Senior Men’s Basketball Scottish Cup Final

The Basketball Scottish Cup culminated in the Glasgow University boys taking on the City of Edinburgh Kings in an intense and heated match. Glasgow University made the short journey to Paisley with buses full of supporters following to cheer the black and yellows to victory. However, despite a strong start from Glasgow, it was the Kings who managed to ensure a cup final win ending the game on 81 points to 62.

The game launched with both sides fighting desperately to take the lead first. It was Glasgow captain Calum Nicol who took drew first blood scoring two points. From then he dominated the beginning of the quarter taking another six points in the next few minutes. But Edinburgh were pushing their offence through the Glasgow defence and gaining baskets keeping the quarter close. However, Glasgow remained the stronger side. The Kings, despite playing hard, were unable to push themselves into the lead with the first quarter ending on 21-17 to Glasgow.

However, the next quarter saw the Kings beginning to dominate more as they continually broke through the Glasgow defence. Although the beginning of the quarter saw Glasgow stretching their lead up to eight points, Edinburgh quickly came back taking advantage of the weakening opposition’s defence. Glasgow began to lose their cool fouling the Kings’ players, allowing them to extend their lead further with free throws. Despite the screams of support from the side and some ferocious banner waving, Glasgow were unable to keep up with the Edinburgh new found energy and skill leaving the second quarter at 42-30 to the Kings.

After half time, Edinburgh continued their winning streak, powering down the Glasgow defence to score a series of baskets taking them further in the lead. Despite Glasgow’s best efforts they were unable to prevent the Kings players breaking through their defence. The third quarter ended with Edinburgh storming ahead on 61 -41.

The final quarter saw Glasgow University come out fighting and playing hard, making for a very intense ending. A series of three pointers from numerous players saw the point gap beginning to close, signifying some hope for Glasgow fans. However, Edinburgh fought back hard to maintain their lead and so the game finished with the Edinburgh kings on 81 points and Glasgow University on 61 points.

After the game, captain of the Glasgow University squad, Calum Nicoll commented: ‘I’m very proud of our team for reaching a cup final. The team has developed a lot since entering into the national league, especially with players coming and going year to year. We have become a contender in the league and we will hopefully keep growing and win competitions in the near future. Being captain for such a great team is such a good feeling. Each player brings something unique that helps us develop into a better squad. As for the game we went out with the mentality that we could win. With the current form we have and the excellent crowd behind us it felt possible to beat a team that we had never beaten. After a strong first quarter, we felt like our dreams were coming true but Kings are a formidable opponent, any mistake you make, they will capitalise on fast. Edinburgh took the lead before the half and our team fought for the rest of the game. I’m proud to be part of a team that have achieved what we have. Even though we didn’t win we have a lot to feel proud about.’

So unfortunately dreams did not come true for the Glasgow side this year, losing out again to Edinburgh. But who knows, maybe some time in the near future they will finally knock the Kings from their thrones.

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The Undateables

In the couple of weeks before Valentine’s Day thoughts of love, relationships and finding ‘the one’ plague our brains, our shops and our television screens.

And so, in the run up to the fourteenth, Channel 4 has launched the second series, of its controversially named documentary, The Undateables, which details the love lives of people suffering from disabilities. The first series was launched last spring and was a big hit, attracting an average audience of more than three million, making it one of Channel 4’s highest-rating shows of last year. However, it received much criticism with the advertising watchdog receiving complaints that it was offensive towards disabled people and encouraged stereotyping and bullying. Despite that, the Advertising Standards Authority cleared it of any breach of the advertising code- allowing it to return in January of this year.

Although there has been nothing proved technically wrong with the documentary, there is something somewhat ethically challenging about sitting down to watch a documentary, that arguably makes a spectacle of the autistic, Tourette’s syndrome sufferers, and others suffering from disabilities, attempting to find love.  Journalist, Sharon Brennan criticised the show heavily claiming that it highlighted differences between those who have disabilities and those who don’t and pointed out that the title The Undateables was incredibly offensive to those suffering from a disability.

There is also the added moral complication that The Undateables is, without a doubt, entertaining. It would not receive the ratings it does if it were not so. Let’s face it, as a television audience; we are not merely satisfied by challenges to our perceptions or new information, we need something that appeals to our desire to be entertained. For example, in the first episode of the second series, it is difficult not to giggle as autistic Michael practices for his date with his mother. And it is hard not to shed a tear in the second episode when Raymond, who suffers from learning disability, invests all of his time and effort into a date for it to fail completely. All the while, pangs of guilt are plaguing you for laughing or sighing or cringing at the expense of these people.

However, The Undateables is saved as not just a legitimate but also a good, documentary through the fact that audiences are left at the end of each episode, not with thoughts of the differences between themselves and the participants on the documentary, but rather with the realisation of the similarities. They are human beings who, like everyone else, desire companionship and physical affection. The show conveys that it is not so much the disability that affects the participants’ love lives but more the lack of confidence that those disabilities bring about. And, rather surprisingly, you find yourself seeing a lot of your own insecurities in their plights to find ‘the one’. The show never suggests that disabilities and dating don’t mix. It conveys what everyone is already aware of- that dating is an incredibly difficult game to play for anyone.

Although many will remain cynical and judgemental about the show, largely due to its title and branding, those who make the decision to watch an episode may find themselves pleasantly surprised. The description ‘undateable’ is not one which takes over the documentary- it was simply a way for Channel 4 to strike a controversial chord with audiences in order to generate hype and interest. The show itself challenges preconceptions of disabilities rather than entrenching them, leaves audiences with feelings of similarities, not differences, and thoughts of encouragement, not pity.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Lwp Kommunikáció (https://www.flickr.com/photos/lwpkommunikacio/)