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2009-10 Archive

Edition 51 (26th July 2010)

Congratulations to our rowers who competed for GB at the World under 23 championships. Magnificent performances!

Will Fletcher (modern apprentice) World Gold in the lightweight coxless four

Matt Rossiter (Cuths,  sporting scholar) World Silver in the men’s coxless four

Kieren Emery (former modern apprentice)  World Silver in lightweight men’s double scull – coached at the Worlds by former student James Harris.

Jamie Watson (Hatfield) World Bronze in the lightweight men’s quad,

Congratulations to Kira Roberts who won silver at the National Fencing Championships losing in the final to the GB number one.

Edition 50 (24th July 2010)

This report will bring us safely to the end of the sporting year of 2009/2010 and it has indeed been a memorable year in which we have had some amazing successes.

This year we have recorded our second highest number of points ever achieved in the British University Championship table. I am sure you would want to join with me in congratulating our athletes, their coaches and support teams who have worked tirelessly in their attempts to bring success to Durham.

The final league table shows Durham 6th out of 153 universities - Loughborough 5585.5, Leeds Met 3368.5, Birmingham 2681, Bath 2560, Edinburgh 2449, Durham 2437.5, Nottingham 2239, Oxford 2054, Manchester 1982, Exeter 1848.

Rankings of other Universities worthy of note: Newcastle 11th, Bristol 12th, Cambridge 14th, Leeds 16th and Northumbria 20th.

It is perhaps only right that we should end the year by focussing on our most powerful sport and to congratulate our rowers who have done extremely well in the National Championships and in selection for GB under 23’s and GB students.

National Champions and Gold Medals: single sculls, Emily Taylor (Hatfield), Men’s pair, Phil Congdon (Grey) and Stu McClusky (Hild/Bede), Men’s double sculls,  John Ford  (Snow).

Selected for the GB U23 team : Matt Rossiter (Cuths), Jenny Arnold (Grey), Jamie Watson (Hatfield) and Modern Apprentice, Will Fletcher.
Selected for the GB FISU team (International  University Sport Federation): Matt Rossiter, Emily Taylor (Hatfield), Phil Congdon (Grey) and Stu McCluskey (Hild/Bede) – very well done to all.

In signing off can I wish you all a most enjoyable summer and I am confident that the Palatinate adventure will move on in 2010/11!

Edition 49 (5th July 2010)

My next e.mail, and probably the last communication prior to our next campaign, will finally announce our finishing position in British University sport for 2009/10. In the meantime success at Durham goes on.

Congratulations to Sam Hatfield (Trevelyan) who won Bronze for Great Britain in the U24 European men’s sprint distance triathlon and to Kat Henderson (Hild/Bede), next years Team Durham President, who won Gold at the U24 European women’s triathlon (full Olympic distance). The latter is an exceptional result.

Congratulations to scholar Kira Roberts (University College) on winning Gold in Sabre at the home Nations Fencing Championships and on her selection to the GB team for the Commonwealth Games in Australia this September.

Congratulations to Modern Apprentice, Will Fletcher, who won Gold at Henley for the third successive year – a remarkable achievement and to former student Steve Rowbotham who rowed in the four that won the Queen Mother 4x. Our men’s eight went out to Harvard on the Friday of Henley.

Edition 48 (18th June 2010)

Some excellent news for Durham sport!

Congratulations to our men’s cricket team as we are off to Lords. It is perhaps surprising that Durham has never won the two day ‘Centre of Excellence Title’ having won the British University Championship many times. Loughborough play tomorrow but cannot catch us although they will be our likely opponents in the final where first play second.

Durham secured maximum batting points on day one scoring 311 and today finished off the job by bowling out the much fancied Leeds/Bradford for 170.
The final is on Friday 25th June at Lords starting at 11.00 and we would be delighted if any of our former students are able to make it to the ground. The game is 50 overs and entry is £8.00

Huge congratulations to scholar Sandra Hyslop (Collingwood College) who won Team Gold at the World Championships in the K1 wild water canoeing category. Was this impressive? It is the first gold for GB at the Worlds in canoeing for 35 years. For good measure she won bronze in the team sprint event.

Congratulations to Paul Elderkin (Hild/Bede), Scott Morton (Post Grad) and Dave Elderkin on their basketball awards. Paul Elderkin was named player of the year and guard of the year for National Division two basketball by Eurobasket (Paul was also named the Team Durham Sport man of the year at the Palatinate dinner). Scott was named forward of the year and Dave Elderkin coach of the year for National Division Two.

Edition 47 (15th June 2010)

It was the end of the road for our top two cricket sides this week.  The men went out without a ball being bowled as the rain finally ended their challenge for the National Title. Our women went down to a very strong Birmingham side in the semi final of the Trophy. We now have to wait and see whether our cricket points will keep us out in front of Edinburgh and in fifth place overall.

There was good news for our men’s cricket in the two day Centre of Excellence championship as we took apart our closest rivals. Durham started poorly but recovered from 60 for 3 to 329 for 9 off their allotted 85 overs. The Palatinates then proceeded to bowl Cambridge out for 180 to take their record to played four, won three, drawn one. A solid performance against Leeds/Bradford in their final game will secure the title for Durham for the first time since the Centre programme began and with it will come the final at Lords on the 25th June.

Our rowers, perhaps not surprisingly, had a strong two days at Durham regatta. The big race of the day, the Grand, was  won by the Palatinates and was followed by wins in the men’s championship pairs, the men’s lightweight single, the men’s elite single, the men’s elite double, the women’s elite single, the intermediate women’s single and the novice single.

The men’s eight won on both days including an emphatic win over Newcastle on the Saturday. The women’s eight recorded their first defeat of the year against a student crew but that is probably because they entered the men’s category.

We were delighted to welcome back alumni crews from Hatfield, Aidan’s and Castle as well as the 1990 Freshman’s eight and amazingly the 1967 University men’s crew.

Edition 46 (7th June 2010)

Durham had an excellent weekend at the London Metropolitan regatta held on the 2012 Olympic course. Our overall results won us the VL for the weekend – an excellent outcome.

The women’s eights won the intermediate eights on both the Saturday and Sunday, finishing 2nd in the senior eights. Both our men’s fours won their intermediate events on the Saturday and finished 3rd in the senior eights.

Individually Durham had some excellent results with both our present and past students performing outstandingly.

Of our present students Jenny Arnold (Collingwood) rowed in composite GB crews winning both the women’s elite pair and the elite four. Jamie Watson (Hatfield) also rowing in composite elite GB crews finished 2nd on Saturday and 3rd on Sunday.

Our Modern Apprentice, William Fletcher, also in a GB composite crew, won the men’s elite four.

Edition 45 (4th June 2010)

Our women’s cricket season nearly came to an abrupt end last week when rain on the Wednesday in Durham meant a journey to St Andrews on the Friday in the middle of our exam period.  With only three of our first team squad available an enthusiastic group of cricketers headed off to Scotland. Bowled out for less than 100 our two front line bowlers destroyed the opposition’s batting line up dismissing them for a mere 27 and propelling Durham into the last eight of the Trophy.

The next hurdle was Leeds at home and the Palatinates, this time only missing England player Holly Colvin, were at full strength as they bowled out an undefeated Leeds for 73 before scoring the runs for the loss of only one wicket.

Two vital results for the Palatinates as they are now guaranteed Premier League status for next year, they are now in the semi-final of the Trophy aiming for another national title and they have moved Durham  that bit further away from 6th place Edinburgh in the British University points table.

The Charity Twenty/20 could not have been closer as the Leeds/Bradford MCC Centre side came to Durham with a very strong team. After a solid start our men struggled to move the score board as they would have wished but finally ended up with a creditable 139. Leeds/Bradford kept up with the rate throughout most of their innings before finally losing the plot in the last four overs eventually falling nine runs short of the Palatinates. We now move on to the two most important games of the season as we take on Cambridge in the one and two day tournaments next week.

Our second team once again fell to the Loughborough curse as drawn away and batting on a very lively pitch, one of our strongest second teams for some years, failed to recover from 69 for 6 and went out in the quarter final.

Edition 44 (24th May 2010)

Not surprisingly this time of year results in a down turn in sporting fixtures but the Palatinates have managed to maintain their momentum as was evidenced last week by our move into 5th place in the British University points table behind Loughborough, Leeds Met, Birmingham and Bath.

Our cricket teams are still out there fighting but the next few fixtures will make or break our season. The 1st team bowled Bath out for 120 and cruised past their opposition with the loss of one wicket. A win against Cambridge at home on the 9th June will see the Palatinates into the last four. A win against Cambridge in their two day match will ensure a date at Lords in the final of the MCC Centres of Excellence.

Our second team is into the last 16 of the Trophy after making very light work of Coventry scoring well over 300 and bowling their opposition out for 157. The women play St Andrews in the last sixteen of the Trophy on Wednesday and will be pleased to welcome back Holly Colvin returning from representing England at the world twenty20.

Edition 43 (10th May 2010)

On a week where we moved up to 6th in the British University League Table, fifteen points behind Edinburgh and closing, we once again faced Newcastle University on the water. We knew enough about Newcastle from the British Championships to know this was never going to be an easy year in the University Boat Race.

Our worst fears soon became reality as Durham lost the novice women’s eights by 4 lengths and failed to hold their men in the same category losing by 1.5 lengths.

The pressure was now really on for the women’s first eight. They have yet to lose an eights’ race to another University this year and came through the swing bridge a length up. Newcastle came back hard but Durham always had them in their sights and calmly rowed through to win by a canvas. The men’s race was quite the opposite as Newcastle stormed into a 1.5 length lead with 500 metres to race. The Durham response was reminiscent of the British Championship final as they increased the rate and performed superbly to row their opposition down winning by half a length. I think we were all happy, on the day, to walk away with a share of the spoils.

There were mixed fortunes on the cricket field as our second team performed brilliantly to completely outplay the much fancied Leeds Met 1st team. The women however, having won well at home against Cambridge, couldn’t hold them in their return leg and now face a difficult final two games against Loughborough and Leeds Met.

