Category Archives: Sport

An Unlucky Day for the GUHC

The Glasgow University Hockey Club were hoping for a day of dreams on the 5th of March when three out of the seven teams took to the mighty fortress of Garscube to play in important BUCS matches. However, that was not to be, as each team, unfortunately, walked away suffering a loss.

The GUWHC 2nd XI were the first to take to the pitch against the Edinburgh 3s. It was the semi-final of the BUCS Conference Cup meaning both teams came out fighting from the start. Edinburgh took the lead but Julia McGovern of Glasgow quickly scored an equaliser. However, Edinburgh managed another goal, which, despite their best efforts, the Glasgow girls were not able to match meaning the final score was 2-1 to Edinburgh.

The GUWHC 4th XI were the next to take to the pitch in the BUCS Conference Plate semi-final. The girls were entered the match with some confidence due to their high number of victories this year. However, the St. Andrews 3rd XI proved to be a formidable opponent. While this match again proved to be fairly even, St. Andrews clung to their lead in the final minutes of the game resulting in a 3-2 victory.

The GUMHC 1st XI were the last to play on the day in the BUCS Conference semi final. The was the most intense game of the day as it was against local rivals, the Strathclyde 1st XI. Again, it was a close and evenly paced match that saw the whistle blow with the two sides drawing at 3 goals to 3. In the end it went to penalty flicks, which Glasgow narrowly lost to their opponents on.

While the scores may have been disappointing for the GUHC on the day, the high standard of hockey, hard-work and dedication of the players is something to be proud of. There was also an incredible number of black and yellow supporters cheering from the sideline. While the teams may have not progressed further in their competitions, they still proved themselves as one of the most successful sports clubs on campus.

-Claire Flynn

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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.

Rocks Versus Wolves

BBL Championship points were at stake on Sunday the 4th of November as the Glasgow Rocks faced up to The Worcester Wolves in their fifth match of the season. The Rocks went in as the underdogs sitting at only ninth in the table whilst the Wolves were sitting at fourth.

The Rocks were aware it was going to be a tough match having been defeated by the Wolves in all of the three times they faced up together last season.

And so the pressure was very high in the Emirates Arena.  But the Rocks could not have asked for a better atmosphere with their fans having all turned out to cheer them on from the beginning.  And the Rocks managed to stay strong, fight hard and came out to win the game by 85 points to 79 points.

However, the first quarter began with the Wolves appearing the stronger side. They took the tip and managed to score the first two points of the game. However, the Wolves didn’t keep their lead for long with Harrison coming back to equalise shortly after. The Rocks were not maintaining a strong defence; however, meaning the Wolves kept were often able to break through. However, after a few minutes of the quarter the Rocks began to find their stride and came back to take the lead against the Wolves 6 point to 5 points. The Wolves then began to struggle resulting in the Rocks being able to extend their lead significantly. Although the Wolves had started strong in the quarter- it was the Rocks that dominated overall coming out to win the quarter by 23 points to 12.

The Rocks continued to dominate at the start of the second quarter, making basket in the first 15 seconds of the period. The Wolves were continuing to struggle, fouling and not maintaining a good defence, allowing the Rocks to extend their lead further. However, the Rocks than began to slack on their offence, giving the Wolves the chance to close the gap. Arguably the Wolves dominated the rest of the quarter. The quarter ended on the Rocks winning 36 points to 28 points but the Wolves had won the quarter by three points.

The Rocks gained momentum again in the third quarter, but the Wolves were holding strong. The Wolves were awarded two free throws in the first minute due to the Rocks foul but only made one point. Afterwards there were a series of three point shots on both sides. As the Rocks made one the Wolves retorted with another one- making the game incredibly intense. Both sides were fighting hard pushing through on offence almost every time. The Rocks came out on top winning the quarter by four points. The score at the end of this quarter was 59 points to the Rocks to 47 points to the Wolves.

In the last quarter of the game the Wolves were desperate to eliminate that twelve point gap and come out to win the game. Their aggression gained them a basket in the first thirty seconds. However, the Rocks refused to slack and scored a three point shot shortly after. Both sides were scoring points and fighting hard to win. With one minute to go the score was 78 points to 69 points to the Rocks but the Wolves were pushing the Glasgow defence ferociously. However, the Wolves defence got messy and two players committed their fifth foul of the game meaning they were sent off. Despite that setback the Wolves kept pushing the Rocks as hard as they could and wound up scoring the last basket of the game. However, it did not make a difference as the Rocks had managed to maintain their lead resulting in the final score being 85 points to 79 points to the Glasgow Rocks.

