UoP BUCS Roundup - 5 February
'The first step to fixing something is to know, no matter how destroyed it seems, it can always be saved – Joe Goldberg – You.'
Following on from a superb 70% Win Ratio last week, Pompey went on to record an impressive 64% Win Ratio yesterday, which considering there were 5 drawn matches in our 36 games, is a quality return from another week of high pressure fixtures. At Home, Pompey were once again excellent with a 71% Win Ratio, losing only one match in 17. Away from home things were a little tougher with a 58% Win Ratio recorded across our away fixtures. The season average still comes in at a very healthy 62% Overall Win Ratio, and our teams will be looking to maintain this if not increase it, as they are tested to the limit of their capacity as League Championship and survival battles continue apace. Next week our teams continue in their respective knockout campaigns, as they look to secure their places at Finals Day in March.
So this is how it all played out this week –
Men's 1sts produced the near-perfect performance they needed, keeping their composure, to not only record the 3 points they required to take them clear of their title rivals UCL 1sts. Not only did they win, but the margin of their stunning 5-2 victory also ensured that their head to head record was superior, overturning the 3-1 defeat in the reverse fixture. All this saw them secure the SE2B title and with it promotion to Tier 1. Congratulations to the team, who literally sweated blood for the cause yesterday as they triumphed in a pulsating encounter. They just need to take the field against Brunel in their final match on the 26th to confirm their status as Champions, but next week they 1's turn their attention to the Conference Cup and the possibility of a league and cup double, when Alex Lewcock and his intrepid team take on King's College 2nds in the Quarter Finals.
Women's 2nds tightened their grip on the SE4A title, with a comfortable 4-0 win over UCL 4ths at Langstone yesterday with goals from Isabelle Smith, Casey Waisman, Kathleen Foster and Sophie Buchanan. Assists came from Foster x 2, Nina Hammond and Issy Sellers, with Megan Schoeman and Sophie Buchanan sharing the player of the match award as Pompey dominated proceedings. This win sees them stretch the gap to 10 points over King's College in 2nd place, though King's do have 2 matches in hand, but it's one more win needed from Pompey in their last 2 matches to make certain of the crown and promotion to Tier 3. They will step up looking for that win when they take on Royal Holloway 2nds on the 19th of February.
Men's 2's were also victorious, 3-1 against UCL Men's 3's, thanks to 2 goals by Matthew Streeter, 1 from Thomas West and 3 assists by Captain, Ben Lawford. A crucial win in a huge relegation battle, saw Pompey grab their first victory of the season in the league, to take them onto 4 points with 3 matches to play, with a game in hand on their rivals. They now travel to the capital in a fortnight to take on mid-table Imperial 3rds in their next match as they continue their fight to retain their Tier 3 status.
And now it's over to Ultimate's Club Captain, Thomas White with his report on a magnificent away day at Brighton where Men's 1sts understood that victory would secure the SE2A Championship and with it Promotion back to Tier 1!
This was the game that would solidify us as the undisputed champions of our BUCS League. With so much pressure on the team to deliver and only having one full line and two possible substitutes it was going to be an incredibly tough game for the guys.
With a total play time of 70 minutes plus a possible 30 minute soft cap (30 minutes to score 1 point on top of the leaders score, giving the losing team a chance to make a comeback) would be a challenge for our squad. Playing on an uneven and soft grass pitch presented its own challenges with divots increasing the risk of injury, something we could not afford.
In recent times there has been a strong rivalry between Portsmouth and Brighton in the Ultimate Frisbee league, however the spirit of the game was set to a high standard this time. As the game got underway Brighton were able to force a turnover and instantly scored. This didn't give anyone confidence however we pressed on, taking the next two points blow for blow.
In the game of Ultimate, contact between players which could impede a players catch on the disc is considered a foul but being a self-refereed sport perceptions on rules and contact differs, meaning we all have to respect these calls no matter the truth behind them and this would prove pivotal in the later stages of the game.
