The University of Portsmouth annual Varsity event against Southampton resulted in a tight loss this year, despite an adventitious early lead from Team Pompey.
Both Portsmouth and Southampton fielded a multitude of teams to square off in this year’s Varsity Cup.
Matches were played between Friday 17th and Sunday 19th March throughout several locations in Portsmouth, including the HMS Temeraire pitches, Langstone Campus, St Paul’s Gym and other locations dotted in and around campus.
Given their extensive resources, Southampton predominately came out on top on the day. However, this year Team Portsmouth only narrowly lost, with the final result finishing at 206 points to Southampton and 170 points to Portsmouth.
Early victories and the absence of Southampton Rowing teams gave Portsmouth a lead up until about midday. Victories came flooding in from the Rugby, Lacrosse, Ultimate Frisby and Futsal.
Students from both Portsmouth and Southampton came out in the droves to see the two Universities do battle. The support, even at 9am, was exceptional for both sides – making for an incredibly lively atmosphere for the teams and their players.
At around 2pm, Portsmouth’s lead began to rescind as Southampton clawed back points in mixed Lacrosse, Netball, Squash and Women’s football.
In the showcase event, the Men’s Rugby 1st team dramatically won 20-18 against a tough opposition. The first team haven’t won against Southampton in five years, and it was a great way to end a day of heroics.
Despite this however, it wasn’t enough to pip Southampton to the posts, who took the day with a sequence of clinical victories.
Although the teams lost, a huge improvement from Team Portsmouth makes the future look that bit rosier for UOP Sport.
VP Sports, Ben Conway, told the UPSU website: “Portsmouth teams for men’s rugby, mixed lacrosse and dodgeball played particularly well in comparison to previous years. This was the closest Varsity score in recent years.
I went in expecting a whitewash but Team Portsmouth exceeded expectations today.
At the end of the day we lost by less than ten wins to a much bigger University with better resourced clubs – I think we can be proud of what Portsmouth achieved today.”