It was incredibly close match the entire way with both sides playing some great basketball. At the end there was only six points in it but, luckily, the Rocks were on the right side of those six points.

This means the Rocks have been bumped up to eighth in the BBL championship league table. They have won only two out of five games so far but hopefully they will continue this winning streak and climb higher in the league.

-Claire Flynn

The Glasgow University Basketball Club

The Basketball Club is one of the more recently formed sports clubs at Glasgow University. This makes it stories of success all the more impressive. The Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA), or the Glasgow University Athletic Club (GUAC) as it was known then, emerged into the post-war years with just 20 affiliated clubs. However, by the 1980s it had twice that number. The earliest of the new additions was basketball, which was affiliated as a section on the 12th of March 1947, although a club had been in existence for some time.

The basketball club performed well in its first few years of affiliation, winning the league for three years running and producing internationalists in J. R. Davis, D. Quayle and J. Hutchison, although the club’s best player was arguably Clayton Roberts, an American. In 1952 to 53, devoid of the American and Canadian stars the team fell to the bottom of the league. However, victory was again achieved in 1961 to 1962 and in 1975 to 1976 when the club rose to the top of the league again.

Fifty-five years on from the original affiliation with GUSA the club has gone through much expansion and growth, and a women’s club has also been added to the mix.

Arguably the last few years have been the most successful in the club’s history. The men’s club entered the senior national league in 2010 for the first time. They finished in fourth place in the regular season and gained a playoff semi final spot. In 2010, the first team also won their first BUCS title in over twenty-five years and secured a place in the BUCS northern premier conference, becoming the first team in Glasgow’s history to reach this standard. The second team has also been performing well recently, winning a BUCS conference in only their third season of existence and finishing in third place in the regional Strathclyde league. The success of the club has meant that the popularity has soared so much so that a third men’s team has been launched to cope with the demand.

The women’s club has similarly had much success in the last few years. Again due to increasing popularity and demand a second team was entered into BUCS Division 3 in 2011. The team placed well for the first year in the competition. In 2011 to 2012 the first women’s team did incredibly well. They placed at the top of BUCS Division One and only lost to Nottingham by one point in overtime in the Premiere Division playoffs, narrowly missing out on promotion. The first team also placed second in the SLBA league, in the same season.

However, there is also a more recreational side to the club. The women’s training sessions cater to all levels- training is on Tuesday and Friday evenings. The men’s club offer a drop-in session on a Friday afternoon in the Stevenson building, available for all abilities. So even if you are more of a Bugs Bunny than a Michael Jordan you can still get involved.

Hopefully the Glasgow University Basketball Club will continue to be a dominant force in British University basketball in the future. We have come a long way from the original affiliation in 1947 and the club, with increasing popularity and membership, becomes stronger every year.

-Claire Flynn

The GUWBC are Back!

The GUWBC are back, with their second team having played their first BUCS game of the season last Wednesday. It was an incredibly close game but Glasgow powered through and won the away game against Edinburgh Napier University’s first team 36 points to 31 points.

The second team was only formed last year and had a shaky start losing most of their games as they were just developing into a team. However, this year they have come back stronger despite having only a few of the original players left on the squad.

So as this, relatively new, team rocked up to the Napier courts the atmosphere was tense; nerves were getting the better of most. Glasgow, therefore, began weakly. They were unable to maintain a strong defence and could not get anything past Napier in offence. The problem was lack of confidence and lack of communication. This resulted in Napier blasting past the Glasgow girls in the first quarter and finishing after ten minutes ten points up. Glasgow failed to get a single basket.

However, the next quarter saw the turnaround. Glasgow came back fighting and by using a mixture of fast breaks and effective offensive plays managed to score eight points in the first three minutes of the second quarter. After that they kept the defence strong the Napier players were still able to break through a couple of times. Glasgow University won this quarter eight points to four. The game was far closer now.

After half time the third quarter commenced. Both teams came out fighting and it was practically neck and neck. Although Glasgow again made sure the defensive play was in place Napier still broke through at several points to gain baskets. At the same time however, Glasgow pushed back and broke through the Napier defence many times to score points. Although this quarter was insanely close Glasgow still came out on top, winning it thirteen points to twelve.