Both Portsmouth and Brighton struggled to gain momentum and form within the first half, but with game changing mistakes form the Brighton side (dropping their first pass) 10 feet away from their End Zone, this enabled a couple of cheeky points to be scored to put us 7-5 up just before half time. This gave us the confidence we needed to wrap the game up. Unfortunately we lost 3 points consecutively, giving Brighton the half time lead at 8-7.
This shattered our spirits going into the break, but all was not lost as we chanted our way back in front with a 9-8 lead, moving into the later stages of the game. Dan Squire had put a huge shift in until he landed awkwardly on his ankle and sprained it, but this break in play gave us a little more time to catch our breaths as the Captains from either team decided how the game should continue. Portsmouth still had a time out which they called straight away, giving us even more time to recuperate.
The full game time was now over and we went into soft cap (so it now became a game to 10 points). In the typical Pompey fashion we stepped up when we needed to, right at the end, dominating possession and finally putting the game to rest in a 10-8 victory and leaving the Portsmouth team with the league title!
Goals on the day came from the excellent, Ben Kilgariff  Michael Wakelyn-Green & Cameron Lewis  and Thomas White & Harry White . Assists were from the impressive Wakelyn-Green  Thomas White  Lewis, Kilgariff and Man of the Match, Dan Squire, as Pompey sealed their 5th win of the season to take the title.
Next up they travel to Sussex in the Men's Shield Qualifier A Final next week looking for another win in what is proving to be an incredible BUCS Outdoor season for the team.
Men's 1sts registered their biggest away win of the season, overwhelming Brighton 1sts, 41-0 at Falmer. Try scorers were Joe Gregson, Arthur Robinson, Luke Simmons, Adam Richards, Ryan Newton, Oliver Beeny and Toby Fear. Three of the try's were converted by Arthur Robinson and the MOM award went to Oliver Beeny for another amazing performance, to set the seal on a superb win which sees Pompey climb to a season high 4th in Premier 2 South. This win takes them well clear of the relegation zone, and into a mid-table scrap with UWE and Reading with 4 points separating the teams. Next Up Pompey play host to UWE 1sts looking to make it 3 top flight wins on the spin. A fantastic couple of weeks for the 1's!
Women's 1sts recorded their biggest win of the season away at Essex 1sts, running out winners by an emphatic 74 points to 5 to set up an away Semi Final at UCL 1sts in the Conference Cup on the 19th of February. Before they get back to Cup action, the 1's have the small matter of an all important league decider at Brunel next Wednesday, where Pompey know they will need to get all the points to give themselves a shot at the SE2A title against their unbeaten opponents.
Men's 3rds ran riot at home to UCFB 1sts in the Quarter Final of the Plate, running in 9 Tries on a sunny afternoon at Langstone. Man of the Match Dylan Pope McGovern bagged a hat-trick, with Jake Evans, Jake Dodd, Eddie Baldwin, Ryan Wright, Zac Levin and Sam Coore all crossing the whitewash. Baldwin also bagged an impressive 7 of 9 conversions as the 3's set up a Semi Final away at LSE 2nds or Reading 3rds on the 19th of February. It's back to the league for David Tougher and his Men as they face UCL 2nds at Langstone on the 3G on Saturday in a rearranged fixture, before they travel to the same opposition next Wednesday.
Men's 4ths kept up their pursuit of the SE5A title with a bonus point win against mid-table King's College 4ths, with 2 tries from Man of the Match Max Benson and 2 from Wellington, with a conversion and a penalty from Luke Stallard to complete the scoring. A really good performance from the back 3 and with five players making their BUCS debut, there were reasons to be cheerful for the relentless 4ths. This win leaves them 3 points clear of Sussex 3rds, but with their South Coast rivals still with a game in hand on Pompey. It's King's College again next Wednesday as the 4ths make the first of two trips to the capital needing to win both and run in as many tries as they can, to keep the pressure on Sussex at the top. It's going to go down to the wire!