Edition 42 (8th May 2010)

Four or five years ago I would have been advising you that we had gained enough points on day one of the three day British University Rowing Championships to secure the title but times have changed. This year the rowing Universities turned out in force led by Oxford, Cambridge, Oxford Brookes, Imperial, Reading, London, Queens, Newcastle and a fast improving Loughborough. Even when these Universities weren’t chasing us down Universities such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Nottingham would suddenly appear at the front of the pack.

Day one proved a real challenge for the Palatinates leaving us in second place behind Imperial and only just in front of a large chasing pack. The highlight of the day came with our men’s eight (still hit by injuries) overlapping Oxford Brookes and Queen’s crossing the line in third.

The second day was more successful for the Palatinates as they reached 13 of the 15 finals moving 70 points in front of Imperial but with Newcastle closing fast. The highlight of day two saw our women’s eight hold their nerve as they rowed calmly to championship gold.

Day three started with Imperial winning key early events and moving within ten points of the Palatinates. The response was emphatic from Durham as the depth of our squad began to hit home. We made all but four of the third day finals with our finishing positions 2,4,4,4,2,2,3,2,1and 3,2,6,3.

The final points table showed the Rowing Championship Trophy returning to Durham for the seventh year in a row

 Durham 1011 points, Imperial 820, Newcastle 616 and Reading 560.

Along with the trophy came 154 precious points to add to our overall tally in the BUCS championships.

Elsewhere our women’s cycling team performed outstandingly in the 25K time trial winning individual gold and team silver.

The rugby sevens made it to the final eight before losing by one score to Hartpury.

Finally, how did our women’s hockey get on in the play offs for the Premier League of England Hockey. A set of freak results left the Palatinates, despite two defeats, needing to win 4-1 against Cannock and hoping favourites Clifton defeated Ipswich. With twenty five minutes to go Durham led 4-1 and Clifton was drawing with Ipswich. What happened next was interesting as Cannock scored four goals to secure their promotion to the premiership defeating Durham 5-4.

Throughout the three days the girls played some excellent hockey and were an absolute credit to the University. They may be disappointed but the defeats this weekend should not take away from a magnificent season.

Edition 41 (30th April 2010)

We had the great pleasure of welcoming back former England rugby international and Honorary Palatinate Derek Morgan to Durham on Wednesday to officially open our new Rubber Crumb rugby pitch. The occasion was celebrated with our University rugby side playing Durham County. The Palatinates trailed for much of the game against a fast and physical County side but, as was perhaps right on such an occasion, the University ran out winners 29-28 securing victory with the last play of the game with a successful penalty kick from the 10 metre line.

Congratulations to our women sailors who secured second place in the British University National Sailing Championships. An excellent result!

Our cricket teams have lost a few games but have secured some excellent results along the way. The 1st team will consider themselves very unlucky to have lost their one day game against Loughborough. They had the opposition 100 for 6 before a remarkable individual innings left the Palatinates chasing 276 to win in 50. They remained on target until the last few overs falling 12 runs short. In direct contrast they took Loughborough apart in the two day game scoring a massive 436 for 9 (centuries from Westley, Cuths and Durandt, Collingwood) before bowling Loughborough out for 139 and asking them to follow on. Durham now top the two day championship table.

The 2nds also lost to Loughborough but bounced back with a win over Manchester 1st team and the 3rds defeated York 1st team in their first game but lost to Sheffield Hallam 1st team in their second.

Finally our women, still missing key players, lost around the world, and their star player Holly Colvin away at the world cup playing for England, lost a close game again to Loughborough. They bounced back against Cambridge winning a close game and taking the last nine Cambridge wickets for forty runs.

This weekend we have more cricket, the national rowing championships (wind permitting), the rugby sevens, the 25K cycling and  the premiership hockey play offs – Very definitely our biggest three days of the year!

Edition 40 (26th April 2010)

Another week of outstanding performances from the Palatinates has set the season up for next weekend!
This weekend Durham Wildcats basketball team, already National League 2 Champions and National League 2 cup winners, took on Team Northumbria in the final of the National 2 last eight play offs. 17 points up during the 3rd quarter Durham lost their way in the final quarter and with three minutes to play were 5 points adrift. Continuous all court pressure and some magical play saw the Wildcats recover to win 70-67. They will now move into National 1 where they will sit just below the Professional game.
It was our women's turn to shine in cycling as the men crashed out in the British Universities 10k time trial eventually finishing 6th. The women won individual gold (Mathilde Mattijsee, PG) and team gold securing two more national titles for Durham and more crucially a further 32 BUCS points. A good weekend next weekend in the 25K time trial will almost certainly place Durham as the number one cycling University in Britain.
Our cricketers had another excellent week. On Tuesday they bowled Oxford out for 222 and chased the runs down for the loss of only two wickets. Congratulations to Seren Waters (Cuths) who scored 100 not out. In the two day game Durham let Oxford get away from them as they scored 412. Durham recovered with the bat and a big hundred from Luke Durant took the Palatinates to 370 for eight sharing the points in a hard fought draw.
Last Sunday our women's hockey took on Scotland Under 21s for a second time and found the going tougher but will have been delighted with another victory over an international side winning 2-1.
So it is all set up for the next seven days. Durham to play Loughborough and Leeds at cricket, the British rowing regatta in Nottingham, the play off finals for women's hockey and the 25K cycling. We will know a great deal more about where we are likely to finish in the British University championship after Bank Holiday Monday.

Edition 39 (16th April 2010)

There was enough evidence, in our draw against Nottinghamshire in our first County game, to suggest that Durham has a cricket side that could really compete this year at the top level. Unfortunately our first fixtures had us travelling to Cardiff and then on to Exeter. The one day BUCS fixture against Cardiff was a real disappointment as the Palatinates failed to chase down a reachable target of 216.

Cardiff batted first again in the two day game and scored a massive 354. What followed, over the next forty eight hours, might tell us a great deal about this side.  The Palatinates made it home in the very last over with a magnificent 158 from scholar Tom Westley (Cuths) . The following day Exeter, fresh from a win over Cambridge, scored 225 and had the Palatinates 101 for 4 and 163 for 7. Yet again, however, the side dug deep with John Glover (Aidans) smashing the penultimate ball to the boundary to secure our first win in BUCS and hopefully to set us up for a season to remember.

From cricket, a target sport, to a less well known success story. Our cyclists were at it again, this time in the team hill climb. The men set the pace with our first team of Hamish Batchelor (Grey), Ben Howard (Trevs) and Alex Clayton (Chads) winning team silver. They were followed by the women who repeated the success story with Mathilde Mattijsse (Post Grad), Hannah Read (Cuths) and Kat Broadbent (Hild/Bede) also taking team silver. The depth of our cycling could be seen with our men’s seconds finishing an excellent eight nationally. For anyone who doesn’t know Durham as a University that takes cycling seriously we now sit second in the University cycling league table with our best events still to come.

Finally, over to hockey where our women are in the middle of playing three games in three days in preparation for the Premier league play off weekend in two weeks time.  The palatinates won their first game against Kilburn 5-1 but the second result is perhaps more impressive – Scotland Under 21s 1 Durham University 4. Not bad for a mere University side from the North East of England!

Edition 38 (12th April 2010)

Congratulations to the Durham outreach staff and their football team (the team was made up of individuals who are part of our SUNEE/Street League programme and who access the services of the local drug agencies). The combined Durham and Queen’s campus side won the UK section of the Street Football World Cup held in Newcastle involving teams from London, Glasgow, Hull, Newcastle and Durham/Stockton.  They won a highly competitive final after a full weekend of league and knock out fixtures and I have rarely seen happier faces!


Congratulations to Greg Smith who scored a magnificent Maiden Century (114) against Nottinghamshire (The seventh Durham University cricketer to reach this landmark whilst playing for the University). Notts did us the honour of fielding a full County side and dropped catches meant that they piled on 505 for 5 on day one. Durham, without captain Tom Westley (away scoring a half century for Essex), batted out day two scoring a very creditable 277 for 9.


Congratulations to Durham Wildcats Basketball who won their final eight semi-final to give themselves yet another chance of silverware. They play Team Northumbria in the final in two weeks time in Manchester.


Our rowers are away at GB trials in Belgium and then travel to the South of France for a two week training camp with the full Durham squad. Results to follow.


Our women’s hockey team are all back training for the national play off for premiership promotion in two weeks time.


Some of our Zambian Colleagues joined us for our Wallace group induction this weekend. They joined in additional training with the group of adolescents from disadvantaged communities in the UK, selected by Street League, who will be travelling to the World Cup in June to work out into South African Communities. The team, from Bath, Durham. Loughborough, Stirling, UWIC and Northumbria, are now well prepared for their 14 weeks in Zambia in the summer.


Edition 37 (26th March 2010)

Last weekend was another outstanding two days for Durham University Sport as yet more national titles fell to the Palatinates.

Congratulations to Sally Pearson (Cuths) and Lucy Scott (Ustinov) who won the national women’s tennis doubles and to Sally who made it through to the individual final.

Congratulations to Hamish Batchelor (Grey) who won the national mountain bike championship.

Congratulations to our men’s basketball who won away at Plymouth to secure the National Division Two title.

Regionally – Congratulations to our men’s and women’s first eights and our novice men’s eight who all won at the North of England Head of the River.

Congratulations to our women’s hockey who won 6-1 against Doncaster and now need a draw or a win away at Sunderland to secure the National North title this weekend.

Edition 36 (15th March 2010)

There are definitely highs and lows in this game and this weekend certainly provided the full range as Durham took on the best in Britain.

It may have been the British Universities Championship weekend but pride of place, by some way, goes to our women’s rowers who finished a magnificent 4th in the Head of the River in London finishing behind an eight full of GB athletes, Leander and Reading.

Their time of 19.09.88 was 0.25 seconds off the all time University record time.

We believe this is the first time in our history that we have been the first University home.

