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Varsity 2017: Hysteria and heartbreak- the tale of Winning Wednesday

Inspirational #TeamDMU create De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) sporting history on Winning Wednesday- despite an overall Varsity defeat.

The dramatic conclusion to the annual Varsity series did not disappoint on Wednesday as #TeamDMU scored their highest ever points total in the competitions history, taking the University of Leicester (UoL) right to the wire.

#TeamDMU

A total of 8.5 points were won by #TeamDMU on the final day of the competition giving them 19.5 overall. UoL won the series with 30.5 Varsity points.

The overall Varsity defeat means #TeamDMU still haven’t won a series in its 25 year history, but 2017 was an incredible and historic effort with the competition hanging in the balance deep into the afternoon as the final results were recorded.

DMU’s cricketers were the six hitters on Day 6, clinching their first ever double Varsity victory with wins for both the first and second teams.

Victorious First Team Captain James Fitzgerald claimed two wickets and Amer Nazir was on fire with the bat, also doing a fine job as wicket keeper to inspire victory.

Cricket

Amer said: “That was great, just unbelievable. We have never won both of our Varsity games before; this is the first time ever.”

James said: “We had the focus and the belief. It just shows the fight that was in us this year.”

The second team won their fixture with the final ball of the match and Captain Danny Beere, said: “That win is down to hard work and composure. We’re really proud of our Varsity win and we did indeed #DareToWin.”

Batsman Jez Hanson said: “Both teams have been training really hard this year.

“It was a tight contest, the Leicester side were great and there’s great spirit between us.”

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Students and staff lined the River Soar in the pouring rain and biting wind to witness the famous Rowing Varsity on the stretch between Castle Gardens and Liberty Island.

With four Varsity points on offer, the contest had potential of dramatically affecting the overall score and #TeamDMU powered ahead to claim the first two points in the Men’s and Women’s Beginner races to put pressure on UoL.

The Senior Men were close to bagging a third, but were pipped at the final bridge by UoL to give them hope.

The final race ended with another UoL victory, both teams taking two Varsity points each in a dead heat.

Rowing 1

Club President Simon Tomlinson said: “It went really well. We met the Vice-Chancellors’ expectations of getting two points.”

Coach Michael Hughes said: “Everyone did their very best and it’s great to see both teams fighting for glory.

“Last year we lost, this year we drew, so next year we will be going for the win.

“Both clubs will be celebrating together tonight which shows the true sportsmanship they show to each other.”

Rowing 2

The Men’s Rugby Club suffered heartbreak at Welford Road in the final fixture of the series, beaten well into overtime by a UoL- the first time their opposition had taken the lead in entire game.

The side that finished strong in their British University and College Sports (BUCS) league, also lifting their first ever silverware two weeks earlier with cup success, put up an incredible fight at the home of Leicester Tigers.

With the clock hitting 80 minutes, UoL had the ball and trailed 12-13 before powering over the line after a number of phases to take a dramatic win, leaving the #TeamDMU side distraught.

Man of the Match was deservedly awarded to DMU Vice-Chancellors Sports Scholar Henry Clement who played a pivotal role in the side’s cup victory two weeks ago and also shone on Wednesday evening.

Mens Rugby

Henry Clement

Prior to the men’s game, the Women’s XV scored their first ever Varsity points in two years despite going down 17-3 to UoL.

They held their own in the first half before UoL powered on to clinch yet another victory in Varsity and picked them up another Varsity point.

Women's Rugby

Other #TeamDMU victories on Winning Wednesday came from Taekwondo, Men’s Football 2nd and 3rd teams plus Men’s Hockey.

Jiu Jitsu shared the points with UoL after a score draw in their meet.

Women’s Hockey couldn’t make their league win and 100% record count, losing 9-0 and Squash Men’s and Women’s sides couldn’t overcome UoL in their Varsity fixture at Leicester Squash Club.

For the full list of Varsity results visit the Varsity 2017 fixtures page.

Posted on Thursday 23rd March 2017

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