The 2012 Varsity series comes to an end this Wednesday with Men’s Cricket at Clifton Campus. After emphatic wins for both the women’s rugby and football teams at Meadow Lane two weeks ago, the series is tied up in Uni’s favour. For the past two years, this event has been the decider but the Varsity title in the bag will not stop the Uni Cricketers wanting to play with some style and showing that theirs is the better sporting institution.
This season saw the men’s 1st XI win the Midlands Division 1A, beating Trent by 11 runs along the way. But a weather-disrupted season means that they have to wait to find out if they have gained promotion. Weather also played a big part in the team’s only defeat of the season, affecting the squad list over consecutive days of play against Birmingham. With rain forecast, could Trent - winners of last years’ tie – find a way to get the final word on an entertaining cricket season, and the Varsity series?
Uni captain Greg Pringle has looked in good nick this season, and URN was lucky enough to speak to Greg, along with his teammates Ben and Chris, over the weekend building up to the final Varsity event on the calendar. They acknowledged the huge impact that rain can have on a cricket season, and after a fantastic season, will be looking to go on to bigger and better things with better conditions next season.
While exams are still on-going at Uni this week, the boys admitted their practise has also been affected by timetabling issues, but owing to their vice-captain taking the helm for recent training sessions, the team goes into the match full of confidence.
Despite hectic exam schedules, the Uni team face a few more days of intense training sessions and practise games in the run up to Wednesday, which they hope will put them in peak playing preparedness when the big day comes.
When URN asked who Uni’s men to watch are, the boys were unanimous in tipping Sam Bould, who has been taking wickets for fun this season. The prospect of playing “behind enemy lines” at Clifton also seems to go down well with the Uni team, given the fantastic atmosphere they expect at a venue which has been very kind to Uni this year, with three points already coming from there in the form of Lacrosse, Women’s Basketball, and Netball wins.
According to the boys, Trent have one main threat in Martin Whitman, who took 4 wickets and scored 150 runs in last years’ Varsity match. Since then he has been reported to have earned himself a contract with Nottingham County cricket and has only improved on his fine form from 2011. If Uni can get him out early, as they did earlier this season, then they have a real chance of restricting Trent to a low score and putting them in a commanding position during the game.
The format this year is Twenty20, and thus promises an exciting game with lots of big shots being played. As long as the weather holds out the atmosphere will be great with the team running competitions for best dressed (I’ll be wearing a gecko outfit) and loudest (bring a vuvuzela) so bring yourself and a BBQ down to join in with the club which has the biggest social to game ratio in the entire AU according to Sports Editor-elect Michael Gaffney.
Be sure to keep up with URN’s LIVE text updates on Your Number One Varsity Source, from Clifton Campus this Wednesday from 2pm, as the CP Sport Varsity series 2012 culminates in a University series victory, and a potential three-point difference.
Interview: Sachin Gosai and Michael Gaffney
Words: Sachin Gosai