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Korfball team huddle in a circle at half-time, putting their hands in and cheering

Korfball emerge victorious in inaugural Varsity

For the first time in the club’s history, Birmingham hosted the Korfball Varsity against the University of Nottingham, and emerged the victors!

The brainchild of current co-Presidents, Xander Chevallier and Sam Wells, saw all 5 UoN teams descend on Sport & Fitness as they battled it out against all five UoB teams in the attempt to be crowned the first ever Varsity Champions. Each team played in a 50-minute match against their Nottingham equivalents while being roared on by a crowd donned in facepaint, ribbons and clapper sticks.

First up saw UoB 5s vs Nottingham 5s. It was a big occasion for both teams seeing as neither compete in BUCS, so this is what both sides had been working towards and were keen to put their University 1-0 up. After a nervy start from both teams, Birmingham eventually found their rhythm and Cameron Anderson was end of a beautiful over ball as he shot long to grab the first of goal of the day. He was quickly on the score board again as he slotted a cheeky penalty to put UoB 5s 2-0 up before the first switch. Although the attack was going well, the defence were guilty of being overly physical at times and Birmingham were giving away far too many penalties and free passes, and Nottingham eventually took advantage and made it 2-1 at half time. The start of the second half was tense, UoB 5s had been far the better side in the first half but the scoreboard barely reflected this. However, after a long shot from Henry Calvertt and two rapid runners from Liz Ward, Birmingham were in control at 5-1 up. They did concede another penalty but Hugo Dreux and Elsa Cooney were on hand in the last five minutes to slot two more goals to reflect the dominance UoB 5s had shown. In one of their most important games of the season, they had played their best game of the season and the team and their coaches should be immensely proud of themselves.

Full Time: UoB 5s 7-2 UoN 5s
Varsity Score: 1-0 to Brum

Next up saw the both sets of 4s. Going against UoN 4s was an exciting game for UoB 4s as they had both been to BUCS Southern Qualifiers, but not played one another, so neither side were sure what the other would be like. It was a tense match the whole way through with them Nottingham taking the lead in the first half. However two cheeky shots by Lucy Moss brought Birmingham back to a 5-5 at full time, so the game would be decided by a penalty shoot out. It was particularly nerve racking as it was the first penalty shoot UoB 4s had been a part of this season. Sadly for Birmingham, they missed out on the win despite the best efforts of their brave penalty takers, going down 2-0. The side are excited to meet Nottingham 4s again at plate to see if they can reclaim the win!

Full Time: UoB 4s 5-5 UoN 4s, (2-0 to UoN 4s on penalties)
Varsity Score: 1-1

“After months of planning, I’m so happy with how the day went both on and off the court. It’s exactly what I had imagined, everyone in face paint all supporting each other and getting a chance to celebrate our year as a club before we all head off to BUCS. Hopefully this becomes an annual event as we imagine Nottingham will want to grab the trophy as they host in 12 months time”- Xander Chevallier, co-President

As the 3s took the court, both sides knew they’d likely bump into each other in 3 weeks time at BUCS Plate, so both wanted to play well and put down an early marker. UoB 3s went in front early on, and despite having some tense moments around half time, they managed to maintain a lead throughout the whole game. Every player produced a strong performance, and in the end UoB 3s ran away with it, as they emerged comfortable 14-9 win! Not only did this put Brum back in front overall, but it also gave UoB 3s an idea of what level they’ll be facing at Plate.

Full Time: UoB 3s 14-9 UoN 3s
Varsity Score: 2-1 to Brum

The 2s went into their game knowing that a victory would secure the Varsity trophy. After a great performance at BUCS regionals they were optimistic of the win but still knew Nottingham 2s would put up stiff competition. The game started well with a quick double from Xander Chevallier but Nottingham soon found their flow and scored three unanswered goals. UoB 2s fought back, as Lara Kirwin made a statement return from injury as she managed a hat trick on the day. The second half saw Birmingham get out to an early four goal lead and from then on the teams exchanged goals but UoB 2s did well to close out the win. The team were happy with the result and elements of their game, but know their performances will need to improve if they are going to achieve their goals at BUCS Trophy.

Full Time: UoB 2s 13-10 UoN 2s
Varsity Score: 3-1 to Brum

Despite having secured the overall Varsity win, UoB 1s still felt pressure to see Birmingham end the day on a high. They had already beaten UoN 1s in the league this season in October, but were aware both sides have improved a lot since that meeting. Brum were guilty of starting the game slowly, but they slowly grew into it with captain fantastic, Emma Portno, grabbing a huge five goals! As the game wore on UoB 1s played to their strengths and were able to exploit some of their opponents weaknesses as they eventually cruised to a 15-11 win. Despite being the better team throughout, the high standards of the side mean they still know they have areas to work on ahead of BUCS National Championships in late March.

Full Time: UoB 1s 15-11 UoN 1s
Final Varsity Score: 4-1 to Brum

The club would like to thank everyone who came down to support the teams and to Nottingham for helping make the day such a success! Korfball are very excited ahead of the BUCS tournaments next month and are hopeful of getting results at all 3! To keep up to date on all of Korfball’s updates from BUCS and the league, be sure to follow them on Instagram and Twitter


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