This meant that Glasgow went into the last quarter behind by only five points- so victory was possible but not assured. The Glasgow girls, despite being exhausted, absolutely smashed this quarter. They did not let a single Napier player get past the defence and get a basket. They also pushed the offence harder than before managing to get five baskets in the first half of the quarter.  Glasgow University went from losing the first quarter ten points to zero to winning the last quarter ten points to zero. They entered the last quarter losing by five points and left it winning by five points.

This may not be Dodgeball but it was ‘a true underdog story’. Despite losing the whole way through Glasgow came back to win the game in the last ten minutes. All the girls worked incredibly hard and played very well, for the entire game, to ensure victory. A special mention has to be made for Yana Staneva, the top point scorer, who had an amazing game.

It was a great start to the season for the GUWBC second team. Hopefully they will continue to play well in the coming matches and rally up the victories.

-Claire Flynn

Meet the Super Humans

So the London Olympic Games have finished leaving most of us who aren’t particularly fond of football with a rather nasty sporting void in our lives. But fear not for a remedy is arriving tonight in the form of the London 2012 Paralympics.

Great Britain performed incredibly well at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, finishing second overall. This year they aim to at least match their efforts of four years ago.

And with several extraordinary athletes taking part, both from Great Britain and from the rest of the world this promises to be as much of a nail-biting, air-punching, tear-shedding Games as the Olympics was. The Paralympians, with their stories and their struggles, will capture your hearts just as much as, if not more, than our Olympic champions did.

This year the Paralympic broadcasting flame has been handed to Channel 4 and they have wasted no energy in attempting to promote the games as much as possible- with adverts plastering our television screens featuring the cheeky slogan ‘Thanks for the warm-up’. These and the other adverts have been incredibly successful in grabbing public attention and creating an air of excitement for the Games.

Channel 4 have also broadcast several shows to build up to the Games, such as an evening show hosted by Jon Snow, in which he is joined by celebrities and looks into the Games and the stories of various participating athletes. And they have even pimped out their website with Paralympic news and videos of some of the British athletes, describing their stories and what they want to achieve

There is no doubt about it the Channel 4 promotion of the Paralympics has brought the Games up from the Olympics’ little brother to an event of great sporting importance in its own right.

However, would it really be Channel 4 if there were no element of controversy, no outrage, no crossing the line of acceptable broadcasting at some stage? No it would not; I’m fairly certain we are all aware of the controversial programming choices – from that episode of Brass Eye to a live autopsy – of Channel 4 in the past.

This time Channel 4 has achieved the provocation of public uproar through I’m Spazticus. The name alone is uncomfortably awkward- let alone the television show. It is a typical prank show with secret cameras filming the unsuspecting victims- the difference is that the people playing the pranks are those with disabilities. The sketch show features a blind man convincing members of the public to talk to his “talking” guide dog, a dwarf acting as a guide dog, an amputee with various attachments for his missing arm and people being asked to rate the pranksters in order of which disability they would like least.

The issue is Channel 4 has placed I’m Spazticus in the official Paralympics broadcasting sector. It somehow does not seem appropriate to lump one of the greatest sporting events in the world with some tricksters on a show that is controversial to say the least. It is a detriment to those Paralympians that the channel has worked so hard to promote, even describing them as ‘super-human’.

I’m Spazticus is a major blip in the promotion of the Paralympic Games. However, it is only one blip. Channel 4 have still created an incredible build up and, judging from the team they have put together, the actual Games will be brought to the public in just as much style.

So forget about the Olympics, dodgy prank shows, and anything else you’ve been watching recently. The Paralympics are here, and we are doubtless to see some incredible feats of athleticism in the next few weeks from these ‘super humans’.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Craig Morey (https://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelthing/)

GUWHC 2nd XI Versus East Kilbride

The GUWHC second XI has soared from strength to strength in recent months with their most recent 2-0 victory against the East Kilbride first XI taking them to the semi-final of the West District cup.

Despite entering this match as firm underdogs the Glasgow girls did not let that put them off. They dominated the match from the very beginning. The opposition was taken aback by the force in which the GUWHC came at them. Although they played an excellent passing game and created several chances the girls failed to break through the East Kilbride defence and ended the first half disappointed not to be in front.