We finished in front of Oxford (8th),  Oxford Brookes (17th), Cambridge (21st). No other University finished in the top 35.

Our 2nd eight finished  55th, the tenth University boat home and just to show the depth of performance at Durham our Colleges were there in force – Collingwood 109, (excellent!) Van Mildert 144, John Snow 153, Hatfield 162, University College 188, Durham Fresher’s 230, St Chads 233, Hild/Bede 249, St Cuths 254, University College B 269, Hild/Bede B 277. Well done all!!

As some of our top teams fought it out in Sheffield women’s hockey continued to chase their titles. The 1st had a really tough game against Belper and drew 1-1. They now need a win and a draw to secure the National North Title but the 2nds rapped their title up as they travelled to second placed Lancaster. Due to road traffic problems, they arrived five minutes after the start time, changed on the bus, went 2-0 down but recovered brilliantly to gain the draw they needed to secure the North Division 1 Title. A second promotion in two years! The men played solidly to beat Belper 3-2 in the National League and the seconds fought out a hard earned draw. Two wins in two days for the men’s 3rds hockey mean they are now 17 points clear at the top of their table.

It was the end of the road for our teams in Sheffield but each one had a tale to tell. Our women’s tennis went out in the semi-final to the all powerful London Met 7-3 and will have been disappointed to lose some match points in games they eventually lost. We will happily take a top four place this year.

Men’s basketball faced Leeds Met. We had beaten them earlier in the season and were level at 63-63 after the third quarter but just couldn’t hold it together in the final twenty. Leeds went on to destroy everyone else and Durham went on to beat London Met and Northumbria to finish top of pool B and secure fifth overall. We will be back!

Finally, women’s futsal lost 2-1 in their fight for a semi-final birth but can take some comfort from the fact that they also lost in their league to Northumbria 3-2 who eventually won their final match 7-1. Congratulations to Ultimate Frisbee who secured more BUCS points for us by securing eight place.

 It is worth noting that we have had more top eight finishes this year than at any other time in our history! If you have time do go to and listen to the excellent audio reports compiled by our media career scholars who spent five days at the British Championships recording our progress.

Edition 35 (11th March 2010)

In lacrosse you can be sent from the field for one minute for numerous misdemeanours and with three officials very little gets missed. It took Durham men’s lacrosse team sometime to work out how to deal with this situation and at one stage in the first ten minutes we only had seven players on the field and trailed Nottingham in the National Final 2-1. This deficit was turned into a 6-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, a 15-3 lead at the end of the third quarter and a national championship title on the final whistle with a magnificent 17-6 victory. A great result for Durham men’s lacrosse.

On the adjacent pitch our women’s 2nds lacrosse took on Cardiff 1st team going for a third trophy final success in three years. On paper this looked a complete mismatch as the opposition had nine age group internationals to Durham’s none. Both sides struggled with the officials precise interpretation of the rules but as Durham had more of the ball it was Cardiff who found the fouls mounting against them. Amazingly Durham scored after twelve seconds and led 3-0 after three minutes hence effectively ending the game. They ran out as national trophy champions with a brilliant 13-5 victory.

Durham is getting more comfortable in national finals and appearing more often but it remains a huge challenge and one that eventually caught up with our women’s hockey. Before the final Durham had won 23, drawn 3 and lost only 2 games. One of these defeats had come at the hands of Birmingham and yesterday Durham lost out in the final to Birmingham 3-1. The opposition side was littered with age group internationals and it says a great deal for the Palatinates that they stayed very much in the game until conceding the third ten minutes form time. We had a very upset group of young ladies at the end of the match who must now pick themselves up with a must win game away at Belper in 24 hours time.

Our women’s futsal has found the last eight tough but a win against Gloucester means they play the  second place in pool two today for a semi-final spot.

Last weekend the women’s 1st team hockey won 6-0 and came off the field to hear that their closest rivals had gone down 4-3. They are two wins away from the National North title. The 2nds won 4-0 to almost secure their Northern title.

The 1st team hockey men went down disappointingly on Saturday to a team some five places below them but bounced back on Sunday to defeat the league leaders 3-0 to inflict on them only their second defeat of the year.  Outstanding!

Men’s basketball continued to take every game in their stride with a 96-75 win on Saturday to remain one win away from the National 2 title.

Our Duathlon team won gold in the open national championships in the 20-24 age group category - an outstanding result!

This weekend we have the women’s head of the river, a crucial national women’s hockey game, a British Championship women’s tennis semi-final (hopefully a  final as well) and our basketball play in the last eight. We also have teams out in judo, karate, ultimate Frisbee and swimming to name but a few.

Last Wednesday both the 1st and 2nds rugby went out in the quarter finals, the 1st team losing to Leeds Met 32-21. Given the challenges of the year we have got to be happy with two final eight places and the teams will return next year both safe in Premier A and Premier B. The men’s tennis 2nds lost the Conference cup final to Central Lancs 1st team after a fantastic run to the finals often against 1st teams.

Edition 34 (4th March 2010)

Not many people would have given us a chance in the last sixteen of the rugby as the Palatinates travelled all the way to Exeter knowing they had lost for three consecutive years to them.  The Palatinates were trailing 15-12 and in their own half when the referee called the last play of the game. Durham managed to retain possession for long enough to cross over the Exeter line in the corner winning 18-15. Brilliant!

Our women’s lacrosse 2nds  join many of our other teams going to the British Championship finals in Sheffield next week having dispatched Nottingham 1st team 5-2. They will compete in the Trophy final for the third year in a row going for an amazing three consecutive national titles. Our men’s 2nds hockey lost unluckily in the semi-final of the Trophy and will not be joining them in Sheffield going down to a golden goal away to Birmingham 2nds.

In the premiership play offs our netball team played their second leg at Nottingham and won 41-29 to return to the premiership. Brilliant! As expected our men’s basketball simply destroyed Warwick in a one sided encounter and will also move to the premiership for 2010-11. The standard of basketball at Durham is simply outstanding and our recruitment for next year suggests our women will soon be joining our men.

Many of our other teams are still completing their league programmes and Durham had yet another excellent day. Men’s and women’s soccer won 2-1 to both stay second in their leagues. Men’s badminton won 8-0 to also stay in second place.

Men’s tennis 2nds defeated Northumbria 1st team 10-0 and the 3rd team defeated York 2nds 10-0. Women’s squash 2nds defeated Bradford 1st team 3-1 and the men’s 2nds  defeated Huddersfield 1st team. Men’s 2nds fencing won 135-80 at York.

In hockey there were convincing wins for the men’s 4ths against York St Johns 1sts 5-0 and women’s 3rds against Sheffield 2nds 4-1.

There were a few disappointments elsewhere in the programme but only a few!! Women’s rugby went down 10-5 in the last 16 of the Championships to end a magnificent year. There were defeats for men’s and women’s badminton 2nds, men’s football 2nds, men’s hockey 3rds  and netball 2nds to end an otherwise excellent day.

Edition 33 (1st March 2010)

This will be the first time I have headlined a sport report with a defeat.

Our men’s lacrosse team finally found their opposition too much. They travelled to Wales minus their lead striker and after starting well were unable to hold their opposition in the second half. Durham led magnificently 6-3 at half time but the final score was Wales (National side) 8 Durham University 6. After this I think our guys will be very much up for the British University final next week.

Elsewhere our Basketball performed outstandingly. On Saturday Durham Wildcats defeated third place Edmonton Storm by ten guaranteeing them the right to apply for promotion to National 1 and on Sunday they travelled to Crystal Palace where they won the Patrons cup final (the national Division Two Cup) 93-70. The second team won in National Four 85-67.

Hockey had a fantastic weekend. The women defeated Beeston 3-1 to stay top with the 2nd team women winning 4-0 to also stay clear in their league. The men drew but in a double header the 2nds  performed outstandingly defeating Oxton 2-1 and Timperley 3-2. The 3rd and 4th teams secured further good results staying 1st and 2nd in their league.

Our freshmen and women performed well at the Tyne Head. Our men’s eight secured gold in the novice event defeating 15 crews including finishing a minute and a half in front of Newcastle and our women finished 3rd.

The latest BUCS table shows that there are less than a hundred points between 2nd and 7th and the race for finishing positions is now wide open. Durham is sitting 6th six points behind Birmingham.

Edition 32 (26th February 2010)

There are absolutely no easy games at this stage of the British Knock Outs in the Championship, the Trophy or the Conference Cup. With this in mind we had some brilliant results and we will now have more teams than ever before at the National Finals in Sheffield in two weeks time.

We did it again, as the first team women’s hockey defeated Loughborough for the fourth time this year, this time winning 2-1, to move into the British Championship final. A great result!

Hockey will be doubly happy as the men’s 2nds took on Loughborough 2nds in the Trophy quarter finals and came away with a brilliant and unexpected 3-0 victory.

The men’s lacrosse travelled to play the much fancied Oxford and came away 14-4 winners to move into the British Championship final.

Women’s tennis took a very strong Bournemouth team apart to win 8-2 to move into the British Championship semi-finals.

Another great result in the tennis came with our men’s 2nds tennis defeating Sheffield 1st team 7-3 to move into the finals of the Conference cup.

Absolute disappointment of the day came in the women’s lacrosse where injuries finally caught up with the Palatinates as they went out in the last four to Cambridge 10-6. There will be some hugely upset ladies returning to Durham but in truth they lost to a very good side and can reflect on an excellent year.

There was consolation for the club as the women’s 2nds lacrosse marched into the semi-final of the Trophy defeating Oxford 2nds 15-3.

Men’s and women’s fencing came to the end of the road in the last eight of the Championship as the women lost to a very strong Oxford side and the men went down to Imperial.

We are now at another key stage of our programme as we enter the play offs for promotion to the Premiership for next year. Our men’s basketball took on Stirling (national champions in Scotland) in the first of their two play off games and won 107-80. They now face Warwick with a win guaranteeing promotion.

