British Universities Team Finals 19th/20th March at Leeds Metropolitan University
British University teams play through the winter months in leagues based on area and playing standard rather as the English County Championships. After the leagues have been completed the teams then enter a knockout phase. The teams in the top tier enter a competition called the Championship and in the second tier into one called the Trophy. This year’s finalists in 25 sports gathered at Leeds Metropolitan University to play out the Championships on Wednesday. This day was called the British Universities Big Wednesday although the Trophy finals were actually played on the Tuesday. Each Women’s match is best of 5 with 4 singles followed by 1 doubles. Each Men’s match is the best of 17 with 16 singles followed by 1 doubles.
Women – Newcastle (Dominique Jones and Siaw Hui Ha) beat Bath ( Eszter Soos and Venus Wu) 3-1.
Men – Sheffield (Mike Frazer, Tristan Gretton, James Atkins and Matthew Goold) beat Kent (Phil Thomas, J-P Chowree, Jamie Diddams and Dan Appanah) 9-7. In the early stages Sheffield led 5-1 but Kent clawed back to 6-6. The audience looked forward to the match being decided by the doubles but Sheffield eventually won 9-7.
Championships – By a tremendous co-incidence both men’s and women’s matches were between Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University.
Women – Nottingham Trent (Emma Vickers and Alice Loveridge) overwhelmed Nottingham (Phaik Yuan Poh and Maria Lebedeva) 3-0. Emma was voted the Woman of the match by the umpires.
Men – Nottingham Trent (Chris Doran, Sean Cullen, Emran Hussain and Daniel Lowe) beat Nottingham (Paul McCreery, Ben Gardner, Martin Losner and James Grayson) 9-3. Nottingham’s Irish international Paul McCreery kept Trent at bay for a while by winning all his games and was chosen as Man of the Match.