Men's 1sts got the better of their Quarter Final opponents Royal Holloway 1sts in Egham to record a 6-2 win to propel the 1's into the Semi Finals and a trip to Middlesex 1sts next Wednesday. An excellent display from the unbeaten 1sts, saw Jonny Avery retain his impressive unbeaten record making it 20 wins from 20, for him as he took 2 wins from his 2 singles encounters. Chai Chee Hou battled through a 3-setter to ensure he claimed 2 from 2 wins in the Singles also, making it 18 from 18 for him for the season. With the Doubles Partnerships – Tom Wood and Navinsamy Harikrishnan and Gavin Wan and Jia Ming See – claiming a victory apiece, Pompey got the win to take them into the last 4. Navinsamy Harikrishnan was named Man of the Match on his second outing for the team, though the part the inspirational Jia Ming See played in this win can never be underestimated. Such is his presence across the country, it was rumoured that the Italian restaurant the team visited after the match kept the team waiting for 3 hours, simply to remain close to him for as long as was possible!
Women's 1sts were in no mood to let slip Home advantage in their Cup Quarter Final against Brighton as they triumphed 7-1 to earn them a place in the Last 4, where they now welcome Brunel 1sts to Spinnaker next week. In the Singles, the excellent Emily Beach and the cultured Cynthia Sathiyarajan both recorded 2 wins from 2. In the Doubles, the wonderful Weishan Low and Jing Jia Choo won both their matches with the heroic Halimah Tasnim and Katharyn Wataranan also recording a win, to take Pompey to their Magnificent 7!
Brilliant from Badminton as they register two Semi Finalists!
The 2’s recorded their biggest win of the season with a convincing 71-27 success at home to Brighton 2nds to all but secure the title and promotion to the 2nd Tier. Player of the Match, Annabelle Couchman was in sublime form with a season high 57 points, an incredible display of shooting with Caitlin Johnson in support with 14. Rebounds were dominated by Mia Scott with 6 from Kristie Buckingham, Alex Wilford and Couchman and Johnson with one apiece. Top of the Tips was Wilford with 6, from Buckingham and Scott  Evie Harris-Jenkins  and Johnson, Emily King and Rosie Rusga with 2 each. Intercept stats were headed up by Captain, Buckingham with an excellent 12, from Scott  King  Rusga  Wilford, Cat Sonkur and Captain’s Player, Harris-Jenkins with one. They can confirm their status as Champions on the 19th of February when they welcome Chichester 2nds to St. Paul’s, which would crown an incredible season and they still have the rare ability to make it a perfect 10 from 10 in the league, with them sitting on 8 wins from 8 ahead of their final matches.
The 4’s broke clear in the final quarter of their match against Imperial 3rds at St. Paul’s to record an important 39-22 win to keep the pressure on Surrey 3rds at the top of SE5A. Captain’s Player of the Match, Hannah Nash scored 17 points as did Freya Marlow, with Sarah Exall grabbing 5 in Pompey’s total of 39. Nash and Exall topped the Rebound stats with 2 apiece with Marlow and Captain, Lucy Moyse with 1 each. Top of the Tips was Player of the Match, Emily Mills with 13, from Moyse  Beth Hill and Ebony McIntyre  Abbie Elms  Taylor Coleman  and Marlow . The Intercepts Stats were headed by Mills again with 9, from Moyse  McIntyre  Beth Hill  and Elms and Marlow . Next week they travel to Surrey 4ths in the Conference Plate Quarter Final, before travelling to Brunel 4ths in the league on the 19th of Feb, as the season really hots up.
The 5ths came through a hard fought encounter at West London 1sts to record a vital 47-41 win to keep their unbeaten record alive, as they go 7 from 7 in SE6A. Captain El, Hayes with 28 and Freyan Khambatta with 19, shot the 5ths to victory with Daisy Bennett being named Player of the Match and Ellie Walton named Captain’s Player.
The Tips and Intercepts Stats are as follows –
- Anja Butler – 11 tips, 4 interceptions
- Daisy McVicar – 12 tips, 5 interceptions
- Maria Wathen – 10 tips, 3 interceptions
- Zelal Nacak – 8 tips, 5 interceptions
- Ellie Walton – 6 tips
- Daisy Bennett- 5 tips, 3 interceptions
- El Hayes – 6 tips, 3 interceptions
- Freyan Khambatta – 3 tips, 2 interceptions
With 3 to play, the 5’s welcome New Bucks 1sts on the 19th February as they look to go 8 from 8 and maintain that 100% record, as they take another step closer to the title.