Out netball team played their first leg of their play off against Nottingham and also look destined for the Premiership as they won with something to spare 53-27.

Men’s soccer kept their outside hopes of promotion alive with a convincing 4-0 win

Finally, we can consider ourselves unlucky lower down the programme. The men’s 3rd team hockey lost their Conference Cup semi final to York 1st team 2-1 in extra time. Women’s 2nds squash lost on game count back to Northumbria 1sts in their semi final and a much weekend 2nds women’s hockey lost to Liverpool 1st team in the quarter finals of the Trophy. Men’s volleyball went down in their semi final and it was the end of the road for women’s basketball in the last eight of the Trophy.


Edition 31 (22nd February 2010)

This was an absolutely crucial weekend for Durham as our rowers took on 50 other Universities at the Large Boat Head held in Peterborough. Their cause was not helped by injuries in the top crews, dreadful weather and large entries from the likes of Oxford Brookes, Reading, Imperial and Newcastle.

The results in the British Universities scoring events were as follows. Women’s eights Durham 1st, Men’s eights  Durham 2nd, Women’s Quads Durham 1st, Men’s Quads Durham 2nd, Women’s LWT Quads Durham 3rd, Men’s LWT Quads Durham 3rd, Women’s coxless fours Durham  2nd, Men’s coxless fours Durham 1st, women's coxed fours 9th and men's coxed fours 6th, Men's LWT coxed four 5th.

I think we will go away very happy with these results as the rowers have brought us back 130 BUCS points in just one day keeping us very much in contention for a top five finish at the end of the year. Congratulations to the whole squad who once again delivered when it really mattered.

Notable results elsewhere at the regatta were: Intermediate eights – Durham women 1st men 5th and 7th. Beginners Head – men’s four 2nd, women’s four 8th, men’s eight 7th.

Moving on - It is worth noting that the only two sports in British University sport that have a Premier B as well as a Premier A are cricket and rugby.  The only three universities to have men’s teams in all four leagues are Loughborough, UWIC and Durham and this latter fact alone made this weekend extremely important for Durham. Our second team rugby stood seventh in Premier B knowing a final game win would move them to fourth in the table and safety and that a defeat would see them relegated. Just to make it easy they faced Leeds University 1st team with a playing record of won fourteen,  lost only one and sitting ten points clear at the top of the table.  If you were in any way sensible you probably wouldn’t have backed the Palatinates in this one but I guess that is sport as Durham performed brilliantly to win 33-19 and in so doing has relegated Manchester University 1st team to North Division 1.

Every game is now a cup final for our women’s hockey. The semi-final of the British University Championships on Wednesday against the old enemy Loughborough and an away game yesterday at a strong Wakefield being just two more must win games. 0-0 at half time turned into a 3-0 victory for the Palatinates  at Wakefield as they remain top of their National League. The 2nds won 4-0 against bottom of the league Blackburn to extend their lead to a huge ten points in North Division 1. Weather prevented the 1st team playing but the 2nds went down 3-2 away.

Last  week Durham Wildcats Basketball won one of their most important games of the season by beating Brixton, second in the table, by 15 points to go clear at the top of National 2 and this weekend they dispatched Team Northumbria 77-70 to stay top. Team Durham Wildcats, Our second team, also won to stay in touch with the leaders in National 4.

Edition 30 (17th February 2010)

To say that Maiden Castle was buzzing yesterday would be a major understatement. With every game now crucial the day got better and better with almost every result.

Pride of place goes to Lacrosse. Our women took on Oxford in the quarter finals of the British Championships and completely dominated the game to win 13-2. The men had the difficult task of travelling to St Andrews to face an all American side that has had an unbeaten season to-date. Not anymore as the palatinates dominated a very one sided affair winning 14-2.  Both sides are now through to the last four in Britain. Our women’s 2nds took on Liverpool 1st team in the last sixteen of the Trophy and moved safely though to the quarter finals 27-2!

Our basketball team had one of the toughest challenges as they travelled to play Middlesex who had only lost once at home this year. Make it twice as the Palatinates made it home by the narrowest of margins. They now move to the final eight play offs at the British Championships in Sheffield. The 2nds basketball won again to move a step closer to their league title and the women moved through to the last eight of the Trophy.

In hockey we welcomed another England Hockey Academy side in Team Bath. Not put off by their illustrious opposition our women cruised to a 4-0 win to gain another last four place in British University Sport. The 2nd team women made light work of Aberdeen winning 9-0 to move into the last eight of the Trophy. The thirds defeated York 1sts 5-1 and the 4ths ran out 7-0 winners against Sunderland 1st team.

The men had the unenviable task of travelling to Loughborough and went down 4-0 to go out in the last eight. Our only major disappointment of the day! The 2nds men played brilliantly against a powerful Sheffield 1st team winning 4-3 in extra time to move into the last eight of the Trophy whilst the 4th team defeated Northumbria 1st team 6-4.

Men’s rugby travelled to a very strong Newcastle and came away with an outstanding 28-22 win. Our women carried on in their merry way as they won 7-0 against the only side to defeat them this year, Liverpool, and have now only conceded 5 points in their last nine games.

Men’s football cruised to a 5-0 win whilst the women defeated York St John 5-1. Our golf team excelled themselves at Lincoln drawing 3-3 to keep their hopes of premiership survival alive. Our volleyball men, who couldn’t buy a win before Christmas, won for the third time in a row defeating Leeds 3-1. Our 2nds squash won 3-0.

Tennis had a mixed day with the men’s 1sts going out of the Trophy to Leeds Met but the 2nds and 3rds both won well in their leagues. The women’s 2nds tennis did brilliantly to hold Nottingham 1sts team to a 5-5 draw in the Trophy but went out on a sudden death game.

We did suffer some defeats elsewhere as our women’s 2nds fencing went out at the last sixteen stage of the Trophy to Bangor. Badminton 1sts went down to Leeds Met in the Trophy but the 2nds won 5-3 against York St John’s 1st team. Our men’s 2nd teams in rugby, soccer and table tennis all finished on the wrong end of score lines.

Edition 29 (14th February 2010)

You should never take anything for granted when you play Loughborough and in our National League game yesterday they ran us all over the pitch. Much improved from our first three meetings they will be leaving Durham very disappointed to have lost yet again to the Palatinates 1-0. For Durham the march goes on as they remain top of National North with six games to play. Brilliant!

As expected the men recovered well last week to dispatch Formby 5-1 although they face a tough game away against third place Leek today. Our women’s 2nds travelled to high flying Bolton and recorded an outstanding 4-0 win to go seven points clear in North Division 1. The men’s 2nds also recorded an excellent 4-0 win whilst a win for the 3rds took them thirteen points clear at the top of North East Division 1.

Congratulations must go to our sailing team. Both our mixed teams qualified for the BUCS finals with the 1sts winning the Northern Championship. Our ladies had already qualified and will be looking to improve on last years second place in the Nationals.

Durham Wildcats Basketball defeated Birmingham 75-60 to go two points clear in National 2 and a cup win last week secured a place for them in the National Division 2 Cup Final to be played at Crystal Palace on 28th February. Our first ever National Basketball cup final!

Finally, our women’s rugby lost their first game of the season 10-0 but since then they have gone on an eight match unbeaten run culminating in a 25-0 win against MMU yesterday. Their record is even more fascinating in that in these eight games they have scored 121 points and conceded only 5 to take the North Division 1 title.

Edition 28 (11th February 2010)

The last 16 Championship Wednesday is always the most important day of the year for our team sports and we had a ‘BALL’. Outside of the Championship last 16 the Palatinates also had a fantastic day in the Trophy, the Conference Cup and in their outstanding League games.

Men’s hockey travelled all the way down to Bristol to one of England’s Academy Centres and came away with a magnificent 3-0 win to make the last eight. Our women played Cardiff at home and strolled through to the next round 11-0. Our 3rd team men defeated Sheffield 2nds to move into the last four of the Conference Cup.

Men’s fencing also took Cardiff apart winning 135-75 and the women progressed to the last eight in the country at the expense of Imperial. Our women’s 2nds defeated Keele 1sts to move through in the Trophy.

Our women’s lacrosse, despite their long injury list, won through to the last eight in the country defeating St Andrews, the League Champions in Scotland, 24-2. Our men defeated last years leading side in England, Sheffield  Hallam, 14-3. The women’s 2nds are safely through in the trophy.

Women’s badminton recorded an excellent 5-3 win against Leeds in the Championship last sixteen and women’s tennis made history for Durham as we defeated Team Bath for the first time ever 10-0.

The two defeats in the championships came for netball losing to number one in the Country Leeds Met (not a good draw for us) and women’s squash who lost to top four ranked side Leeds. We had ten sides playing in the Championship today and eight got through. We are delighted!

Elsewhere we had some huge results. Men’s rugby is safe in the Premiership following their 12-10 win over Nottingham Trent. Women’s rugby won the North Division 1 title by defeating Leeds away 10-5.

Men’s tennis 2nds defeated Newcastle 1st team 6-4 to reach the semi finals of the Conference Cup. Women’s basketball defeated Dundee 74-35 to progress in the Trophy. Men’s table tennis defeated Teesside 15-2 to progress in the Trophy and the 3rds defeated Manchester 2nds to make the semi finals of the Conference Cup.

There were some defeats as women’s volleyball lost in Glasgow, men’s fencing 2nds lost in the Conference quarters to York 1st team and men’s badminton also lost at the same stage to Leeds Met. Squash had a difficult day all round and women’s tennis 3rds lost out in the quarter finals of the Conference Cup to Leeds 2nds. Rugby 3rds and rugby league struggled against strong opposition.

All in all this was undoubtedly one of the best set of results achieved by Durham, for this stage of the season, in the last fifteen years.

Edition 27 (7th February 2010)

It sometimes becomes rather too easy to take success for granted but there can be no doubt that this was a fantastic weekend for the Palatinates.

