With the University fencing season at a close, here is a roundup all the BUCS action over 2018/19.
Women’s Tier 2
Essex 1st dominated the South Eastern division, taking the 2A crown undefeated with promotion to tier 1, the middle of the table was hotly contested but UCL 2nd managed to grab the second spot.
In the Midlands, Nottingham Trent 1st also enjoyed an undefeated season to finish top. The rest of the pack fell in line below with each team achieving one win less than the team above.
Up in the North, Sheffield 1st completed a hat-trick of perfect seasons for the tier 2 league winners. Durham 3rd came in second place a couple of wins behind Sheffield.
Women’s Tier 1
With only one defeat Kent 1st easily topped the table making the playoff spot for the Premier South. Sussex 1st struggled during the season and finished bottom and despite winning their last game, Reading 1st were unable to get ahead of Royal Holloway 1st and avoid the second relegation spot. Queen Mary’s 1st finished second with a respectable 12pts.
Over in Western, Cardiff made the other Premier South playoff spot with an undefeated season, finishing just ahead of Exeter 1st, who had just the one defeat, and Bath 1st finishing one behind them. The rest of the teams struggled to pick up consistent wins.
Birmingham 1st just edged past Warwick 1st on hits after both teams finished on 9/10 wins. Similarly, at the bottom, Nottingham 2nd managed to stay off the bottom spot on hits after they finished on 1/10 wins with Leicester 1st.
Leeds 1st battled it out with Lancaster 2nd, but after Leeds rounded off a perfect season, they took the top spot. Durham 2nd performed well in third but Newcastle 2nd struggled at the bottom of the table without a win.
In Scotland, St Andrews 1st and St Andrews 2nd topped and tailed the league. St Andrews 1st finished top undefeated, while the rest of the league was tight with one win between each team.
In a hotly contested Premier South, Oxford 1st topped the table on 24pts ahead of UCL 1st in second on 21pts. Surrey 1st, Bristol 1st and Imperial 1st all had decent performances, picking up wins, but Cambridge 1st struggled without a win in the league. In the Premier South Playoff, Kent 1st came through and edged out Cambridge 1st in the final match to claim their spot next year.
The Premier North had a competitive middle table but Edinburgh 1st romped home clear winners, two wins ahead of Durham 1st on 27pts. Newcastle 1st was the only team not to pick up wins and finished bottom. St Andrews 1st came safely through the Premier North Playoffs to take their place in the top tier.
Men’s Tier 3
In a reduced size South Eastern league due to withdrawals, Kent 2nd finished top ahead Imperial 3rd on hits after both teams finished with three wins.
The Northern league saw a totally dominant York 2nd take the top, with all the other teams competitive, Durham 5th just edged ahead to take second place.
Men’s Tier 2
In the first of the South Eastern’s two Tier 2 leagues, Reading 1st finished on 24pts just ahead of Surrey 2nd and King’s College 2nd who both finished on 21pts. Brunel 1st struggled with Walkovers so finish bottom with -9pts. In the other league, it was also tight at the top with UCL 2nd taking the top ahead of Kent 1st on hits after they both finished on 27pts.
Over in Western, a tight battle between Bristol 2nd and UWE 1st, saw the latter win out with 27pts. Down the bottom of the table, another struggle with Walkovers led to Southampton 2nd finishing bottom on -3pts.
The Midlands, also with two Tier 2 leagues, saw the first running right to the wire with Loughborough 2nd coming up short to Nottingham 1st on hits. De Montfort 1st with only one win sits at the bottom of the table. In the other league, Oxford Brookes 1st ran away as comfortable winners, doubling second place Anglia Ruskin 1st points total with 18pts.
Another double league in the Northern had the first narrowly won by Manchester 1st by one win ahead of Lancaster 2nd. There was a clear gap with the rest of the league, but Manchester Met 1st and Bangor 1st both finished with 0pts. Another tight fight in the other league, but York 1st were too strong for Leeds 1st and finished undefeated. At the other end of the table, Newcastle 3rd finished above Hull 1st, due to Hull’s Walkovers conceded.
Men’s Tier 1
The South Eastern proved to be a tough league with twists and turns everywhere but King’s College 1st managed to clinch the Premier playoff place with 24pts. Despite wins against Imperial 1st and Hertfordshire 1st, Queen Mary’s 1st finished bottom and face relegation.
The Western also had a competitive fight stretching down the table but Swansea 1st won out with one win over Exeter 1st to take the league and go on to the Premier Playoffs. Bath 2nd managed to stay ahead of bottom-placed Cardiff 2nd with two wins during the season.
Midlands had a shoot out between Birmingham 1st and winners Warwick 1st, due to Warwick’s two wins over Birmingham, which saw them on to the Premier North playoff. It was equally tight at the bottom Oxford 2nd and Nottingham 2nd both finished on 6pts, but Nottingham finished bottom due to a difference in hits of 5.
The Northern league was again tight at the top of the table. Durham 2nd finish ahead of Lancaster 1st by one win and go on to the playoff. While at the Bottom Newcastle 1st stayed ahead of their other team, Newcastle 2nd who failed to pick up a win.
The Scottish league, which has the highest number of teams with ten fighting it out, saw Glasgow 1st top the table and move on to the playoffs with an undefeated season. Dundee 1st finished second with their only defeat to Glasgow. The rest of the teams were fairly even, but Edinburgh 3rd and St Andrews 3rd both finishing on 3 pts at the bottom.
Oxford 1st and Bristol 1st ran away with the Premier South, both teams managed a win against each other, but it was Oxford’s loss to Imperial 1st that allowed Bristol to finish top with 9/10 wins. Cambridge 1st struggled with only one win all season and now face relegation. UCL 1st, Imperial 1st and Bath 1st all jostled around the middle finishing in that order. King’s College 1st and Swansea 1st came through to fight it out in the final of the Premier South Playoff, with King’s College edging past to take their place in the prem.
In the North, Nottingham 1st edged past Edinburgh 1st and Durham 1st to take the top spot, finishing 3pts above both of them. Leicester 1st managed to stay just ahead of St Andrews 1st by 3 points to avoid the drop. That just left Loughborough, who sat comfortably in the middle of the table on 12pts. In the Premier North Playoffs, Glasgow 1st were dominant throughout during their ‘perfect’ league season and will hope to bring the same form to the Premier North next season.
BUCS Cup Women’s
By the semi-finals the Premier North teams were starting to show their dominance with the top three teams in that league competing in the semis, Only Oxford 1st featured from the Premier South, but a strong Oxford team were not going to allow the North to have it all their own way as they beat Durham 1st 123 – 119. Edinburgh 1st came through comfortably in the other semi 135 – 94 against Nottingham 1st, to set up the North v South final at BUCS Big Wednesday. From the outset, Edinburgh looked like the favourites, but as they showed in the semi, Oxford could not be underestimated. However, as the match started Edinburgh started to race away as they moved through the weapons, finishing up with a triumphant score of 133 – 87, taking the BUCS cup in 2019.
BUCS Cup Men’s
The men’s semi-finals showed a similar story to the Women’s with the three top teams from the Premier North taking three spots, this time it was Bristol 1st from the Premier South trying to break the Norther hold. Despite taking it right to the wire, Bristol came close but was unable to overcome Edinburgh 1st losing by two hits, 123 – 125. In another close semi, Nottingham 1st lost to Durham 1st, 118 – 125, to set up the all Northern final. In this evenly balanced match, both teams showed how much they wanted the win, but in a such a close affair two extra hits by Durham eventually gave them the win as the scores finished 131 – 129 and they raised the 2019 BUCS Cup.
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