St. Paul's on the 5th of February, as Pompey look to stay unbeaten in the league.
The 3rds produced a stunning performance, clearly their best of the season, to pick up their second win of the campaign at St. Paul's as they beat Brunel 3rds, 61-32, in a vital clash at the bottom of SE4A. With 3 games to play, Pompey have a 6 point buffer now over Brunel, which should be enough to keep them in the Fourth Tier next term. Next week they travel to 3rd in the table, St. Mary's 2nds.
The 5ths are enjoying a superb season and continued their Winning Wednesday tradition with a comfortable victory over mid-table Brighton 4ths at St. Paul's. Daisy Bennett with 23 and El Hayes with 19, got the goals, and just to shake it up a bit, here are the Defensive Stats in Table Form –
- El Hayes – 5 tips, 2 interceptions
- Daisy Bennett – 4 tips, 1 interception
- Ellie Walton – 7 tips
- Anya Butler – 3 tips, 2 interceptions
- Zelal Nacak 8 tips, 5 interceptions
- Daisy McVicar – 15 tips, 10 interceptions
- Maria Wathen – 8 tips, 3 interceptions
- Anja Owona Okou – 16 tips, 5 interceptions
Great performance by the unbeaten 5ths, who travel to West London 1sts next Wednesday, as they seek to go – 7 from 7 and keep the heat on 2nd place, Reading 3rds.
The 6ths secured a more than credible draw against LSE 2nds, 24-24, to make sure they don't get dragged into the relegation battle in Tier 7, remaining 6 points clear of their hosts with 3 games to play. Next week they host King's College 5ths at St. Paul's.
Women's 1sts were given a walkover today in their Tier 3 Home match against Roehampton, which saw them all but seal the SE3A Title. The team have been outstanding this season and even with one match to play away at Medway 1sts in March, Unbeaten Pompey boasting a 5 from 5 record with 15 points, should not be caught due to their better head to head record against 2nd placed Goldsmiths 1sts. There's no doubt that the team will be focused on making it 6 from 6 in the league and want to finish with a perfect record when they travel to Kent in a month's time. The team's attentions now turn to the knockout competitions where they will take on Holloway or Kingston on the 12th of February in the Conference Cup Quarter Final!
Men's 1sts travelled to Imperial yesterday looking to maintain top spot in the SE3A Title Race, and they came through the challenge with honours, running out winners by 108-47, breaking the 100 point barrier for the second time this season. This win puts them onto 18 points from their 7 matches, with 3 to play. They travel to Surrey 2nds next week, looking to secure another three points to take them closer to that elusive promotion to Tier 2.
Meanwhile, Women's 1sts produced an emphatic display to claim victory against visiting St. Mary's 1sts 74-49. A terrific display from the team at Spinnaker which sees them maintain third place, as they draw level on points with 2nd placed Brunel, behind runaway leaders Sussex. Captain Alicia Veale led the way with 14 points, from Alexandra Touzet, Angeliki Papagianni and Lili Pajer  Marisa Gonzales and Alba Brotons Moreno  and Itziar Lavina Gonzalez, Ameera Valencia and Zoe Constantine . Next up is a trip to Royal Holloway 1sts, before they travel to St. Mary's in the Quarter Final of the Conference Cup on the 12th of February.
Unbeaten Men's 1sts continued their dominant form with another comfortable 7-1 victory at Home to Surrey 2nds at Spinnaker yesterday afternoon. Man of the Match, Jonny Avery won both his singles matches, making it a stunning 18 wins from 18 this season. Darren Chai also won both his Singles encounters to put his impressive individual record at 16 wins from 16. In the Doubles Tom Wood and debutant, Navinsamy Harikrishnan were too strong for their opponents winning both matches, with Wood now also unbeaten in his 18 matches this season. Roy Ho and Jia Ming See dazzled their opponents with equal measures of raw talent and matching footwear, to claim a further win, to give Pompey their 7th of the day. This latest victory sees them move to 8 wins from 8 as they go in search of that perfect 10. It also means that they can clinch the title with a win when they travel to 2nd placed Holloway 1sts on the 26th of February, who also happen to be their opponents next week at the same venue in the Quarter Final of the Conference Cup.