Our women’s Hockey played their most important game of the year to date as they visited top of the table Sutton Coldfield and came away with a brilliant 1-0 win to go two points clear at the top of National North. The 2nds went one better by defeating York City 2-0 to move five points clear in North Division 1. Our men went down to Sheffield away from home but have the chance to redeem themselves today in their double header as they play bottom of the table Formby. The 2nds earned an excellent draw away at Hull

Spare a thought for our women’s futsal team. They were drawn in a league that included Leeds Met, Loughborough and Birmingham. They play in BUCS North Division 2 in their Wednesday League and so would not be ranked in the top 100 women’s university sides in Britain. In the final league rounds yesterday they drew with Loughborough, defeated St Andrew 4-2 and in their play off game defeated Stirling 5-0 to secure a highly unlikely final 8 place at the BUCS championships in Sheffield in March.

Talking of National League sides Durham Wildcats Basketball won 71-54 against Birmingham to stay top of National Two. They play second placed Brixton up in the North East next weekend in perhaps their biggest game of the year so far.

So on to Wednesday – the most important sporting day of the year for the Palatinates.  Wins on Wednesday are worth significant BUCS points in the Championship but defeats bring no points at last 16 stage. Maiden Castle will be a great place to be as, in the Championship, we have earned home games for our women in badminton, fencing, lacrosse, hockey and tennis and for our men in fencing and lacrosse.  Our netball, men’s hockey and women’s netball are all on the road.

Edition 26 (4th February 2010)

Today saw a much reduced programme as many leagues have been completed and the weather did not help those games that were left on.

Pride of place goes to our women’s soccer, unbeaten since the start of November; the side travelled to top of the table Leeds and came away with a 2-0 win. Men’s 2nds tennis defeated York 1st team 8-2. The men’s 2nds fencing progressed in the Conference cup and men’s 2nds squash won 3-0 to go second in their league.

Women’s 2nds netball won a must win game against Sheffield Hallam 1st team 35-25 and there were draws for men’s hockey 3rds and 4ths, women’s 3rds and a 3-0 win for the 4ths.

The disappointments of the day came for our rugby who lost 15-14 at Loughborough, our badminton men who lost and will now not win their league and golf who lost to Birmingham.

With the majority of our league programmes complete I thought you would be interested to see some of our finishing league positions. Our overall aim is to hold all our first teams in either the Premiership or North Division 1.

Northern Premier League, women – Badminton 4th, Fencing 2nd, Hockey 2nd, Lacrosse 2nd, Tennis 2nd.
Northern Premier League, men – Fencing 3rd, Golf 6th, Hockey 5th, Rugby 6th,

Women North Division 1 – Basketball  4th, Netball 1st, rugby 1st , Squash 1st Table Tennis 3rd, Volleyball 6th.
Men North Division 1 – Basketball 1st, Lacrosse 1st (No Premier League in this sport), Squash 3rd.

Second teams performing above their level and in Division 1 – women - Hockey 2nd, Lacrosse 1st, and Tennis  4th – men - Hockey 2nd, Golf 6th, Rugby (Premier B) – not yet finished.

Edition 25 (1st February 2010)

The Lacrosse World Cup will take place in Manchester later this year. I am delighted to inform you that as part of their warm up Wales have asked to play Durham University men’s lacrosse team.  A great honour for a University side and the match will be televised by BBC Wales.

With rugby and golf still fulfilling league fixtures we now know we have at least eleven sides through to the Championship last sixteen and eleven sides to the Trophy last sixteen. In the Championship seven sides will have seeded draws and in the Trophy, where only the top two get seeded, we have just three.  We are delighted to have 22 teams through at this level and remain on course for a top five finish.

Elsewhere this weekend Durham secured some outstanding results. Durham Wildcats moved back to the top of Basketball’s National League Two with an 87-78 win against Mansfield Giants on Saturday and a 100-70 win over Glyndwr on Sunday.

Our netball team made it eight wins in a row as they destroyed Liverpool in their last league fixture 73-24. They had already won North Division One and now face play off games to move back to the Premiership.

Finally, water polo is always a challenge at Durham as we are missing a key ingredient, namely a swimming pool. Given this challenge great credit must go to both the men and the women as our men defeated Newcastle 8-4 and our women defeated Robert Gordon 14-3 in their respective league programmes.

Edition 24 (January 27th 2010)

This was a very important first Wednesday back and the Palatinates did not disappoint.

How often do you say this? – Our women’s hockey sent an injury hit squad to Loughborough but came away with a 2-0 win.

Our 2nd team women won a must win away game against Leeds 1sts 2-1 to secure second place in an all first team North Division One (the exception being Durham). The men’s 2nds drew 1-1 with Leeds Met 1sts to also secure second place in their all first team league. An outstanding season for both teams!

With six of our starting line up still unfit women’s lacrosse displayed real strength in depth as they defeated Manchester University 23-0 to secure a seeded place in the last sixteen. Women’s rugby might be less pleased as they defeated Newcastle 7-0 to go six points clear with three to play in North Division One. They will not relish a now almost certain last sixteen place in the championship knock outs. 

Our women’s netball won again 48-36 to secure the North Division One title and our women’s squash joined them. They took an injury hit squad to second in the table Newcastle but came away with a 3-1 win to also secure the North Division One title.

There were some big wins for Durham in the tennis as the men dispatched Leeds 10-0 in Division One and the women also destroyed Leeds 10-0 to secure second place in the Northern Premiership. In the conference cup the men’s 2nds won 9-1 and the women’s 3rds defeated Northumbria 2nds 10-0.

Elsewhere men’s badminton defeated Teesside 8-0, men’s fencing defeated Birmingham 135-94 to secure 3rd place in the Premier League. Finally, a special mention for our men’s volleyball team who won their cup match 3-0 against Newcastle recording their first win of the season – a great moment for them – bring on the next round!

The Palatinates did not have it all their own way as women’s fencing lost to table topping Edinburgh,  women’s basketball went down at Bolton and their were defeats for the men as hockey went down at Loughborough, squash lost  at Leeds Met and golf lost to the much fancied Northumbria.

Edition 23 (January 21st 2010)

We are back up and running and whilst there have been very few games I hope we have started as we mean to go on.

At the weekend Durham Wildcats Basketball won 109-75 against Plymouth to move back to second place in National 2. Team Durham Wildcats (our second team) defeated Hull 82-63 to move within four points of the leaders in National 4.

There were only three games this Wednesday but we had some big results. Our rugby 2nd team scored with the last play of the match in Premier B to defeat the much fancied Birmingham 1st team 20-18 – a great result!

Our women’s 1st tennis team completed the formality of winning against Loughborough 2nds 7-3 to move into second place in the Northern Premiership behind Loughborough 1st team. Our 2nd team women defeated Manchester 1st team 10-0, somewhat of a miss match here!

We are looking forward to a very exciting term!

Edition 22 (December 10th 2009)

Our final Wednesday and we certainly lost more games than we would have liked but as can be seen from the report below this was a defining day in the calendar for a number of teams.

Men’s lacrosse move into the knock outs as North of England Champions and favourites for the national title.

Congratulations to men’s basketball who became North Division 1 champions with a 97-52 win over Newcastle and they move into the last 16 of the championship.

Women’s squash defeated Sheffield 4-0 to qualify for the championship knock outs.

A special mention for our 2nd team hockey sides. The 2nd team men defeated Liverpool 1st team 7-2 and will be second in Division one in a six team league consisting of the first teams from Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds Met and Liverpool. The 2nd team women moved into second in Division one by defeating Northumbria 1st team 5-2 in a six team league consisting of the first teams from Northumbria, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool JM and Liverpool.

Our second team lacrosse, much weakened by players covering for injuries in the 1st team, defeated Newcastle 2nds 22-3 to become North Division 1 champions.

Our netball team remain out in front in North Division 1 and well placed for the championship after defeating Central Lancs 60-24.

There were further wins for men’s 1st and 2nds squash, men's 3rd team table tennis and men’s soccer.

Finally in terms of the positives women’s hockey were unlucky to concede a late goal against Birmingham to draw 2-2. Birmingham held a 100% record this year before arriving at Durham and many see the national final as being between these two teams. Men’s tennis gained an excellent 5-5 draw to ensure 3rd place in North Division 1.

Women’s lacrosse, already safe in a seeded position for the championship play offs travelled to leaders Birmingham with an injury hit squad and went down 10-8. We were not helped by red and yellow cards which left one or two players watching the game but overall we will take a lot of positives from this result.

Women’s basketball went down to Leeds but only lost by six and goal difference will almost certainly allow them to stay in Division 1 for next year. The most disappointing defeat of the day saw our women’s fencing team lose at Manchester 107-97 which will probably cost them a seeded position in the last 16 of the championship.

There were defeats elsewhere for golf, volleyball, men’s hockey to Birmingham 2-0 and rugby 2nds and 3rds. This has been a challenging year for golf, volleyball and 2nd team soccer and they all look destined for lower leagues next year.

Edition 21 (December 6th 2009)

Two important things to reflect on as we move into Christmas. The first is that Durham sit second in the British Championship points table and whilst there is a long way to go and a final position of second is not realistic this is our highest ever position at this stage of the year. The second is  the outstanding performances of former student Chris Hollins in Strictly Come Dancing. Brilliant Chris and good luck next week!!

Elsewhere this weekend our basketball team travelled to London attempting to stop their run of two defeats. Trailing badly until the final quarter they recovered brilliantly to win 67-62 and stay top of National 2.

No games for first team hockey and so it was up to the women’s seconds to lead the way by defeating Huddersfield 7-1 to stay top of North division 1.

Edition 20 (3rd December 2009)

The Palatinates had a great day at the British University canoe river race last weekend. Pride of place goes to our scholar Sandra Hyslop (Collingwood) who won two British Championship gold medals winning the classic and the sprint. Just to put this in context had Sandra been entered into the men’s section she would have won bronze in the classic. We picked up two 4ths and a 5th in the women’s event and in the team event we finished in silver medal position picking up an excellent 56 BUCS points overall.

