UoP BUCS Roundup - 4 December
'In the midst of winter, I found, there was, within me, an invincible summer' – Albert Camus.
Stats the way to do it:
Pompey bounced back with an explosive force akin to the time when the Flash over indulged in a Chicken Vindaloo at a Pop Up Stall outside CC Jitters during Street Food Week in Central City! No greater way was there for our teams to prove that last week's results were a blip on the radar than to smash it harder and faster than The Hulk! This week's Away Win Ratio of 65% equalled our best this season, and our Home Win Ratio of 75% was second only to the incredible 82% recorded a fortnight ago. So as our teams fended off frostbite, chilblains and other icicle related disorders, Pompey played their way to an exceptional season high equalling Win Ratio of 69%.
Men's 1sts travelled to Reading 2nds in what was always going to be a tough match and a clash of styles at Bulmershe. Kwawo Frempong-Menso grabbed the crucial goal for the 1's with Chad Musselwhite getting the assist. Captain, Sam Gray was named Man of the Match for a superb double-stop, when he saved a penalty and then brilliantly kept out the rebound. Pompey returned to the South Coast with a well-earned point, to leave their fate in their own hands in what is an incredibly tight SE1A this campaign. Six points separate Top from Bottom, and with Pompey sitting on 8 points, they know if the win their game in hand against Brunel 1sts, they will head to the summit in the New Year. There's likely to be plenty of twists and turns in this one, but the 1's are right in the mix again as they look to take that step up to Tier 1.
Men's 3rds were in superb form on the 3G at Langstone, propelled to victory by an incredible individual performance from Man of the Match, Timmy Tiposa who bagged all 5 goals in their stunning 5-2 victory over St. Mary's 3rds. This win keeps the 3rds, 4 points off top spot with a game in hand on Reading 3rds, with Pompey, Reading and Brighton set to slug it out for the title in the New Year. Pompey begin the run-in with a trip to St. Mary's on the 15th of January.
Men's 4ths followed in the 3rds footsteps and produced another great display as they overcame Chichester 4ths, 4-2 on the 3G. There was another hat-trick to celebrate in this one with Alexander Oke firing home a stunning treble for the UPFC and Argemiro Sassa grabbing the fourth and an assist. Ben Sibley was also instrumental in the victory and recorded an assist as well as taking home the joint Man of the Match award with Oke. The 4's join the 3's on 7 points having played 2 games more, and next up for them is the long anticipated all-Portsmouth clash in late January.
Adam Kerr's Men's 5ths were awarded victory at home to Roehampton 2nds yesterday to maintain their unbeaten record in the league as they go 4 from 4 to end the first term. They will begin again in early January on the 15th when they play host to Queen Mary's 3rds at Langstone and look to continue their superb start to the season as they remain neck and neck with Kingston 2nds in Tier 6.
Men's 1sts secured another valuable 3 points against UCL 2nds at Langstone winning 2-0 to maintain their unbeaten record and take them 3 points clear of LSE 1sts with a game in hand on their rivals. After the Winter break the 1's travel to UCL 1sts on the 22nd of January as they look to stretch their lead at the top with 4 matches left to play in their league campaign.
Women's 1sts recorded a confident 5-1 win at Langstone over Brighton [Eastbourne] 1sts to cement their spot in 2nd spot in SE1A. Player of the Match, Eleanor Skinner grabbed a hat-trick with Captain, Frankie Denoon and Meg Scott on hand to get the other goals for the home side. Next up after the winter break, the 1's travel to Queen Mary 1sts on January 29th.
Women's 2nds extended their lead at the top of the SE4A table to 2 points over King's College 4ths, with a convincing 4-0 win at home to Reading 4ths at Langstone. Goals from Casey Waisman  and Isabelle Smith  with assists from Captain, Lucy Lee were enough to secure Pompey the points. Kathleen Foster and Olivia Mullen shared the Player of the Match award. Next up after the winter break, the 2's travel to Reading 4ths for the return fixture looking to maintain their lead at the top in the New Year.
Men's 3rds claimed their first win of the season away with a 2-0 success at Imperial 4ths, to leap above their opponents and Chichester, as they moved up to 4th in the table and out of the relegation zone. A great performance from the 3rds with goals from George Gale and Alex Jarret with his third of the season and assists from John Tipple and Danny Cross. The 3rds face Imperial 4ths in the reverse fixture at Langstone on January 22nd when they get underway in the New Year looking for a repeat of yesterday's excellent result.
