ABUHC University Championships 2013/14

The Men’s Blues took part in the Association of British University Handball Clubs (ABUHC) University Championships, descending to London for the Regional and then National rounds. Cruising through their regional qualifying group with the highest goal difference in the tournament, they qualified as top seed of Group A which included Brighton, Bournemouth, Kent, Southampton and Brunel II. The Men’s Blues then came into the National finals with a much tougher group draw including Imperial, one of the favourites, Nottingham, and Manchester. An excellent, tight early-morning win was recorded against Imperial, with the Blues coming through 7-6. They followed through with strong victories against Manchester and Nottingham, followed by a disappointing result against a weaker Coventry side. The second day of the finals started with the Blues rounding up a top-place finish in the group with a victory against Warwick in which they rarely came out of second gear.

That all changed in the last-16 however, resulting in us dominating our Bath opposition. The quarter-finals against Oxford was a tense and heated match. They had an excellent defence and keeper, although our experienced attack was more than a match for them. Oxford’s attack was expert, with some extraordinary feeds into the pivot from their backs providing them with a number of goals. Oxford carried a 3-goal lead for most of the game, but the Blues pegged them back in the final 5 minutes and closed the gap to a single goal. In the nervy final moments, the Cambridge bench were on edge – but then the whistle went, and the Blues went out. Oxford went on to win the tournament against Loughborough in the final. A 5th-place playoff against Bangor allowed was again won by the Blues with the team rarely being tested, so the Blues achieved fifth in the country in their debut season.

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