Vinay Patel and Tom Henigan
At this point in the series, UoN were in need of some big victories. Where better to do so than their very own David Ross Sports Village? The non-stop action of Super Wednesday saw a whole host of sporting events taking place across the day, ranging from badminton to chaotic canoe polo. Vinay Patel and Tom Henigan were on duty for Impact to try and capture all the action.
It was a great atmosphere by the pool at David Ross as UoN and NTU went head-to-head in the first Varsity event of the day. The Green and Gold dominated the races early on, but NTU were able to win a few races such as the men’s butterfly and the men’s breaststroke.
UoN came away convincing winners
Such was the power of the UoN swimmers though, Trent were never able to catch up. UoN certainly had more swimmers competing, but even so they were clearly the stronger side. Their dominance in the pool was summed up in one of the final races, where the women obliterated Trent in their freestyle relay. The men followed that up with a victory of their own in the same event, finishing off the swimming with a win.
It must be said that, despite the matchup being very one-sided, both sets of fans were loud throughout and there was great support for all the competitors throughout the event. UoN came away convincing winners, victorious in 31 races to NTU’s 12.
UoN’s blistering start to the day was unbeknownst to the badminton athletes, who were willing to put it all on the line in the second event of the day.
The men’s singles saw a comfortable 2-0 victory for Green and Gold’s very own Archie Bult, but Joe Waugh unfortunately could not match the performance of his teammate as he fell to a 2-0 defeat.
The women’s singles were next up, and it was another UoN victory through Yogithaa Amaran, who won 2-0. However, Natasha Morris had to dig deep in a fiercely contested match that went to the third set, but she was able to prevail in a 2-1 triumph.
The one and only mixed doubles game was one-way traffic as Matt Bickerton and Lily Clark suffered a 2-0 defeat, as NTU showed no signs of backing down despite trailing 3-2.
The score was delicately poised at 4-4 going into the final match
Simone Luis and Larissa Chan succumbed to a heavy 2-0 defeat to the visitors, leaving Megan Brierley and Shivani Bhoombla to round off the women’s doubles action. After losing the first game, the ladies pulled off a remarkable comeback to win the match 2-1.
With the men’s doubles taking place at the same time, Adam Bennett and Jingyuan Liu lost a nail-biting first game to NTU (22-24) but levelled the match in a 21-17 game win. Unfortunately for Bennett and Liu, the visitors claimed a narrow 21-19 victory to secure the first men’s doubles match.
After the conclusion of the women’s doubles, the score was delicately poised at 4-4 going into the final match, involving both Rohan Shergill and Matthew Lawrence. Despite a spirited performance however, Shergill and Lawrence fell to defeat as NTU claimed their 5-4 victory and their first of the day.
Fortunately for the Green and Gold, there was so much sport left to come and the day was far from over.
Over on the squash courts, UoN were set to face NTU in six matches, including two doubles matches. UoN Sports Officer Sean Nolan started the action on the glass court. He blitzed past his opponent in a very high-quality game to come away with a 3-0 sweep to start UoN off well.
Doubles was next up, as Tom Trott and Amber Copley entered the glass court. The match was an incredibly tight one. NTU took the first game to put Trott and Copley on the back foot. The first game was incredibly close, so it was no surprise that Trott and Copley forced a third and final game with some great play. Unfortunately, though, the duo fell just short, losing the final game 11-9. Following their win in that gruelling doubles match, NTU were level at 1-1.
Zafar put in the performance of the day, controlling the court throughout her match
Over on court six, UoN’s Alexandra Bardac powered through against her tough opponent to take the match 3-2, giving UON a 2-1 lead.
Next on the glass court for UoN was Faiza Zafar. Zafar put in the performance of the day, controlling the court throughout her match. She took the games 11-5, 11-6 and 11-4, giving the Green and Gold a 3-1 lead overall.
Back on court six, Nid Ananth was giving it his all in a tight matchup. He found himself down two games to one and it looked like NTU were going to tie up the overall score. Nid fought back valiantly though, winning the fourth game in convincing fashion. Then, in the deciding fifth game, UoN’s superior conditioning training shone through as Nid dominated and took the game 11-1 and the match 3-2. This made it 4-1 to Uni of overall.
