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Bath still the UTS team to beat

Bath still the UTS team to beat
The 2017/18 UTS season kicked off last Saturday, October 14th, with University teams from around the country heading to the University of Bristol, and for the first time in three years there was no rain in sight!The group stages consisted of six 20 minute games per pool and opened with some dominant score lines; Exeter Hurricanes beating Loughborough 2s 12-1, Loughborough Wolves beating Bristol 2 8-2, and Bristol 1 beating Royal Veterinary College 10-0.

The group stages continued in this prolific manner through until the lunch break, with the top eight teams qualifying for the Cup quarter finals.

Bath Hawks saw off Oxford University 6-0, Exeter Hurricanes beat their compatriots Exeter Monsoon 9-4, Loughborough Wolves excelled against Exeter Typhoon 13-1, and hosts Bristol 1 fell in a competitive game to Cardiff 4-6.In the Bowl competition Oxford Brookes fell to Loughborough 2 in the semi finals 1-5, and Exeter Storm beat Royal Vets 5-1 to progress to their final.The Cup semi-finals saw a very tight game between Bath Hawks and Loughborough Wolves, with Bath edging the game 6-5 with a spirited performance. There was a similarly tight game in the other tie between Exeter Hurricanes and Cardiff, with Exeter eventually pulling away in the final minutes with two quick scores to go through to the final 5-3.The wooden spoon round robin saw Bristol 2s and 3s competing amongst one another and Surrey for the coveted prize, with eventual winners Bristol 2 getting the first silverware of the day.The Plate and Bowl finals were played consecutively, with Oxford University playing Bristol 1 in the Plate, and Exeter Storm playing Loughborough 2 in the Bowl. Both games were tight, with Loughborough pipping Exeter by one score in the Bowl, and Bristol emerging as winners in the Plate. Oxford Brookes beat Royal Vets in the Bowl 3rd/4th playoffs 4-0.This set us up nicely for the Cup final between Exeter Hurricanes and Bath Hawks. Exeter came into the final with a fantastic points difference of +30 from the group stages, and Bath came in as reigning champions from last season’s series.

Both teams played with a high tempo and alternated putting points on one another, with Bath one ahead at half-time. The second half saw the tempo slow as tired bodies struggled to maintain the tempo of the game, with Bath 6-4 up with five minutes to go, and alas Exeter could not conjure up the scores to catch the Hawks.

Congratulations go to Bath for the win, and to Bronte Sykes and Rhys Lynch for winning MVP Female and Male. Special thank you to Stephen Dubreuil for coaching the referees, and to Bill Primarolo and Max Edgington Rooley from Bristol helping organize.We look forward to Cardiff in two weeks time!

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