Men's 2nds matched the 1sts scoreline with a superb 7-1 win at Home to Imperial which lifts them into third above King's College 2nds in the Tier 3 table. Kieran Cheung and James Tse each recorded 2 wins apiece in their singles encounters, whilst in the Doubles, Urjan Shah and David Chiew claimed 2 wins and there was another victory for Men of the Match pairing Osbert Ting and Dan Kelly, as Pompey secured a comfortable overall win. The 2's have a few weeks off before they visit St. George's on the 26th of February and then it's Middlesex Away for them, as they conclude their campaign in March.
*There's also a special mention for Women's 1sts who were missing most of their players yesterday, but managed to get a team of 5 out to travel to Essex, and were only denied a famous result in a closely fought match, going down 5-3 on the day. A superb effort by Halimah Tasnim, Jing Jia Choo, Hannah Gambier and debutants Taylor-Lei Mohan and Emily Chapman. A fantastic effort to step up at short notice. You did your University and your club proud.
Women's 1sts continued their superb season with a clinical 6-0 win away at Roehampton 1sts, inflicting a first defeat of the season upon their opponents. Two wins in the Doubles competition and wins in the Singles from Saana Londono 6-3, 6-0, Mishgahn Omer 6-0, 6-0, Player of the Match, Yannah Mckenzie-Wells 6-1, 6-0 and a win for Laila El Atfy saw Pompey record a clean sweep and now sit top of the table with a perfect 4 from 4 record. Next week sees the team travel to second place Surrey 2nds, where victory will all but ensure the title. Another professional performance from the 1's as they continue undaunted and unbeaten.
Over to the enigmatic, Mr. Nick Roebuck esquire now, for his report on how Golf got on against King's College –
After an early morning departure to South East London we headed to Royal Blackheath for an eagerly anticipated rematch against former Portsmouth Sport and Rec member Alex's Cole's KCL. Could we do the double over our London rivals?
- Max Walmisley – Leading the line on his second appearance for the club, put a shift in taking his match down to the 18th. After making several clutch putts throughout the round, his effort for birdie on the last just slid by meaning his par was not enough to secure a half point for the UPGC. Final score 1 Down, but can't fault his fight.
- Jack Fairhall – Following out Max in the first group, his first tee shot was a sign of things to come. In control from the first hole he turned the screw to completely demolish his opponent. Final score 8&7 Win.
- Dan Colman – Questions were raised as to whether the man of the moment over the last 2 months could rekindle his form after a first loss of the season last week? An up and down match which ended up with Colman utilising his experience to see his game out on the 17th holing a vital clutch point. Final score 2&1 Win.
- Nick Roebuck – What can we say. After a wayward first tee shot which almost landed on the M25, serious eyebrows were raised at the former captain... these were very quickly diminished just like his opponent's hopes as he absolutely annihilated the poor man, winning in a manner very rarely seen at this level. 10&8 Win from the man now unbeaten in 7 matches.
- Iain Clarke – The skipper went out in the last group which turned out to be a colossal clash between the captains. A very evenly matched game was decided on the greens which sadly resulted in the KCL skipper getting the upper hand on the 16th. A 3&2 loss, but a valiant showing from the captain none the less.
- Sean Doyle – Looking for his 7th win in 9 games, Sean followed out the skipper aiming to put on a show. Like a diesel engine on a cold morning, he started slowly, All Square through 8. Then as he approached the back 9, the man was like a shadow of his former self, shooting -2 gross on the way, wiping out his opponent to take a 6&4 Win.
With one game to play now next week away at Holloway, Pompey sit in third position with 12 points, looking to fend off the challenge from Reading 2nds to secure a top 3 finish this season. And whilst he will forever hold a place in our hearts, bragging rights remain in Pompey this season over a very tearful, Alex Cole!