Again the girls did not let that dampen their spirits and, knowing that they were the better team, came back strong in the second half. Unfortunately the hockey became a little frantic enabling East Kilbride to gain several penalty corners in a short space of time putting Glasgow under severe pressure. However, the defence kept calm and stayed strong, keeping the ball out of the net.

About ten minutes into the second half, the first goal was finally scored with striker Bethan Eluned Till breaking through and smacking the ball from the top of the D into the back of the net. A beautiful strike that put Glasgow deservedly in front. This put Glasgow in the lead but the pressure was still on with East Kilbride pushing back determined to even the score.

The game continued with increased intensity- East Kilbride had not been expecting to lose and were frantically trying to make a comeback, leading to mistakes and fouls- one of their players was even green carded. It wasn’t until ten minutes before the end of the match that the Glasgow ladies were confident of victory, when they awarded a penalty corner. Katie Wood struck the ball at the goal, with a deflection by Bethan Eluned Till to ensure it reached the target.

The GUWHC second XI were victorious and rightly so. The entire team was aware of the excellent hockey displayed throughout the squad but it was Kate Smith that was voted player of the match for her amazing goal keeping skills throughout the game and especially in the face of numerous penalty corners which kept the side in the game.

The second XI has now progressed to the semi-final of the West District Cup. They will either be playing the East Kilbride 2nd XI or the Clyde West 5th XI. Both teams are potentially incredibly tough opposition with the latter looking to finish at the top of West District One this season.

The team are aware of the challenges ahead but for now are content with this achievement. Julia McGovern, vice captain of the team, emphasised how happy she was saying:

“Never have I ever been so proud to see a team truly rise to the occasion and completely shoot down the label of being the underdogs.”

So we can only hope the GUWHC second XI continue to disregard the underdog tag as they face even tougher opposition in their upcoming games. Perhaps they can then continue their winning streak and win another cup for Glasgow University.

-Claire Flynn

GUSSC Take on L2A

“Do you even know how to ski?”

That was the first question my mother asked me when I happened to mention to her that I had paid my deposit for the Glasgow University ski trip. This year saw the GUSSC take 300 of GU’s finest students to the resort Les Deux for the first week of January. A week of skiing, snowboarding, boozing and, let’s not forget, dancing.

The actual ability to ski seemed like such a minor issue at the time but truth be told I had very little experience of skiing or snowboarding and absolutely none on real snow. Still, a mixture of peer pressure and Hive inspired drunken enthusiasm persuaded me to pay off the rest of the trip and prepare myself for a week in which my entire family was convinced I would break a bone.

Now, I wasn’t the only one who got carried away and booked the trip having barely put my foot into a ski boot before. So I didn’t feel as bad falling my way down a green slope on the first day, as I got to watch the other beginners struggle just as much.

I mean, at least I didn’t get taken on a blue slope on the first day by my friends, falling so hard I twisted my knee and was airlifted to hospital, losing both skis in the process. Or roll down a black slope, only rescuing myself from falling off piste by the hook of my thumb. I’m not going to name any names but I’m sure the footage will be on the internet in no time at all.

Don’t worry, everyone survived in the end, including the beginners. I got the hang of green slopes in a couple of days and was then led down a few blues by some very patient and understanding people. I thank you all. Meanwhile the more experienced skiers and snowboarders were speeding down reds and blacks and flying over jumps. Some even went off piste although if you ever do that try not to bury yourself in snow, like one GUSSC member managed to do on the last day.

But let’s face it, it isn’t all about the snow. The bars and nightclubs were completely ruined by the Glasgow students who turned out in force every single night. I have never seen so many people in onesies raving under a massive disco ball than in nightclub Avalanche on the second night. And the French didn’t know what had hit them when we blinded them in our neon clothes on the last night.

So for all those of you that debated over whether to go to Les Deux Alpes this year and decided that you didn’t have the money or that it just wasn’t worth it to put it bluntly you made a mistake. Whether you’re a complete beginner or a pro, there is something for everyone. There are lessons for all levels and several kind people to pick you up out of the snow and keep you going.

Next year don’t even hesitate. Get it booked because you know you are going to hate life for the next month with all this cliquey L2A chat.

And for all those who were there, now that we are all back in Glasgow after an amazing week together we can truly say F*** SNOW LET’S DANCE!