Edge Hill Women's Hockey Firsts squad gather together and cheer their success.
Edge Hill Women’s Hockey Firsts squad celebrate cup progress. © Ian Shard

Cup action for many of Edge Hill University’s sports teams meant a reduced BUCS fixture programme – but many of those sides who did participate enjoyed safe passage in pursuit of silverware in 2019/20.

The firsts’ football team claimed victory in dramatic fashion, defeating Salford firsts on penalties. Goalless at full-time, Danny Warren struck from the spot to give Edge Hill the advantage in the first 15 of extra-time, before being pegged back in the second period which meant a shootout. Sam Hawthorne, James Jeffries, Darren Brannigan and Anthony Riddle successfully converted for the home side, with goalkeeper Ben Donnelly saving two of the visitors’ spot-kicks to see the Greens go through.

Edge Hill goal-scorer Danny Warren battles for possession against Salford firsts
Edge Hill goal-scorer Danny Warren battles for possession against Salford firsts. © Chris Mowatt

In the only league fixture for Edge Hill’s sides, the men’s firsts’ rugby union team made it two wins from two by winning what proved to be a hard-fought home clash with Lancaster thirds 36-26. On top in the first half, the Beavers claimed the bonus point in the first 40 by running in five tries, courtesy of Ben Brown, Shaun Tipping, Liam Eldridge, Mike Tudor and skipper Albert McKay, with Harry Deveney kicking three conversions.

Injuries and complacency could be cited as factors in a second period which began with the hosts 31-5 ahead, before they allowed the visitors to come within a try of their score. It was only in the final 10 when the hosts could relax after they stole Lancaster’s line out, allowing Man of the Match Tudor to power over for his second try.

Ben Brown, rugby union, is lifted high in the air to catch the ball.
Ben Brown rises highest in the line-out for Edge Hill in rugby union. © Ian Shard

There was a welcome first victory of the campaign for the women’s firsts hockey team, 5-1 cup victors over Liverpool fourths. Abigayle Hall and Sophie Hudson settled any early nerves with strikes in the first 10 minutes, and Imogen Kelly was unfortunate to see a goal chalked off before half-time. Edge Hill’s Em Ross was the busier of the two goalkeepers after the break and finally conceded, before the hosts hit back in the final 15 through Nadina Skinner, Hudson again and Shannen Robinson.

There was a convincing 6-0 tennis victory for the men’s firsts over Keele seconds. Doubles wins came courtesy of Joe Wilkinson and Archie Fubbins, and Oliver Macneil and Luke Myles, with Macneil, Alex Clare, Fubbins and Wilkinson helping secure the whitewash without dropping a set in their singles rubbers.

The rugby league team’s winless start to the campaign continued as they were beaten 28-25 at Manchester Met firsts, while the badminton thirds suffered a 7-1 home defeat to UCLAN firsts. However, there was success for the seconds for the first time this term, overcoming Cumbria firsts 5-3. 

Badminton's Isaak Dalglish lunges to reach the shuttle cock.

Isaak Dalglish enjoyed international success in Denmark before returning to action for his University. © Steve Walker

Mention, too, must go to Isaak Dalglish, who was in action for the University in badminton, and who was also victorious earlier this month in the men’s pairs at the Denmark Parabadminton International in Odense, his first victory alongside new partner, Ireland’s Niall McVeigh.