Men's 1sts stretched their lead at the top of Tier 2 to 6 points with a convincing win over a spirited Brighton side, 7-1 at Spinnaker. Jonny Avery added another two singles wins to add to his superb unbeaten record, with Long Hin Jonathan Mak also adding an important singles win on the day. In the Doubles, Pompey managed a clean sweep with four wins from four, as the still unbeaten and extremely impressive partnership of Tom Wood and Chai Chee Hou and a Men of the Match worthy performance from the outstanding, Gavin Wan and the legend that is Jia Ming See, saw the home team notch up another 3 points. It's been a phenomenal first term for Men's 1sts and there's more to come from them in 2020. Watch this space, for more news, as their campaign continues on January 22nd with an away tie at Chichester.
Women's 1sts made it a superb day for Badminton as they returned to winning ways, as promised, returning to the frosty shores of Southsea with an exceptional 7-1 win against Surrey 2nds. Weishan Low and Cynthia Sathiyarajan both won 2 out of 2 to continue their fine seasons in the singles competition. In the Doubles, Katharyn Wataranan and Jing Jia Choo won both of their matches in convincing style and Halimah Tasnim and Player of the Match, on debut, Faye De Ath secured another win to keep Pompey in touch with the leading pack in SE2A, just 4 points adrift of leaders St. George's, with two games in hand. It's incredibly tight with one from St. George's, Sussex, St. Mary's and Portsmouth to be crowned champions come March. Pompey play host to St. Mary's next Wednesday in a crucial tie before they head into the Winter Break.
A day to celebrate for Squash as they recorded a double with great wins for Men's 1sts and 2nds yesterday.
Men's 1sts were once again in unstoppable form with another 5-0 maximum points win at home to Imperial 2nds as Pompey once again recorded wins from the famous five – Will Pearmain, Edward English, Sherlock Ko, Josh Taylor and Elliot Dowling. This win sends Pompey back to the summit, 21 points clear of UCL 1sts and 32 clear of Roehampton 1sts. Pompey finish their league campaign with an away trip to King's College 1sts on the 22nd January, and will be looking to do what they have to in the capital and then see how the matches between UCL and Roehampton on the 11th December and 22nd January pan out before their fate is revealed.
The 2's were involved in a tightly contested Tier 3 battle with Reading 2nds – with Henry Letch and Xavier Crossman both coming from behind to win their matches as Pompey battled it out to record a superb 2-1 victory on the road. A spirited effort from the 2's who take 3rd spot behind leaders Sussex 2nds and 2nd placed Surrey 4ths. The 2nds welcome Reading 3rds to Spinnaker on January 29th as they look to continue their recent momentum and record a fourth win on the bounce to keep the pressure on the leaders.
Portsmouth 2nds followed in the footprints of the 1sts by recording another Team win at Reading yesterday against Reading 2nds and Surrey 2nds in their Trophy F21 mini-league. Not only did they echo the Team win of the 1sts last week, but they also mirrored the Individual success, with Grace Lee coming 1st in the competition this time for the 2nds; a superb achievement. Anna Thunstrom also recorded a 5th place for Pompey with Evie Shearn 8th and Lizzie Hipgrave just behind her missing out on the points by the narrowest of margins.
The 1sts also followed up their recent success with a 3rd placed finish in their Championship F20 mini-league and once again there was Individual success to shout about with Maxine Antaki taking the Individual honours to record 1st place, with Emily Weeks coming in 3rd.
It's been a fantastic week for Equestrian, and we'll continue to bring you news of their competitions in the New Year as they continue their quest to reach Nationals in Team and Individual Competitions.
Women's 1sts made it 4 from 4 overall and 3 from 3 in the league with another excellent 45-12 win on the road against Essex 1sts, to take them top of SE2A, 3 points clear of LSE. Player of the Match, Marlyse Sifre ran in 2 tries, whilst Carrie Whymark continued her exceptional start to the season with 3 tries and 5 conversions. Hannah Thomas and Samantha Wright also crossed the whitewash as the 1's ran in 7 tries on the day. Next week, Pompey play host to UCL 1sts, looking to maintain their unbeaten start before they head into the Winter break. A fantastic first term for Women's 1sts.
