Mallows magic inspires basketballers’ first win
It was a mixed bag of results for Edge Hill University sports teams as the fixture schedule returned to a semblance of normality following recent bad weather.
Amongst the highlights was the men’s basketball side breaking their duck, securing a 74-69 victory over winless UCLAN in Northern 3A. Captain Lewis Mallows top-scored with 23 for the firsts, who came back from an 18-point deficit to land the spoils, with Alex Ashcroft and Ieaun Vanner also contributing 16 points apiece. “All we can say is, bring on Varsity on 27 March” proclaimed Mallows, ahead of the end-of-season competition in Preston.
In football the women’s firsts produced the most eye-catching result of the day, crushing their Bangor counterparts 13-2 which puts them right in the mix for the Northern 2A title. Having edged a nine-goal thriller last time they faced the Welsh side in October, such a one-sided scoreline was not expected – but having gone three-up in the first five minutes, there was no coming back for the visitors who eventually trailed 8-1 at the break. Ruby Howard, Mia Pemberton, Tori Baxter (her first goals for the team), Annabel Ainscough and Chelsey Jukes all scored twice, with Cara Bickett, Kayleigh Monaghan and Chloe Green also on target.
The women’s hockey firsts are just one win away from a second successive league title after claiming a 2-0 revenge victory at title rivals Manchester thirds. Having suffered their only defeat this term to the same opposition, a 5-2 reverse in late November, they came back to produce an impressive display. Forward Anna Hollis celebrated her selection for the England Universities squad with the opener (with Yasmine King sealing the win), news which she is still stunned about.
“Being selected is the most surreal experience I’ve ever encountered”, she said. “When I started playing my dream was to make it into a national squad. But it was just that, a dream. I have worked hard day after day since then, and I am unbelievably grateful for the opportunity. I am incredibly lucky to have been selected and I’m so excited for the work to begin with the new squad.”
Unfortunately, a spate of injuries marred the seconds’ chances at Liverpool Hope as they went down 7-2, Sophie Christopherson and Maddie Francis the players on target.
Games-in-hand mean the men’s hockey team are well placed in
Northern 3A after a 3-3 draw with Liverpool seconds. Bangor firsts are top, five points clear of Edge Hill but having played three more fixtures. The top two meet in what could prove a key clash on 20 February.
A 1-0 defeat at home to Liverpool John Moores’ seconds has all but ended the men’s firsts’ footballers’ title hopes in Northern 2A although the seconds are still in the mix in Northern 4A, a 4-4 draw at UCLAN seconds meaning both sides are amongst four still in with a shout of top spot.
There were mixed results in netball, the seconds’ 31-30 defeat of Liverpool fifths in Northern 5A being tempered by the fourths’ heavy 71-16 home loss to runaway Northern 8A leaders Bolton firsts.
Without a game this week, there was also good news for the men’s rugby league side with Nathan Taylor being included in the England Universities North squad for their Origin game against the South, which takes place on Saturday at Loughborough University.
“it is a real honor to be selected”, Nathan reflected. “When I received the email I was over the moon, it’s a tremendous honour to represent the North of England. After Saturday I believe a England University train-on squad will be selected from a combination of the teams, but for the moment I look forward to pulling on the North jersey and taking it one game at a time.”