The weekend was followed by an amazing Wednesday with wins almost every where you might care to look. Women’s lacrosse defeated a powerful Edinburgh 13-4 whilst the 2nds defeated their closest rivals Leeds 1st team 14-7. The men are now untouchable in their league having won every game.

Men’s badminton won 8-0 again whilst the women have secured their premiership place for next year as Leeds will now finish bottom.
Women’s netball destroyed Manchester 50-35 to stay top of their league.  Men’s tennis won 10-0 against Liverpool whilst the women moved into second place and would now hope to be seeded in the championship draw alongside Loughborough. The women’s 2nds recorded a 10-0 win over Manchester 2nds.

Hockey had a magnificent day. The men won a must win fixture 2-1 against Sheffield Hallam to ensure safety whilst the women won 2-1 at Manchester to stay in second place. The men’s 2nds drew 2-2 against a very strong Manchester 1st team whilst the women’s 2nds won 3-1 against Liverpool 1st team. There were wins for our women’s 3rds  and men’s 4ths, a draw for our men’s 3rds with only our women’s 4ths losing their match against Leeds Met 3rds.

Men’s fencing defeated Northumbria 135-117 whilst the women’s 1sts defeated Birmingham 135-57 to move into second place in the Northern premiership. The women’s 2nds also had an excellent win against the Bradford 1st team.

Our women’s soccer earned an outstanding 3-3 draw against high flying Teesside. Women’s basketball won a must win game away at Liverpool 61-50 and the seconds won to stay top of their league. The surprise of the year saw our men’s basketball go down 93-92 at Sheffield Hallam. They now need to win one of their two final games to ensure top place in their league and a play off game for the premiership next year.

The men’s 1st team table tennis has finished their programme which left the 2nds defeating Newcastle 2nds 10-7 and the 3rds defeating Sheffield 2nds 9-8.

Whilst this was our best Wednesday of the year there were defeats for women’s, volleyball, men’s squash and our men’s rugby. The latter lost 27-20 at Northumbria but this was a great improvement on the 30 point defeat against the same side, at home, earlier in the season.

Edition 19 (30th November 2009)

Due to the weather the Rutherford Head was the first opportunity for Durham to test themselves in fours and eights this year.

An outstanding weekend for Durham rowing.

1st division

Women's eights 1st and 3rd
Men's coxless four 1st
Men's coxed four 1st

2nd division

Men's eights 1st, 3rd and 5th
Women's coxless four 1st
Women's coxed four 1st

Durham Wildcats basketball defeated Team Northumbria on Saturday for the third time this year to stay unbeaten and top of National Division 2. On Sunday we took on Manchester Magic, the number one side in England outside of the BBL Professional League. The Manchester side is top of National 1 and undefeated so for Durham it was the biggest game the club has ever played.

Durham took the lead for the first time with four minutes to go but were unable to hold on losing with the final score of the game 79-77. The starting line up is made up of all Durham University Students and to be able to take on the best amateur club side in the country and to run them so close is outstanding.

Meanwhile back on the hockey front the women cruised to a 6-1 league win to remain second in the National League. The seconds took on league leaders Lancaster, in North Division one, and won 3-2 to go top for the first time this year.

Edition 18 (26th November 2009)

Durham won another National Title at the weekend as our men’s fives pair successfully defended their title from last year.

Yesterday we had some must win games and our women in particular delivered where it really mattered on yet another strong day for the Palatinates.

Result of the day came in the rugby Charity Challenge where Durham won a must win game against Nottingham 22-3. Thank you to all who supported on the night!

Impressive scores of the day came in men’s basketball where we won 120-52 against Manchester Met and in hockey where our women’s 4th team defeated Hull 1st team
4-0 away.

Club of the day goes to table tennis who ended up as  the only club not to lose a match. The 1st team defeated York 11-6, the 2nds defeated Edge Hill 1sts 14-3 and the 3rds defeated Manchester 2nds 9-8.

Women’s Netball, having lost at home to Liverpool John Moores, went down to Liverpool and won 49-33 placing them as the front runner for promotion to the premiership. Women’s football lost last week in the cup at Sheffield 5-1 but returned in the league and won 4-3. Our women’s hockey yet again won convincingly against Edinburgh 6-3.

Women’s fencing reversed an away defeat to Newcastle with a 135-96 home win. Women’s rugby scored 27 points against Leeds without reply. Lacrosse, recovering from the news that our number one American lacrosse player is out for the season defeated Newcastle 10-3 whilst the 2nds won 22-6 away against the York 1st team. Finally women’s squash drew 2-2 at Newcastle to remain joint top of their league.

The men also joined in with some useful wins.  Hockey won a must win game against Nottingham Trent 2-0. Our now famous men’s lacrosse side won again 10-2. Badminton continued their winning habit with an 8-0 victory.

Men’s tennis 1sts won 10-0 against Hull and the 2nds defeated Leeds 2nds 10-0 with the 3rds losing to Sheffield Hallam 2nds 8-2. Congratulations again to our hockey second teams as the men defeated Newcastle 1st team 5-1 away and the women defeated Liverpool John Moores 2-0 away.

There were some disappointing moments for our athletes as women’s tennis lost 7-3 away at Loughborough and women’s badminton went down to Leeds Met.  Men’s squash struggled yesterday and volleyball, football and golf continue to find the year difficult.

Edition 17 (22nd November 2009)

Matt Gunby (St Johns), our top Duathlon competitor, has had the misfortune of puncturing out of nearly every major event since arriving at Durham. This year his bike was damaged in warm up and he had to borrow a bike just before the start. If one adds to this the fact that one of our other stars, Steve Barratt, was too ill to take part things did not look good for Durham at the British Duathlon Championships.

Despite these set backs the Palatinates performed outstandingly gaining yet more British Championship points. The men took second place in the team event with Matt securing a brilliant individual silver whilst the women’s team finished in the points finishing in an excellent fourth place.

In a great weekend for Durham sport I had the privilege of watching both our men and women play their hockey National League games this weekend and I can safely say the standard of play and skill level is quite exceptional and well worth a trip to Maiden Castle to watch.

The men took on second placed Doncaster in the National League and came away with a 1-0 win. Three consecutive wins have moved the Palatinates to third place.

The women faced the daunting challenge of having to play two games in two days having had their match cancelled last weekend.  They played third placed Belper on Saturday and won 1-0. A very tired squad travelled to Doncaster on Sunday but came away with a 3-2 win. The women are now one point off the top but interestingly seven points clear of third. It would appear, even at this stage, there are only two sides in the race for the women’s National North title.

The men’s 2nds defeated the City of Manchester 5-2 away (a remarkable win) moving them to third in the Northern Premiership whilst the women’s 2nds won 6-0 away against Carnegie Ladies to stay second in North Division 1. They play the league leaders at home next week with every chance of going top.

The men’s 3rds won 5-0 and the 4ths won 2-1 to place them first and second in North East Hockey Division 1. The women’s 3rds held second place Darlington Ladies to a 2-2 draw keeping them third in Durham Division 1 and the only Saturday defeat came at 4th team level as out women went down to Stockton Ladies 1st team 1-0 away.

I think we can safely reflect on the fact that Hockey at Durham University is quite strong!

Edition 16 (18th November 2009)

Bad weather and lost sides in the Conference Cup from previous weeks meant a reduced programme and with nearly three quarters of our sides away this was always going to be an interesting Wednesday.

Pride of place must go to our women’s lacrosse who travelled to Loughborough in a must win fixture with our two lead players still on the sidelines. A 6-3 win for the Palatinates was a brilliant result and the girls are now well set to gain a top two seeded place for the championship knock outs. Not to be out done the men recorded a fantastic 13-2 win against Leeds Met to stay top of the table.

Basketball won again 90-77 to remain top of their league. They play Manchester Magic this weekend in the National Cup. I am informed by Quentin that they are the Manchester United of Basketball, they sit top of National 1 and it will undoubtedly be the biggest game our squad has played in.

Our squash teams had one of their on days with the women staying top of North Division 1 with a 3-1 away win at Manchester and the men won well at Liverpool 3-2.

There were excellent first team wins elsewhere with women’s rugby scoring with the last play of the game to win 5-0. Our women’s tennis drew 5-5 earlier in the season in Edinburgh but came away with an excellent 6-4 win at home keeping them in the title hunt.

Women’s hockey completed the double over Leeds Met with an excellent win away 3-1. Table tennis won a close fought encounter against Lancaster winning 9-8.

Our 2nd team hockey men defeated Sheffield 1st team 3-1 but the women 2nds went down 2-1 to Newcastle 1st team.

There were perhaps one or two more defeats than we would have liked as men’s hockey, tennis, fencing and rugby all went down as did women’s soccer, basketball and volleyball.

This was conference cup week with men’s tennis 2nds defeating York 2nds and the 3rds defeating York 1st team.  Men’s 2nds squash won, as did men’s 3rd team hockey. Men’s 1st team badminton won 6-2 against Sheffield Hallam and basketball 2nds had a brilliant 77-66 win also against a very strong Sheffield Hallam.

Edition 15 (15th November 2009)

Our purple patch continued at the weekend as the Palatinates recorded another series of impressive results.

The remarkable unbeaten run of our basketball squad continued as Durham Wildcats moved clear at the top of National 2 with an 87-70 win over Birmingham University. Not to be out done Team Durham Wildcats won emphatically 84-44 on Saturday and again on Sunday, against Merseyside, 95-38 to stay well placed in National 4.

The men’s hockey 1st team are settling into their stride in what will be a very long season. They recorded an excellent 3-2 away win at Belper to remain well placed in the National League.

Special mention should be made of our men’s hockey 3rd team as they won 3-0 to protect their thirteen game unbeaten run moving eight points clear at the top of NE Division 1. The 4ths also won and amazingly are now 3rd in the same league.

The women’s 2nds won 3-0 against Norton to stay in second place in North Division 1 whilst the men’s 2nds went down 2-1 at second placed Oxton. Sadly the ten game unbeaten run of our women’s 3rd team also came to an end losing 3-1 to top of the table Norton in Durham County Division 1.

