The netball Blues took on the Nottingham 2s for their first match of the BUCS seasonHannah Mawardi with permission for Varsity

After a long summer break, the highly anticipated return of the BUCS league is here. University teams up and down the country have begun competing on Wednesday afternoons, so we’re recapping the highlights of this week's key matches.


The netball Blues kicked off their season against the Nottingham 2s at the University Sport Centre this Wednesday (11/10). The Blues were quick off the mark in the first quarter, rapidly generating a 3-1 lead against an energetic Nottingham opposition. Gameplay was immediately end-to-end, with plenty of turnovers made by both teams’ defences before the attacking players fully settled into the match. However, the Blues were quick to regain dominance and managed to build up a 6-3 lead. Battles between opposite players took place throughout the court, with centre Izzy Howse’s swooping interception in the centre third being quickly matched by the same from the Nottingham centre.

After a few more turnovers, Nottingham found their footing in the game and managed to get the edge back over Cambridge, before wing defence Millie Ireland-Carson’s interception was quickly converted to a goal to level the scores. Due to their clinical shooting duo, Nottingham began to pull away, quickly widening the score to 15-10. However, the Blues continued to fight back, with goal attack Lucy Walker sinking some equally impressive shots.

As the second half began, Cambridge were still trailing Nottingham, the score now 23-16. Defensive pressure from the opposition left the Blues struggling to take advantage of the whole width of the court, quickly trapping players in channels and forcing some risky passes. The Blues responded in kind by upping the energy in defence, but failed to stop Nottingham from strengthening their lead. Some acrobatic interceptions from their seemingly never tiring centre court players left the score 33-23 ahead of the final quarter.

Goalkeeper Ruthie Adeleke was quick to make some much-needed turnovers on the backline as the final 15 minutes began, leading to some lovely long range shots by goal shooter Kat Heylen. Tiredness started to kick in for the Blues as the match drew to a close, with more interceptions made by Nottingham and more mistimed passes plaguing the attacking efforts of the team.

The match ended with a final score of 44-28 in favour of the Nottingham 2s, but given how many new players have been added to the squad since last year’s Varsity victory, it’s unsurprising that they are yet to be a completely polished machine. There were still many moments of brilliance throughout the match, providing plenty of promise for the rest of the season.

Rugby union

The women’s Blues were back in action at Grange road on Wednesday’s rainy afternoon, but were not deterred by the bad weather as they dominated their match against Swansea, with a final score at 47-12. Hetta Friend opened the scoring for the Blues with a second row try, cleanly converted by Polly Hipkiss to put them 7-0 up. This was soon to be followed up by tries from Emily Bell, Vianney Gomezgil Yaspik and a second for Friend, all converted again by Hipkiss to make the score 28-7, with Swansea scoring a try just as the rain began to fall.


Mountain View

CUBC success at European Rowing U23 Championships

Swansea were only able to get back onto the scoresheet once more for the rest of the match, no competition for the Blues as they continued to add to their tally. Hipkiss added to her impressive play with an incredible run leading straight to a try which she then converted yet again. Phoebe Smith closed off the scoring for the day with the final try, leaving the Blues ecstatic with their brilliant performance to open up another BUCS season.


There was joy for both the men’s and women’s Blues teams in badminton on Wednesday, with identical 6-2 wins for each. The men’s team defeated Oxford on home soil, providing a positive omen for what is to come in Varsity later this year. The women’s first team travelled away to play at Nottingham, but I’m pretty sure they’d say it was worth the journey.