Women's 1sts remain undefeated after victory at St. Mary's 1sts – 3-0 [25-23, 25-23, 25-18]. This win keeps them top of the table having won 4 out of 4 in SE3A, as they head into the winter break after an outstanding first half of the season. The 1's host Roehampton 1sts at Spinnaker on the 29th of January when they return to action in the New Year.
It was another fantastic day for Men's 1sts as they continued their BUCS Outdoor campaign with a superb 15-1 win away at Chichester. Here's Club Captain, Thomas White with another insightful and informative report. I'm learning loads, I hope you guys are too –
'With the match delayed due to Chichester's late turnout it was our chance to control the game from the start, and having warmed up for a considerable amount of time in the cold, we were all ready to bring the heat. We thought this was going to be a very close match up but after we went 4-1 up early on, our opponents looked demoralised.
Throughout the BUCS season so far, I have created 2 lines for our play, this creates an upwind offensive line and a downwind offensive line. This way we are always playing to our strengths and allowing ourselves time to regain composure and recover from intense points. It is safe to say that this strategy has helped us massively this season, scoring 30 points and only conceding 3 in our past 2 games. We played a very tight cup zone for defence, applying pressure and forcing into the side lines, minimising the amount of space Chichester had to play with. This was working well for us, slowing down their offence to short passes and eliminating the long throws. As there was next to no wind, this zone paid off as we capitalised on our offence to create space and allow the long throws to be taken when the opportunity was right. We focused on maintaining possession to frustrate the opposition and give us time to create the perfect opening to break through the defence.
We played a slow and controlled offence until we broke through their initial zone to make the most of an open field before resetting and passing the disc back to a handler. We played the majority of the game in Chichester's half, only taking safe throws and occasionally trying the odd cheeky throw here and there. With the score 8-1 at Half Time, we focused on possession once again and with Chichester making too many mistakes we managed to capitalise on every opportunity we could to prevent conceding any further points.
After a brutal second half the game ended in a decisive 15-1 victory for Portsmouth.'
Cameron Lewis top scored for Pompey with 7 points, with T.White, H. White, H.Allen, M.Wakelyn-Green, S. Bradley, S. Heather, T. Greenwood and B. Kilgariff all scoring one apiece. Assists came from Wakelyn-Green  H. White, Allen, Stonehouse and Bratchell  and T. White, Bradley, Ratcliffe and Kilgariff with one each.
Women's 1sts made it 2 from 2 in the league and 4 from 4 this season to head into the break unbeaten as they inflicted a 6-0 win over Kingston 1sts. Saana Londono [6-3, 6-4] Mishagahn Omer [6-1, 6-3] Laila El Atfy [6-0, 6-0] and Emma Booker-Milburn [6-2, 6-3] all recorded victories in the Singles with the partnerships of Londono and Omer [7-6, 6-1] and El Atfy and Booker-Milburn [6-2, 6-0] both securing wins to make it a clean sweep and maximum points for Pompey in freezing conditions in the capital.
Playing catch up in the league, the 1's sit in 4th, but are just 3 points behind St. Mary’s with 3 games in hand. Pompey go again in 2020 when they host Goldsmiths 1sts on the 22nd of January at the Tennis Dome, looking to close the gap and continue their excellent start.
The 5ths continued their incredible season with another dominant display, recording their second consecutive 70 point haul, with a 74-28 win against West London 1sts at St. Paul's. Once again, Captain, El Hayes led the way with 44 points, with Player of the Match, Daisy Bennett scoring 17 and Freyan Khambatta 13. Top of the Tips and Captain's Player of the Match with an incredible 17 was Zelal Nacak, followed by Anja Owona Okou  Daisy McVicar  Bennett and Anya Butler  Maria Wathen and Khambatta  Ellie Walton  and Hayes . Clean Intercept stats were headed by Owona Okou with 6 from Nacak  McVicar, Butler and Wathen  Bennett and Hayes  and Khambatta and Walton .
This leaves the 5ths with a 5 from 5 record and sitting proudly at the top of SE6A, 3 points clear of nearest rivals Reading 3rds. They begin the New Year on January 29th when they host Brighton 4ths as they look to keep the pressure on Reading in what is already a two-horse race for the title.