Ehisdition 14 (11th November 2009)

This was a brilliant day for the Palatinates with important successes every where you care to look!

Tennis had an excellent day with the both 1st teams winning against Leeds, the men 10-0 and the women 8-2.

Our rugby men’s 1st XV has at last turned the corner. The men won 23-10 away at Nottingham whilst the women won 15-0 away at Newcastle. The 2nds won well against Newcastle 2nds 23-12 to stay in second place in Premiership B.

Lacrosse bounced back as we would have expected defeating Manchester away 19-3 whilst the men trounced Newcastle 13-1. The women’s 2nds won 26-1 against Liverpool 1st team.

Our basketball team took on Manchester minus three of their starting five but made light work of the opposition in a 106-64 win to stay top of the table. The 2nds also won with an under strength starting line up to stay top of their league and the women also took the points from Bolton.

Men’s 1st and 2nds fencing won easily with the men defeating Birmingham away 130-90. The women went down in a close contest away at Edinburgh but the 2nds women won convincingly away against Northumbria 1st team.

Our women’s hockey would be very disappointed to draw 3-3 with Loughborough. An injury hit men’s 1st team went down 2-1 to the old enemy but were very unlucky. A brilliant win for the men’s 2nds against Leeds Met 1st team having trailed 2-0 was one of the stand out results of the day.

Netball had a magnificent win away at Manchester 51-34 (not a good day for Manchester in facing the Palatinates) and the 2nds won 45-16 against York St John’s 1st team. Women’s squash won 4-0 against Newcastle to stay top of the table and the men won 3-2 against Leeds Met.

Men’s badminton won 8-0 and whilst the 2nds went down to Sheffield Hallam the 2nds women did well to draw 4-4 with York 1sts.

Women’s football defeated Newcastle 3-0 and the men drew 3-3 with Newcastle.

Defeats in volleyball and table tennis were the only other downsides as the Palatinates won 13 times at first team level.

Edition 13 (9th November 2009)

The British University sport office released the first points table of the year this weekend. An outstanding hill climb result and an overall win at the small boat head leaves Durham top of the table.  A great start to the year!

This weekend we played 13 important fixtures, winning eleven, drawing one and losing one.

Women’s hockey went 1-0 down with ten minutes to go before scoring twice to win and stay second in the National League. They are one point behind the leaders but five in front of third. The men won 2-0 to consolidate their mid table position and a draw for the 2nds keeps them in a very impressive third in Premiership North. Our women’s 2nds and men’s 3rds and 4ths all won.

Our men’s Basketball travelled to Birmingham Athletic winning 79-56 to go clear at the top of National 2. On Sunday they were unlucky to be drawn against Northumbria in the second round of the national cup but just to show how far we have come in this sport Durham recorded an amazing 96-52 victory.

Women’s futsal won their first two games of the season against Newcastle and Birmingham. The men’s indoor cricket side, made up primarily of a very strong first year intake, made light work of their opposition in rounds one and two and go through to the third round in February.

Only rugby came unstuck and fell to their fourth defeat of the season at Nottingham. 26-10 up with ten minutes to go Durham managed to concede three tries losing 29-26. They travel to Nottingham Trent on Wednesday in what is now probably our most important game in fifteen years.

Edition 12 (4th November 2009)

On Monday the Team Durham performance group predicted that this would be one of our worst Wednesdays for some years. Too many away games, too many 2nds, 3rds and 4ths playing 1st teams and too many games against Loughborough and Birmingham were the worry.

It is a good job that the Palatinates were not a party to this discussion!

Tennis had a good day with four wins, one draw and one defeat. The women played Loughborough 2nds in the premiership and having already beaten their 1st team we were able to rest our best players, winning 8-2.

Basketball won all three games with the men destroying Newcastle 74-47 and the women winning well away from home at Leeds 59-50.

Men’s and women’s squash both won without conceding a game and men’s and women’s soccer also recorded two excellent wins. Netball won at 1st and 2nd team level with the first team winning emphatically 64-25 against Central Lancs. Women’s rugby had an excellent 22-0 win against Sheffield Hallam and our men’s table tennis team won for the third week running defeating Northumbria 10-7.

Our fencing women won easily in the premiership against Manchester 135-90 whilst our 2nds defeated Leeds Met 1st team 135-49.

Hockey made history as all eight teams played fist team opposition and they can be delighted with a return of 3 wins, 3 draws and only two defeats. The men earned an excellent 2-2 draw at Birmingham with the 2nds winning 3-2 away against Liverpool 1st team. The women went down 4-3 at Birmingham against a side full of internationals (all eleven actually) which bodes well for the return game and our chances of winning the national title later in the year.

The big result of the day went the wrong way with our women’s lacrosse team going down 8-3 against Birmingham, the only other unbeaten side in the premiership. With our number one American likely to be out until January our number two American left the field after five minutes and is likely to be out for just as long. The injury hit squad struggled to get a foot hold in this game but they will bounce back.

Elsewhere in lacrosse the 2nds defeated Newcastle 2nds 17-1, the 3rds defeated York 1st team 12-6 and the men remained way out in front in their league winning 16-2 against Northumbria 1st team.

The downside came in rugby with the 1st team losing a  half time lead to go down to Loughborough, the 2nds lost 20-3 to Leeds 1st team but the 3rds defeated Manchester 2nds 30-26.

Badminton and golf went down across the board and men’s fencing lost to a very strong Edinburgh who must be fancied to win the national title. Our two volleyball teams also went down but spare a thought for our women who spent nearly three hours on court before losing the final set 15-13.

Edition 11 (28th October 2009)

Women’s lacrosse travelled to Edinburgh with both teams having beaten Loughborough by one goal and with Durham knowing they had not won at this venue since our records began. We lost our Graduate American Scholar after three minutes but that is all we lost as Durham recorded a sensational 17-2 win. Durham, however, paid a heavy price with three in hospital and seven out for next Wednesday.

The men took on the defending British Champions Sheffield, also away, as their final test. They went down early but recovered to lead 6-5 at half time. The second half was a different story as Durham set the challenge for all to meet as they ran out 13-9 winners. Just to cap a day of success for lacrosse the 2nds defeated a very strong Leeds 1st team 12-10.

Outside of the professional league in basketball the one side you would not choose to play, club or university, is Durham. A very talented Sheffield Hallam came to Durham and played a strong physical game but the Palatinates replied in kind winning with the emphatic score line of 108-66. The 2nds remain top of their league with another convincing win and a much improving women’s side led all game before losing in the last two minutes.

It was actually a fantastic day all round. Men’s fencing defeated  Northumbria for the first time in years 135-74 and the women won away at Birmingham 134-92.

Women’s badminton having lost 8-0 to Loughborough and Leeds Met won the game they had to win, 5-3 away from home, at Leeds. The men won 8-0 against Bradford in the cup.

Women’s netball travelled to Manchester and won 32-29 with the seconds defeating Newcastle 2nds in the cup 35-26. Table tennis won well again, this time away from home, against a strong Teesside 11-6.

Women’s hockey had a great day with four wins out of four, the 1sts defeating Manchester 4-2 and the 2nds winning brilliantly away against Liverpool 1st team. The men drew 2-2 against Sheffield Hallam whilst the 2nds were unlucky against Manchester 1st team losing 2-1 away. The 3rds won in the cup away whilst the 4ths went out.

Men’s tennis had a great day with the 1sts and 3rds both in action and both winning 10-0. Women’s squash won as did women’s 2nds tennis.

So where did it go wrong. Women’s tennis will have been disappointed to lose at Leeds Met 7-3 but illness will not have helped them. Once again both football teams and both golf teams are finding it an uphill battle. Men’s rugby went down against a very strong Leeds Met but the 2nds won again against unbeaten Nottingham 2nds to remarkably go top of Premier B. The women lost their first game narrowly away but will do well. Too defeats late in the evening by the narrowest of margins for squash (m) and volleyball (w) spoilt what could have been our best day for some time.

Edition 10 (26th October 2009)

Durham rowers have once again set the standard for all at Team Durham to follow at the British Championship Small Boat Head this weekend. There were some absolutely outstanding results despite the squad losing a significant number of athletes to illness.

The outstanding medal and point scoring was as follows: (British Championship points = 12 points for gold, 8 points for silver, 6 points for bronze and 4 points for 4th.)

Women's single - Emily Taylor (Post Grad) GOLD, Men's single -  Matt Rossiter (Cuths) 4th.

Women's pair-Jo Fitzsimmons (Collingwood)+Jenny Arnold (Grey) GOLD

Men's pair- Matt Rossiter (Cuths) + Stuart McCluskey (Hild/Bede) GOLD

Light weight women's double - Olivia Short (Hild/Bede) + Flo Cox (Hild/Bede) BRONZE

Light weight men's double - James Dodds (Aidans) + Stuart McCluskey
(Hild/Bede) BRONZE

Women's double - Sarah Cowburn (Collingwood) + Rosie Gaunt (Butler) SILVER

Women's double - Emily Taylor (Post Grad) + Jess Budget (Aidans) BRONZE

Men's Double     - Lee Fisher (Grey) + John Ford (Snow) BRONZE

Edition 9 (October 25th 2009)

Here is a surprise for everyone. Yesterday at the British University cycling hill climb championships Durham’s men were crowned British Team Champions and the women picked up team bronze. Hamish Batchelor (Grey College) also picked up individual bronze to bring in a total of 24 BUCS points we did not get last year. A brilliant performance by both teams and our first national champions of the year

Men’s basketball won again to remain top of National 2. Our women’s hockey won 2-0 in the National League to stay in second. It is interesting to note that in the same league Loughborough remain second bottom which might evidence how tough the competition is.

Our men's hockey went down 3-1 away in the national league but there were successes everywhere else. The 2nds men won 2-0 to go third in the Northern Premiership, a league our first team played in three years ago, the 2nds women drew a very tough away game to stay among the leaders and there were wins for both 3rd teams and the men’s 4ths.