Men's 1sts travelled to Surrey 2nds and ran up another 100 points in a comprehensive 104-65 victory in Guildford. Pompey sit top with 21 points from their 8 games, and hold the better head to head record over 2nd placed Kingston 1sts, leaving them in command of the title at this stage. The 1sts have the luxury of 'home comforts' too as they finish their season with 2 matches at Spinnaker, against Portsmouth 2nds on the 19th Feb, before finishing against New Bucks 1sts. It's looking good for Pompey to make a welcome return to the 2nd Tier after a very lengthy hiatus, but they've still a little more work to do, before they can truly celebrate.
Men's 2nds were awarded victory in their home match against New Bucks 1sts to keep them comfortable in mid-table in SE3A on 9 points from their 7 matches. Next for the 2's is a trip to Imperial 2nds, before they take on Portsmouth 1sts at Spinnaker on the 19th of February.
Women's 1sts were also awarded victory by second placed Surrey 2nds to take them to a near unassailable 15 points, to make it 5 wins from 5 in SE3A. With just two fixtures left to play, victory away at Brunel on the 19th February should be enough to see the 1's claim the title, before their season culminates with a home match against Holloway on the 18th March. Next up, they travel to either Surrey 1sts or Queen Mary 1sts in the Quarter Final of the Cup on the 12th of Feb.
Men's 2nds took on bottom of the table Chichester 1sts and were involved in an epic Battle Royale, with the match ending all square 3-3.
Here are the results of the Singles and Doubles:
- Henry Berzins vs Chichester P1 (Tom Pullen) 1-6, 0-6
- James Wright vs CP2 (Mik Leys) 6-7, 6-7
- Dmitry Andrianov vs CP3 (Braxton Baker-Bates) 6-3, 6-3
- Ellis Drayton vs CP4 (Haydn Bull) 6-3, 6-0
- Henry Berzins and James Wright vs CP1 and CP4 3-6, 6-7
- DmitryAndrianov and EllisDrayton vs CP2 and CP3 6-4, 4-6, 10-6
Man of the Match was Dmitry Andrianov, as this result takes Pompey onto 7 points with 4 matches to play. With only 8 points separating 1st from 6th, there are still all kinds of permutations possible at either end of the table, but it's the Cup next for Men's 2nds as they entertain Royal Holloway 1sts, looking for a quality performance that will send them through to the Semis.
To take us through their final league match of the season, here is Golf's Nick Roebuck reporting from a boggy South West London, where Pompey's finest took on Royal Holloway.
Good news some may call it however disappointing for others, that we'd heard rumours of only 3 players turning up for the opposition instead of the standard 6 which meant that the Half had already been secured whilst the boys were tucked up in bed. The most comfortable half we've ever had some might say... This left Doyle, Roebuck and Clarke to finish the job and secure the win only needing a 0.5 point between them.
- Sean Doyle – In what might be the classiest game of Golf we've seen all year with both players looking class out on the course, this one went down to the 18th green with Sean needing to hole a 5 ft putt to rescue a half which sadly just ran by – Final result 1 Down – Loss.
- Nick Roebuck – Extending his unbeaten run to 8 games, having not lost since October, an up and down match ended again on the 18th with Roebuck needing to get up and down from 80 yards. An elegant chip to 3 ft meant the win was all but secured as he confidently rolled it home to win. Final score – 2 Up – Win.
- Iain Clarke – Looking to find a bit of form, captain Clarke swapped his playing partner for the first time this year looking for a change of fortunes...and it certainly worked as he demolished his opposite number in true style, recording an 8&7 – WIN.
A job already half done before we started, the remaining matches were handled professionally by the lads in what turned out to be a comfortable 5-1 win, and a perfect result to end the league season.
