BUCS Korfball National Championship – Northern Regional Qualifiers

On Saturday 24th November, Edinburgh University Korfball Club went to Nottingham University to play in the northern qualifiers for the BUCS championships in March. This year they are a relatively new squad with only a handful of the team having played at first team level previously. With 10 teams at the qualifiers EUKC needed to finish in the top 8 to qualify and this was all they were aiming for. However, the team came together and played an exceptional level of Korfball resulting in them finishing 2nd in the tournament, only losing to Nottingham in the final, who are the current BUCS champions.

The morning saw them take part in the group stages. The first game was against Sheffield Hallam University. EUKC started in attack and started as they meant to go on with Rosy Nolan scoring the first goal of the day within the first 3 minutes to put EUKC into the lead, which they kept for the rest of the game resulting in a 6-2 victory with goals 6 different members of the team scoring the 6 different goals, including a free pass by Jean Le Roux Fourie.

After the first victory Edinburgh went into the second game, against Manchester University, with their heads held high again taking the lead, this time the first goal was from Nitin Lalwani. They again maintained this lead resulting in a 6-3 win. The next game saw a comfortable win against Keele University of 7-3, notably with 3 goals for Poppy Simpson-Wells and Sarah-Louise Kelly getting her first goal of the tournament.

The final group game was against the only other Scottish team in the competition, St. Andrews University. This saw old rivalries flair as Edinburgh sought revenge after their recent league defeat to Saints. The goals were very slow to come from either team with no goals for the first 7 minutes. However, once Edinburgh got the first goal in they were back in their stride leading to a 5-1 victory with Max Wartelle adding his name to the score sheet and Ella Paul adding another two goals to 3 she had already scored in previous games. This final win meant Edinburgh won all their group games, putting them through to the semi-finals.

After a well deserved lunch break made up of plenty of carbs, sugar and bananas Edinburgh were re-fuelled and ready for their semi against Birmingham University. And they certainly hit the ground running scoring the first 5 goal of the match, leaving Birmingham to have to chase for the rest of the match. The game finished 10-6 with 3 goals for Jamie Miller and 4 for Dominic Gillespie. This put Edinburgh through to the final, something they had only been dreaming of at the start of the day!

The final was against Nottingham University. Going into the game Edinburgh knew it was going to be tough as they were playing last year’s BUCS champions, a team with two well established England international players in it. However, they went into the game and gave it their all with two goals for Cathy Campbell and Chris Kay coming on in the second half and getting a goal. The final score was 18-4 but Edinburgh still left with their heads held high.

It was a great day of Korfball that saw the team work incredibly well together and giving themselves plenty to work on for nationals next year, having secured one of the top seed positions by finishing second at the northern qualifiers. We look forward to seeing what happens then!