Rain, snow and ruined pitches was the story of the 2012 Varsity, in which Southampton retained their title for a fourth straight year.
Portsmouth narrowed the gap on their south coast rival after one of their most successful sporting seasons where they climbed to 27th in BUCS competition, losing with 66 points to Southampton’s 105.
Ten games had to be cancelled at Wide Lane due to the weather, which could not have been more different to last year’s Varsity where any time spent indoors was to take a break from the scorching heat rather than avoid the relentless rain. At this year’s event, the pavilion was filled to the brim by sports people in their teams, singing and doing all they could to keep in high spirit in between matches.
Netball were seen with a beer funnel out at 12.30pm, enjoying a liquid lunch after hearing that their 2nds and 3rds games had been cancelled. Soon after, Cheerleading were packing up their pompoms as the rainy conditions made it unsafe for any performances from the Phoenix.
Men’s tennis, men’s football 3rds and women’s rugby all fell victim to the appalling weather and had to be cancelled. Men’s rugby and women’s football went ahead, albeit in lake-sized puddles. At one point during the women’s football a sure goal pulled up on the line and the game was rightfully ended ten minutes into the second half.
However, despite the weather, with the finest sports people from universities of the south coast in action there was a diverse range of sport to cater for all tastes. Sports that are not seen in the AU were contested, such as dodgeball, pool and roller hockey, and new teams of mixed gender were formed, with male and female teams playing together.
There were all the emotions that can be expected from sport in abundance. Game two of softball had it all, where a last minute catch snatched victory quite literally out of the hands of the Southampton Mustangs.
Highfield, Southampton’s indoor sports complex, impervious to the weather was able to run its schedule without disturbance. Unfortunately, Portsmouth struggled most at these sports, unable to challenge Southampton’s stronghold in cricket, badminton and squash competitions.
We may have been defeated but if the trend continues at Varsity 2013 Portsmouth will be hot on the tails of Southampton. Let’s hope the sun shines on that day.