MVP – Nick Roebuck
Men's 1sts kept their title aspirations on track in SE2B securing a tense 3-2 win on the road at Essex 1sts. Sitting in 2nd place, behind UCL 1sts based on their Head to Head record, Pompey play host to their rivals at Langstone next week needing to match or better the 3-1 score in the reverse fixture to keep matters in their own hands with just 2 matches to go in this one. It's going to be an absolute belter so please get down to Langstone next week to lend your support to the team, for this one, with a 14:30 push back, bring scarves and gloves and flasks of soup and cheer Pompey home to victory!
Women's 1sts travelled to the Olympic Park to take on Queen Mary 1sts at the iconic Lee Valley Tennis and Hockey Centre, and didn't disappoint their following, returning to the South Coast with a 4-0 win. Goals from Harriet Steptoe , Sarah Edmundson and Sam Hassel along with assists from Captain Frankie Denoon, Eleanor Skinner and Meg Scott and a Player of the Match performance from Trinity Yao, saw Pompey home to another valuable 3 points. They get a week off now before they make the trip to Reading 1sts on the 12th of February, looking for a win that would all but secure 2nd spot in SE1A, behind unbeaten leaders, Surrey 1sts, who visit Langstone on the 26th of February a fortnight later.
Women's Hockey 2nds were awarded victory by New Bucks 1sts yesterday to stretch their lead at the top of the Tier 4 table. With 18 points from 7 matches they are looking in prime position to maintain this lead over King's College 4ths in second spot, with just 3 matches to play. Pompey welcome UCL 4ths to Langstone next week as they seek to continue their excellent form.
Men's 2nds finished their league campaign strongly with a 3-0 win over Reading 3rds at Spinnaker. Nick Cade, Harkaran Matharu-Randhawa and Xavier Crossman all won in straight sets as the 2's finish on 62 points. Though they currently sit top, Sussex, Surrey and Reading all have games in hand in Tier 3, but Pompey are assured of a Top 3 finish in this one with 5 wins and 2 losses to their name over the 19-20 season.
We will also bring you news from Men's 1sts who having completed their campaign, were left waiting on other results across the programme to find out their fate in Tier 1, to see if they had made the Prem' playoffs. We're working out the permutations but there could be some promising news for Pompey and their aspirations of reaching the Prem' next season. Stay tuned for more when we have it!
Completely unrelated fact(s) of the day:
As I was feeling in a practical kind of mood earlier, I happened upon these largely unknown idiosyncrasies, which I felt compelled to share with you – please do try these at home.
For instance did you know that it is impossible to hum whilst holding your nose...
Well, normally when you hum, air is able to escape through your nose to create the sound, but it can't do that whilst you're clamping down on your hooter. Try it – it is simply not possible!
Did you also know that you can't tickle yourself!?
Though someone else may find your ticklish spot in seconds, you will never ever be able to tickle yourself.
Why? Well, I am pleased you asked –
The Cerebellum, the part of your brain involved in monitoring movements, can predict sensations when your own movement causes them but not when someone else does. So if you try to tickle yourself, the Cerebellum predicts it and cancels the effect of the tickle.
*Please don't attempt to remove your Cerebellum in order to try this at home with friends. I cannot emphasise that enough – it is not worth it, people!
And our final practical fact of a mind-bending nature will require a chair, a foot, your own if possible, pen and paper and a desk slash table. Right, ready? Then we'll begin.
Firstly, please check your right leg is attached, then take a seat and raise that right leg off the floor. No, your right leg... Yes, that's the one. Right, now make clockwise circles with that raised right leg. Next, please take your pen and paper, place it upon the desk and whilst continuing to make clockwise movements with your raised right leg draw a number 6 on the page.
What should have taken place is that your foot will change direction and move in an anti-clockwise motion. Why, I hear you cry?
I haven't the foggiest – but it does!
It's been a long week!