Edition eight (October 21st 2009)

Our target sports recorded some of the most impressive results in our history as opposition teams found containing the Palatinates extremely difficult

Women’s tennis recorded a first as they out fought, out played and out thought Loughborough to record a magnificent 6-4 win. This was our first ever victory over Loughborough in tennis. Maybe we could borrow their six court indoor hall! Our men strolled to an 8-2 win over Hull.

Our lacrosse teams were simply outstanding as the men won against York 19-0 and the women overcame  Newcastle in the premiership also winning 19-0. The 2nds won 16-5 against Liverpool 1st team with only our 3rds going down to York 1sts.

Men’s basketball had another amazing day. They rested a number of their starting five and rotated their bench players but still managed to squeeze a 110 – 51 win against Manchester Met. The seconds also made light work of York St Johns 1st team.

Hockey bounced back to have a very good day with five wins, a draw and one defeat. Again the big scoring continued as the women’s 1st team travelled to the dangerous Edinburgh and came away with an astonishing 7-0 victory.

There were further wins at fist team level; badminton (m)  5-3 against Northumbria, men’s football 3-2, rugby league 18-16 and an excellent win for our table tennis team against Leeds 12-5. The big second team result came in rugby where Durham defeated the much fancied Worcester 1sts 23-14.

The disappointments at the top level came with defeats for our much fancied but injury ravished netballers who went down 47-45 and our women’s fencers who lost equally narrowly 128-123.

The worry this year remains our non target sports. Squash after a good week last week lost three of five. Both volleyball and golf teams went down and women’s basketball, badminton and soccer struggled against very strong opposition. Men’s and women’s tennis struggled against predominantly first team opposition lower down their programme. However, these are early days and we are confident that at the end of the day many of these non target sports will survive in their leagues although one has to acknowledge the opposition is getting tougher.

Edition seven (October I8th 2009)

Pride of place this weekend goes to Durham Basketball. We faced two of the top sides in Britain this weekend both of whom play in the top league of university sport. The results were as follows – Birmingham 49 - Durham 92 and Leeds Met 68 - Durham 76. If the university sector were not sure how strong we are they know now!

In Hockey Durham once again started slowly in the National League with the women losing their first game to local rivals Sunderland. This weekend a hard fought 1-0 win against Bradford, to add to two wins and a draw, moved Durham to one point behind the top of the National League and into second place. The 1st team men and the women’s 2nds went down to top of the table opposition but the men’s 2nds won well 5-3 to move within one point of the leaders in the Northern Premiership.

Edition Six (October 14th 2009)

I think we had all forgotten how tough university sport has become but we all got a very clear reminder on our first Wednesday back. We recorded an unprecedented seven draws, won more than we lost but probably lost more than we would have liked! What this report does highlight however is just how many Durham teams at 2nd, 3rd and 4th team level now play first team opposition.

Our highly rated women’s lacrosse team took on defending national champions Loughborough. The opposition were fit, physical and very talented and we will take our 9-8 win at this stage of the season. The men faced one of the top teams in Britain, Sheffield Hallam, and won 13-7.

Hockey would suggest that Leeds Met may not be as strong this year as our very talented ladies ran out 4-0 winners. Our men went 2-0 down after five minutes before recovering to draw 3-3 with Leeds. All our hockey teams below the first team play above their level and our 2nd teams did well, the men drew with Sheffield 1st team away and the women’s drew with Newcastle 1st team away.

The rugby 1st team had a very bad day at the office losing heavily to Northumbria. Our 2nds defeated Loughborough 2nds, away from home, 27-23, a great result, whilst our 3rds recovered from 16-0 down to beat Sheffield 1st team 17-16.

Congratulations to squash, club of the day, who won all four of their matches. Our highly talented women’s tennis was surprisingly held by a very strong Edinburgh side 5-5 and our men came out with the same result. The women’s 2nds won 7-3 against Northumbria 1sts.
In basketball our unbeaten men’s 1st team  trailed after fifteen minutes before raising their game to win by 30 points and our 2nds had a great start to their season away from home. The women were less fortunate but will bounce back. Our much fancied netballers ran out easy winners at Liverpool 37-21.

Badminton had a mixed day with the 1st team men and 2nd team women winning but the 1sts went down heavily to Loughborough.

Elsewhere, men’s fencing lost to St Andrews having led until the final six hits but the 2nds defeated Leeds Met 1sts. All three men’s table tennis went down as did both volleyball teams but they will do okay this year between them. Both Golf teams lost as did women’s football but rugby league did well to win away at Newcastle 25-14.

Edition Five (October 11th 2009)

The sporting year has started in earnest and the early signs, as predicted, are that this is going to be a very exciting year.

Six hockey games for Durham resulted in six wins with the highlight being a 3-0 away win for the women at Loughborough in the National League.

Our men’s basketball played Team Northumbria in the Patrons Cup. Northumbria play in the premiership. Durham, having been promoted in consecutive seasons, hope to join them in the premiership next year by winning North One this season.  Yesterday, Durham won by an amazing 29 points, our first ever win over Team Northumbria in basketball.

Newcastle provided the opposition in lacrosse, tennis, soccer, netball and fencing. Last year, in lacrosse, Newcastle beat us by the odd goal, today the scores were as follows – Durham women won 22-1 the seconds won 16-2 and our new look men won 26-0.

Women’s tennis won 10-0, the men are still playing. Fencing won with a great deal to spare. Women's soccer won 5-2.

Only women's netball and men's soccer went down leaving a 13-2 end result in favour of the Palatinates. Netball left out their top four players and as such they remain on course for a big year.

We are looking forward to our first BUCS Wednesday this week.

 Edition Four (October 4th 2009)

Durham put together some outstanding performances this weekend in what promises to be an outstanding year of sport.

In basketball Durham Wildcats took on Birmingham away and won with some ease 84-65 in the first round of the Patrons cup. The following day the same team defeated Huddersfield 93-57 in the first round of the National cup.

Men’s hockey returned to winning ways in the national league with a 5-1 away win at Formby. The women conceded two goals in the final five minutes, one of which was conceded with the last hit of the match, to draw 2-2 with Sefton. Our four first years look to be outstanding additions to the squad.

Elsewhere in hockey only our men’s 2nds lost as they went down 2-1 at Preston. The women’s 2nds looked good in their new league winning 2-1 against Wakefield whilst the 3rds defeated Durham City 1sts  5-1.

Edition Three (October 1st 2009)

This is my fifteenth year as Director of Sport at Durham and without doubt I am looking forward to this year more than any other. We have in front of us the most exciting year in our sporting history with some of the strongest squads we have ever assembled. Here are some thoughts on our nine target sports for this year -

Rowing: An experienced squad has been joined by real depth in our 1st years – we can expect another very good year.

Hockey: We have lost some key players but have recruited well. The 1st teams will do well and there is real depth in this club.

Rugby: Some old hands remain and we have an excellent in-take and so should look for some good results in three very tough leagues

Cricket: We have lost a lot of players but have some real talent in the top order capable of scoring big runs. The in-take is steady rather than spectacular but once again the club can expect to have real depth.

Fencing: One or two key ladies have left but both men and women should hold their own in the premiership.

Lacrosse: The women look incredibly strong with some excellent first years and four Americans joining a first team squad who only lost one player. Watch out for the men, with nine Americans joining the squad this looks to be a team well worth watching.

Netball: The first team squad is joined by two player coaches and they look a very strong bet to have a great year.

Tennis: Both the men and the women look extremely strong through the club and the women particularly could upset the form book this year.

Basketball: The men are simply outstanding and will be worth watching in their home games. Who knows how far they can go? The women look strong enough to retain their division 1 status.

Edition Two (September 10th 2009)

I have just returned from yet another amazing visit to Zambia. As always our students have done a magnificent job working with Sport in Action and have gone way beyond what might be expected of them. The Zambia team continue to do a wonderful job in hugely difficult circumstances and I was lucky enough to attend the opening of one of the sporting facitilites we have contributed to - an hour and a half out of the capital and 7k down a dirt track. No water and no electricity but Sport in Action was still able to get TV companies the press, marching bands, dancers and two ministers out to the launch - amazing! 

Our final sporting engagement of the last academic year was yet another triumph for our rowers as last weekend our students were in action in Poland for the fifth European Universities Rowing Championships.

We won a silver medal in women's VIII (Celeste Green (Hatfield) Rosie Gaunt (Josephine Butler) Sophie Vellacott (Cuths) Jo Fitzsimons
(Collingwood) Ruth Carpenter (Hatfield) Seonaid Crosby (Hild Bede) Jenni Stephenson (Johns) Lydia Wagtsyl (Van Mildert) Rebecca Tancock (Aidans)). Not bad given that our top two athletes were training with GB.

We won a bronze medal in the women's four (Gaunt, Tancock, Fitzsimons, Stephenson).

We were 4th in the pair (Vellacott and Flo Sivell(Cuths)), 6th in the men's double (John Ford, Alex Foster (both John Snow)), and 8th in the women's quad (Sarah Harding (Collingwood), Sivell, Crosby, Wagstyl).

A solid performance against the rest of Europe.

Edition One (August 12th 2009)

It is August 12th and British University Sport has at last produced the final league table for the season 2008/9. In many ways this was a holding year for Durham as we looked to build a foundation for 2009/10 and beyond.


We are happy to have secured a solid top ten position finally finishing in 6th place ahead of Oxford and Cambridge and the large Universities of Manchester, Nottingham and Leeds.


Our drop from fourth reflects the monumental investment in sport at Leeds Met, the strength of Edinburgh in the Scottish Leagues and out failure to pick up the surprise results of our previous campaign such as canoe polo and futsal.


Loughborough    5436

Bath                     3052

Leeds Met           2899

Birmingham        2553

Edinburgh           2379

Durham               2182

Nottingham         2077

Oxford                 1788

Cambridge         1767

Newcastle           1761