Exeter Netball Club (top left), Exeter University Men's Rugby Club (top right), Bristol Ladies (bottom right), Exeter University Men's Hockey Club (bottom left)
Previewing Tomorrow’s Stars Today
In a preview of the season ahead where University of Exeter students feature in South West Regional and National Leagues, we caught up with players and coaches as they make their final preparations for the season and compete in their 1st fixtures.
University of Exeter Men’s Hockey Club welcomed one of the leading English club sides Reading Hockey Club who play in the National Premier League and are coached by former GB men’s coach Jason Lee for a series of friendlies ahead of the National League season.
Boasting a number of senior internationals, Olympians and Exeter alumni including BUCS Gold medallist and current GB international Tom Carson (Business and Management, 2012), Reading were a top quality side and the perfect tough pre-season opposition.With several current EUMHC players having learnt their trade at Reading Hockey Club the relationship between Reading Hockey Club and EUMHC is something we can hope will continue to develop in the future.
Tom Carson, Reading Hockey Club and University of Exeter alumnus commented “It’s been a great weekend of hockey and a perfect start to our season. It’s fantastic to be back in Exeter and I wish EUMHC all the best for the upcoming National League and BUCS season”.
Chris McInroy, University of Exeter Director of Hockey commented “It’s been a pleasure to host Reading Hockey Club at the University over the weekend and we are very much hoping we will be welcoming more players from the club to the University of Exeter in future”.
EUMHC now look ahead to their 1st National league game against University of Birmingham on Saturday 23rd September.
With the National Hockey League season looming ISCA University made a trip up north to face 2 National League sides Wakefield and Durham who play in the equivalent conference north of the Investec Women’s Hockey League to ISCA University who play in conference west. The ISA University side comprises of a mixture of University of Exeter Ladies Hockey Club players and local talent giving University players the opportunity to access high level weekend hockey in addition to BUCS whilst at University.
Against Wakefield ISCA University dominated the game from the start playing some great passing hockey. They were clinical in the D and were rewarded with an unassailable 6-0 lead at half time. A much more even second half followed but ISCA had done the hard work early and took the win 6-0.
The Durham University game was a much closer affair and against a strong side ISCA University played some great attacking hockey in an end to end game. Bex O’Dwyer made some outstanding saves in goal, with University of Exeter 1st year students Nicole Bowen and Kate Axford showing their strength in defence. Katherine Holdgate controlled the midfield and Meg Crowson showed some great skills up front in her first games back with the side.
Jack Childs, University of Exeter Women’s Hockey 1st team coach commented “I’m very pleased with the mentality the girls showed to perform to such a high standard after a demanding journey and tough schedule against two strong National League teams. We have had a great pre-season and are looking forward to our first National League game this weekend against Swansea City"
The University of Exeter Netball Club (EUNC) has a long standing partnership with Exeter Netball Club providing a competitive outlet for EUNC 1st team players to play Regional Netball. Ahead of the Regional 1 season Exeter headed to the Netball South West pre-season tournament, where 16 teams across all regional divisions were represented. Exeter entered both a Regional 1 and Regional 3 side, with both teams having a strong tournament which is hugely promising for the season ahead. New in Regional 3 this year, the Exeter Regional 3 side finished in 6th place beating a number of Regional 2 and Regional 1 sides in the process. Exeter Regional 1 side came out eventual winners on goal difference ahead of Team Bath Regional 1 who they drew with 11-11 in the initial group stages.
University of Exeter Head of Netball Denise Ellis commented “It’s been a really positive tournament for Exeter Netball Club and great for the club to have 2 regional sides represented and performing well. I’m looking forward to the season ahead and seeing what both teams can do in their respective leagues”.
Georgie Ormandy, Regional 3 squad member commented “It was a great chance to prepare for the season against some of the best squads in the South West, with the opportunity to try lots of different combinations and a great 1st experience for many girls playing regional standard netball”.
Maddie Heywood, Regional 1 squad member commented “The tournament was a great way to explore different options on court against different sides. Coming out with the win overall shows we have the depth in our squad making us all very excited for the season ahead”.
In the 1st season of the new Tyrells Premier 15s season Bristol Ladies faced Richmond FC in a tough opening fixture. With 5 University of Exeter Women’s Rugby Club players named in the squad for the game Exeter continues to develop its relationship with Bristol Ladies allowing University of Exeter students the opportunity to play Premiership Rugby alongside their BUCS competition whilst at University. Richmond came out hard and were 1st on the score board but despite Bristol responding and with a total of 6 tries in the 1st half the score going into the half time break left Bristol trailing 12-24. Richmond scored early but with University of Exeter 1st year student Lagi Tuima scoring 2 tries on her Bristol debut Exeter were on the comeback trail.
Despite a strong 2nd half performance Richmond held on to take the win 31-24. University of Exeter Sports Scholar Cat McNaney was named player of the match for her dominate defence throughout as well as great attacking ability.
Reflecting on the match Clara Nielson, University of Exeter Women’s Rugby Club 1st team captain commented “It was great to play our 1st match of the Tyrells Premier 15s season and although we are disappointed to start with a loss the number of young talented players in the squad this year is really exciting. Having 9 of us from Exeter travelling up to play and train Premiership rugby each week with Bristol is really positive for our BUCS team and the University Rugby programme her at Exeter”.
Having been promoted last season into the Tribute South West 1 from Western Counties West the Exeter University side are showing their class in a league that is one below National League.
Now three games into the regional league system, the side are enjoying their first experience as a club competing at Level 6. A well-earned 1st win of the season against Matson 41-29 set the season off well, which was followed up with another win and 39-14 victory over Newent. Last week Exeter recorded their biggest win of the league to date with a 76-0 win over North Petherton and face Okehampton away on Saturday in their next fixture.
Keith Fleming, Director of Men’s Rugby commented “As a coaching team we’ve taken a number of positives from our opening fixtures. We have done a lot of work during pre-season and it’s excellent to see how well our players have adapted to the changes. We look forward to continuing our run of form for the rest of the season”.
Richard Hodges, Men’s Rugby Assistant Coach added "Over the past couple of years these fixtures have been invaluable to the development of our players. Many of our players have come from school or college background and haven’t experienced much men’s senior rugby fixtures so these fixtures really support and aid their development”.
Date: 21 September 2017