This victory should see the 1's finish the season in mid-table, but next up they turn their focus upon the Trophy competition, where they will travel to Reading 2nds in the Last 32. A win here will give Pompey a Home draw in the Last 16 against either Birmingham 2nds or Newman 1sts.
Men's 1sts were awarded a win in the league yesterday by Anglia Ruskin 2nds to take them into 2nd place in Tier 3, behind unbeaten East London 2nds, with 3 league matches to play. Next week the 1's turn their attentions to the Conference Cup where they travel to Reading 1sts in their Quarter Final, as they look to advance along with Women's 1sts who travel to Kingston.
Completely unrelated fact of the day:
Well, when I say unrelated, I mean not technically to do with sport, but to any of our teams playing at Langstone it's hard to miss these guys, and in many ways they are related to us all, an extended feathered family. Who am I talking about? It is of course, our very own, Brent Geese. The word brent being derived from the Norse word 'brand' meaning burnt, and the birds were thus named because of their charcoal-like colour.
Now anyone will tell you, there will be at least one mention of the Brent Geese in these Round Ups per season, but that's because they are incredibly significant not just to us, but to the world. So here's a few facts you didn't know about these amazing birds.
It's true to say there's been a love-hate relationship with these birds in Portsmouth, as it's not just University Rugby Pitches they've reclaimed for their own purpose. They have long been a barrier to major developments in the area. They were largely responsible for blocking Portsmouth F.C's proposed move to Farlington Marshes and the Solent Wheel at Clarence Pier was dismantled because of fears it was blocking their flight path and the birds could collide with the structure. There are many more tales that could be told, but essentially all they are guilty of is coming home.
Portsmouth Harbour is a Marine Protected Area and there is an SPA – Special Protection Area – placed over the Harbour and specifically 4 birds of significant interest, Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlins, Red-breasted Mergansers and our very own Dark-bellied Brent Geese. Since the inception of this order in 1995, the numbers of these species that over-winter here, between October and April – the exact months of the BUCS Outdoor Season – are of not just local, not just national, but of International significance. At night they roost on the water in the Harbour, but during the day they can be seen in huge numbers feeding on nearby grassland, including Langstone Sports Pitches. They've taken a real liking to W1 at the moment, I've noticed. Around 91,00 of these birds return to the UK each autumn from nesting grounds in Siberia. The Solent area, including the Langstone site supports a whopping 30% of the UK population, and numbers suggest that over 6,500 birds use the Langstone site! That's a lot of geese!
There has even been mention that the interest in the birds could promote tourism in the city, with people afforded great opportunities to be able to observe such a significant Worldwide population at close quarters and any Birders and Twitchers amongst you will have already got your bins out to observe the amazing spectacle of their migration, when they arrive in the Autumn and depart in the Spring. The truth is you get to see them, up close, for free every other week, so you don't know how spoilt you are.
I promised you facts, right, so here's a few more. The Length from the tip of their beak to the tip of their tail is between 56-61 cm, and their wingspan is approx, 110-120 cm. They are the smallest geese to visit Britain, and one goose can travel over 135,000 miles in its lifetime, between the UK and their summer habitat, the Arctic Tundra. Now that puts having to travel to Kent or Essex into perspective.
Another fact about these birds is that they can live well into their early twenties – up to 28 in some cases and when you take into account that the same birds return to the same fields year after year, this presents an interesting scenario. You may scoff, and suggest I need more sleep, but the sharp-witted amongst you will have already realised what this means. Recently, I have seen an increase in their numbers at certain times on Wednesday afternoons, and remarkably these increases appear to coincide with the rise in positive results at Langstone. For instance, whilst celebrating Men's Hockey 1sts, 5th goal against UCL, I'm certain I saw a huge gaggle of them leap in the air when the ball hit the back-board...and it got me thinking. They are not just feeding at Langstone, but spectating – so you see, it is vital that we live in harmony with these incredible birds, as though we may have accused them of stealing our rugby pitches, you have stolen their hearts, and they have come to love watching you guys play!
For now and forever the Dark-bellied Brent Geese of Langstone will always be the most loyal flock of supporters you could wish for!