Once again, it was the Green and Gold who powered through
In the final match of the day, Anuj Savani and Satarra Thaker entered the glass court for their doubles match to try and give UoN a 5-1 victory overall. In a best of three matchup, the duo fell behind in the first set. In the second game though, they managed to bounce back, forcing a third and final battle. Once again, it was the Green and Gold who powered through as Savanj and Thaker came away with the win after a feisty affair.
That gave UoN a 5-1 win on the squash courts as their dominance at David Ross continued.
UoN’s table tennis team were keen to continue the theme of Green and Gold destruction, and the men’s singles set the tone for the eventual outcome, as their six victories were no match for the two put forward by NTU. Robert Pelc and Howard Onweng were the standout performers, both going unbeaten in a total of four games. Shayan Siraj and Naphat Boonyaprapa also contributed with a win each over their opponents.
Meanwhile, the women’s singles were honours even, with a 3-0 hammering by Mari Baldwin, but followed by Jasmin Wong ultimately falling short in a 3-2 defeat to the visiting opponent.
NTU were quite simply blown away by some remarkable performances
With the win already wrapped up for UoN, NTU were left playing only for their pride. In spite of a 3-2 victory in the mixed doubles, they suffered successive defeats in the men’s and women’s doubles, the latter seeing a resounding 3-0 UoN win.
The final score was 9-4 in favour of the Green and Gold, as NTU were quite simply blown away by some remarkable performances.
We returned to the pool, this time for the water polo. NTU women knew that they would face a tough task against a UoN side who had finished second in the nation.
And a tough task it was for the side in pink caps, as UoN ran riot. The Green and Gold showed off their talents in the pool, pulling out several trick shots to give themselves an incredible 37-7 victory.
Was the comeback on?! No, it certainly wasn’t
The men were up next, and after the women’s dominant win, had pressure to follow up with a big performance of their own. The first quarter couldn’t have gone much better for the boys, storming out of the gates to go take a 4-0 lead.
They kept their dominance going throughout the second quarter, eventually extending their lead to 9-0. NTU did manage to score a penalty just before half time though, was the comeback on?! No, it certainly wasn’t.
UoN made it 14-3 by the end of the third quarter. Although it wasn’t as dominant a win as the women, the men ended the game as victors, winning 19-4 and even denied NTU a last second consolation goal to add insult to injury, cement the win, and sum up UoN’s dominance in the pool.
The final event of the day at David Ross was Canoe Polo, an action-packed event which is essentially water polo in kayaks. UoN were looking to get their fifth win out of the six events held at David Ross on Super Wednesday.
The Green and Gold raced into a 2-0 lead to start the game. However, NTU answered quickly with a lovely counterattack to pull the score back to 2-1. From there though, it was all UoN as they raced into a 7-1 lead at half time.
This very niche sport was incredibly entertaining to watch
In fairness to NTU, they were much better in the second half, after the first period had seen UoN completely control the game. The second half was certainly more even, but UoN were still the better side, as the game finished with UoN winning 11-3, with NTU getting a late consolation goal.
Despite the game being very one-sided, this very niche sport was incredibly entertaining to watch and it must be said that everyone competing in it was incredibly talented!
Upon the completion of all events, UoN cruised to a 6-1 victory over NTU on a memorable Super Wednesday. Though the Trent spirit matched the height of the rivalry, exemplified in the badminton, the quality of the UoN athletes shone through at David Ross. A victory of this margin meant that the Green and Gold were able to bring the overall score level with their local rivals and it would prove to be a valuable penultimate day of Varsity, setting UoN up in a strong position to retain the Varsity crown.
Vinay Patel and Tom Henigan
Featured image courtesy of Vinay Patel. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
In article image 1 courtesy of @uon_badminton via Instagram. No changes were made to this image.
In article image 2 courtesy of @uontt via Instagram. No changes were made to this image.
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