An Edge Hill women's footballer, ready to strike the ball with her left foot, which is raised backwards in the air.
Annabel Ainscough was among the goals for Edge Hill women © Steve Walker

A total of 16 Edge Hill University sides in action in a busy week of BUCS action – and half of the teams tasted victory.

There were several eye-catching performances, with the women’s firsts footballers impressing again – just as they have done in most weeks this season.

This time it was Manchester Met University who were put to the sword, the free-scoring Green Army – who have averaged over seven goals per league game this term – matched that tally in claiming a 7-3 victory at their nearest challengers to maintain their unbeaten league record. Ella Pemberton led the way with a hat-trick, with Georgia Walmsley, Katie Evans, Annabel Ainscough and Molly Barton also chipping in. Such has been their dominance that victory next time out would secure the title already and promotion to Northern Tier 1.

Three men on a football field, with the Edge Hill player - who has his foot on the ball - on the left, ready to avoid a tackle from a member of the opposition approaching on the right, and his teammate in the background running towards them both.
Will Pitt (left) hit two goals in victory over Manchester Met © Chris Mowatt

The men’s seconds also enjoyed victory over Met’s thirds, coming back from a goal down to claim a 4-1 win. Will Pitt struck twice – the first from the penalty spot – with Lucas Bradley and Rustam Stephens also on target, the latter completing the scoring in the second half to reignite their Northern Tier 4 title hopes. 

There was another dominant display from the men’s firsts badminton team, who showed few signs of rustiness to whitewash Manchester thirds 8-0 to maintain their 100 per cent winning record in Northern Tier 3. And there was victory, too, for the thirds, bottom of Northern Tier 5, who shocked Liverpool Hope firsts 5-3. But there was to be no treble for the male teams, the seconds beaten 5-3 by Liverpool seconds to seal their demotion to Northern Tier 4 while the women’s firsts shared the spoils with fellow Northern Tier 2 strugglers Keele firsts, drawing 4-4.

A male badminton player diving for the shot with his racquet in his right hand
Ben Williams on the stretch for the seconds © Ian Shard

Jacob Brown crossed twice as the men’s rugby league side saw off Huddersfield firsts 18-6. Ben Legge also claimed a try, with Nathan Taylor kicking the remaining points.

Monday saw the men’s hockey team take centre stage, defeating a weakened Liverpool John Moores seconds 4-0 in a rearranged Northern Conference Cup encounter. Top scorer Connor Lloyd and Nick Fletcher both scored twice in a commanding performance for the hosts.

A male Edge Hill hockey player running with the ball under control as a member of the opposition keeps on his tail, and a member of the Edge Hill hockey team in the background, watching on
Nick Fletcher was at the double to help fire the firsts to the next round of the cup © Ian Shard

The women’s firsts’ struggles in Northern Tier 2 continue as they lost 4-2 to Liverpool seconds – although it was an improvement on the 6-0 reverse to the same opposition last time out. Sophie Hudson had given the visitors a shock lead and despite the hosts hitting back to lead, Jenny Shepherd levelled matters before the interval. Indeed, the game was still in the balance until late on, with goalkeeper Em Ross impressing. 

Six weeks without a game proved no barrier for the women’s seconds hockey team, who secured their second victory of the season courtesy of a 3-2 win over their Bangor counterparts. Madeline Francis hit the first two goals and despite twice being pegged back by a side they had lost to 3-0 earlier in the campaign, it was Francis again who completed her hat-trick to help her team to victory – and claim the Player of the Match honours in the process.

Three women on three with one member of the opposition going in for the attack of Edge Hill's player who is on the hockey ball
Yasmin Torres on the ball against Bangor © Clare Southall

The seconds were the big winners in netball, defeating Manchester Met fourths 49-29, with Ella Clague again impressing but there were defeats for the firsts – 60-39 against Liverpool John Moores firsts – and the fourths, 36-15 at the hands of Manchester Met sixths.

A hockey goalie with their hockey stick in the air, ready to stop the ball going into the goal
Danny Harding kept a clean sheet against Liverpool John Moores © Ian Shard

In other sports, tennis delivered a 4-2 victory via the women’s firsts, who leap-frogged Leeds Beckett fourths to move second in Northern Tier 3 but it was a tough day in rugby union, with both first teams falling to defeat against their respective XVs. The men were beaten 27-0 by Northern Tier 4 leaders Liverpool Hope while the women also endured a difficult afternoon, beaten 45-5 by Liverpool John Moores.

And there was defeat for the men’s firsts basketball team, who failed to build on victory over University of Bolton last time out to go down 93-69 to league-leaders Liverpool John Moores firsts.