Having to deal with the loss of high profile players in the lead up to this, Women's 1sts were involved in a war of attrition, laced with some exceptional 'off the seat' highs, in their mid-table Tier 2 match at Spinnaker against Brighton. With both teams pressing hard in what was a feisty opening, Pompey's exceptional press and high work rate saw them over the line by the narrowest of margins 42-39, in a thrilling finale. Angeliki Papagianni top scored with 16, including some superb 3-pointers. Player of the Match, Captain, Alicia Veale, led from the front with a season high 12 points with Anne Omotola  Itziar Lavina Gonzalez  and Ameera Valencia and Zoe Constantine  in support to take Pompey home and lift them into 3rd place in the SE2A table. The 1's take a break now, but resume their campaign at home to St. Mary's 1sts on the 29th January, looking to avenge their one point loss back in October.
And last today but by no means least, I hand you over to the most excellent, the one and only, Nick Roebuck for his report on how Golf 1sts got on at Meon Valley yesterday –
'After a disappointing result last week against Reading 1's, their 2's were next to visit the fortress as we looked to make amends for last weeks narrow loss. So did we? Of course we did! And with some style winning 4.5 – 1.5. This one looked likely to go to the wire after 9, and then as the sun started to set, so did Reading's dreams of winning...Here's how the team fared on the day –
- Dan Colman: HALVE – An up and down game, but with the best clutch birdie you could ever hope to witness. Colman remains unbeaten by clinching this valuable half point.
- Nick Roebuck: 5&4 WIN – A quick start out of the blocks saw Roebuck 5 Up after 9, and not making many mistakes at all. A pleasing, and neat performance sees Roebuck reach 5 games unbeaten.
- Harry Brown: 3& 2 WIN: Yes, that's A W!!! Fresher, Brown secures the first win of his university career, and a win like no other as he beats a Hong Kong National player! What a result!
- Max Walmisley: 1 Up WIN: In his first Uni' match, Super Walmisley steps in, and he's definitely done himself proud! Beating a 5 handicap player on the last, showing nerves of steel. Mr Consistent – understatement of the year! MVP on the day.
- Iain Clarke: 1 Down LOSS: a tight match takes Clarke down the last, losing to a chip in birdie yet the Skipper knew his cavalry had been to war and won for him. A big smile from Captain, Clarke despite the defeat.
- Sean Doyle: 6&5 WIN: Doyle gets off to an absolute flyer going 3 Up through 4 holes, and 5 Up after 9, matching Roebuck. The result was never in doubt, another solid day at the office for him! '
Onto next week! The league is still WIDE open!'
Completely unrelated fact of the day:
Everyone in action yesterday can be forgiven for believing they could have been playing against Emperor Penguins, Lemmings, Ptarmigan and Polar Bears, but spare a thought for those who took part in the 2017 Iditarod, in Fairbanks, Alaska, which is the coldest known sporting event to ever take place with temperatures plummeting to -32 degrees, with a wind-chill factor of something utterly ridiculous! All of which means it was officially colder than a Yeti's Ice Pop!
The Iditarod takes place during March and is a 938 mile Trail Sled-dog race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska in the good old US of A. Mushers – the person on the sled – and a team of 14 dogs – generally Huskies after the Perilous Poodle Propeller Propinquity incident 4 years prior – cover the distance in what can be anything from 8 to 15 days. At least 5 of the dogs must be on the towline at the finish line.
*I didn't want to ask what happened to the other 9, but in my mind they went off to muck about and perhaps chased Elk, whilst being really cute and fluffy... I couldn't bear any alternative theories...*
According to the Associated Press, Mitch Seavey became the oldest 'musher' to win the race at the age of 57 when he crossed the line in 8 days, 3 hours 40 minutes and 13 seconds in this, the coldest sporting event ever!
For more information on the Iditarod – please watch the animated feature film Balto  featuring the voice talents of Kevin Bacon, Bridget Fonda, Bob Hoskins and Phil Collins – this tells the story of –
'An outcast Husky risks his life with other sled dogs to prevent a deadly epidemic from ravaging Nome, Alaska.' – IMDB
So in conclusion after another terrific week of sport, and high level performances that you have all proved the point, rightly echoed by Tom Lehrer, that...
'Bad weather always looks worse through a window...'