27th Nov 2010: Northerns 2010

The events of the 27th of November will definitely live on in many of the EUKC 1st team memories for years to come. Northerns set the scene for teams to get a first glimpse of their opponents for The British University Nationals in March but before those championships, 9 teams competed for 8 qualification spots. Seems like an easy task but it was clear on arrival that some teams had brought their strongest players including several international players showcasing their talents.

Edinburgh turned up already missing a couple of key players who had remained behind with the bus, stranded in the middle of a snow covered hill as a result of failed attempts to move the bus leading to it drifting uncomfortably closer to a parked car (great driving Helme)

The day contained many highs and lows with star performances from every member of the squad. Uni started strong with a 3-2 victory over Leeds Uni, dominating for the majority of the game but having trouble getting the ball in the basket. The order of play may have been slightly stacked against Edinburgh with the top 3 teams next on the cards as well as a very good Manchester team, sadly leading to 6-0 defeat to local rivals St Andrews, 6-1 defeat to Nottingham and a very close and unlucky 3-2 defeat to Sheffield Uni and 5-3 defeat to Manchester. The Sheffield uni defeat was made extra bitter with Will Ellis’s sublime drop off shot wrongly disallowed for defended close to the final whistle.

Edinburgh kept their heads up though as they knew easier teams were to come. With some fantastic team talks from Coach Zu, Edinburgh came flying out and really started to find their stride with long shots raining in and MVP performances from several of the squad helping Edinburgh beat Lancaster Uni 4-0, Keele Uni 6-1 and Sheffield Hallam in a very high tempo game 5-3.

Edinburgh’s outstanding finish to the competition meant that St Andrews victory against Manchester in their final game would see Edinburgh finish 4th on goal difference ahead of Manchester and Sheffield Hallam to claim the final seeded position for BUCS Nationals in March.

Edinburgh’s Captain, Kyle Crombie has gone on recorded saying he is extremely proud with the never give up attitude of the team, how hard that everyone worked and the awesome finish securing a very strong 4th spot.

With the tournament finished you’d feel it was time to relax on the bus ride home. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. The AA had already helped earlier in the day to rescue the bus from a snowy hill allowing for the team to pack up and start their 5 hour drive home. Extreme snow fall had made the roads very dangerous and rarely did the bus reach above 50 mph. Edinburgh’s travel issues might have started when Dom was given the task of navigating which led to instructions of follow those cars resulting in the team driving the wrong way back down the A1 for 30 minutes before we could turn round and continue our drive home.

The intake of water and sports drinks all day had taken its toll on the team leading to another toilet stop, however this stop would prove more costly. The bus was stuck again! Some very friendly Spanish onlooker’s offered to help but to no use the bus was well and truly stuck, even the attempts of Maltby and Graham to dig us out using a biscuit tin hadn’t worked. Then, like a sign from God that the team would make it home to Edinburgh, a plough appeared in the distance and after 10 minutes hard ploughing by the legendary Mr plough Edinburgh was back on their way. Sadly the snow had continued to fall all evening and the bus was now plodding along at 30 mph making the last stage of the journey a long one. However after taunts of you’ll never do it and the plough man calling us stupid for trying we caught a glimpse of Edinburgh in the distance and we knew we were almost home only 9 hours after we left

All in all great weekend

Thanks guys