Kingston University’s hopes of getting one over on local rivals Surrey University will have to be deferred for another year, after being defeated 41-28 at the annual varsity games.
Losses throughout the 22 event competition proved too much as Kingston failed to win the trophy in a long day of action.
Optimism was high as the Kingston University convoy entered the luxurious Surrey Sports Park grounds on Wednesday morning.
Rhiannon Hiscocks, Kingston University’s Vice-President for Activities, spoke glowingly of the Kingston students that made the journey to Guildford and were a highly charged, vocal presence all day.
“I was really pleased with the day, there was a great Kingston spirit, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves too,” she said.
“I was very proud of KU students who behaved brilliantly at Surrey. There were over 450 KU students there, massively out numbering the Surrey supporters.”
Kingston’s cheerleaders gave Kingston the early advantage, taking apart a depleted Surrey team with a 5-1 victory.
“I thought our girls were amazing,” said Club President, Tamara Bidnel.
“They really pushed through to make sure we won the most amount of mini-competitions. They were so excited about the day, and were thrilled to win.”
The cheerleaders vibrant performance helped establish a boisterous frenzy amongst the Kingston faithful, which they would not relinquish for the rest of the day despite flounders in vital events.
Men’s football first and seconds both fell short, losing 2-0 and 2-1 respectively, whilst Surrey were also able to complete a sweep over the hockey including a resounding 6-0 win in the women’s event.
Surrey’s women badminton was also able to make a statement with an 8-0 victory and the men shared the spoils of a 4-4 draw.
As the tally was being counted up, narrow defeats were proving excruciating as Kingston’s early grip on the ultimate prize began to slip away.
Men’s basketball was put to the sword by two last second free throws, strong performances by Ansel Hadome and Joe Taylor not enought to prevent a 70-68 defeat. The netball first team suffered similar anguish, and the dogged defensive performances of the energetic pairing of Asha Philip and Adeva Bryan proved to be in vain, the Kingston side losing 29-27.
In a game marred by costly penalties, Kingston’s rugby union fell to a self-inflicted 35-10 defeat, yet gave the day an enduring image that amply demonstrated the significance of these games to many of the competitors.
For senior Joe Hogg it was an opportunity to deliver a powerful swan song as he was able to cap his final game for the University before graduating with a man of the match performance and a 50 yard dash that resulted in Kingston’s solitary try.
Rugby union seconds claimed 3 points for the cause with a thrilling 28-22 extra time win lead by the kicking of Ross McIntyre and the bold physicality of Hamish Ryde. Ryde was later praised by Team President, Laurence Stephen.
He said: “He didn’t miss a tackle and each tackle was more bone crunching than the last.”
Jiu jitsu, golf, taekwondo, women’s football and women’s basketball, were able to salvage some pride based on athletic performance.
The day, however, belonged to Surrey University sports and Kingston University’s festively animated supporters, as Kingston were to come away with only the wooden spoon for a victory in the Tug of War.