I'm honestly still in shock... What a year it has been, and what a BUCS to finish it off! Here's the brief review:
Anthony Church (c)
The first and foremost priority for the first team this year was to get out of the group, a feat they barely managed last year! In the group stages they won all 4 of their first games comfortably against Coventry 1, Sheffield 2, Exeter 2 and Bath 1. This left a final match against fellow 100% group record Newcastle 1 to see who topped the group. By what some would call a "tactical masterclass" Warwick lost this match 6-4, meaning they avoided Leeds in the quarter-finals and progressed in second place from the groups.
The round of 16 was next and Warwick faced a strong Sheffield 1 side. Nonetheless the team made short work of them winning by a stylish 6-1 scoreline.
The quarter-finals lie next. Drawn against tournament dark horses Bristol this was a much harder affair, and possibly the most heart attack inducing part of the weekend. The firsts went 3-0 down quickly including a return dish against Warwick star player Richard. This scoreline got worse as we clung onto a 5-2 score. Up steps Max, Richard and Rob. Three tables on at the same time, Max and Rich storm through some cracking frames to win both of theirs! 5-4. Bristols 3rd best player then slams a black into the jaws of the pocket leaving it wobbling!! Rob clears to force a 3 man play-off. The same three step up. Max falls short to a decent Riddaway clearance, but Rich demonstrates a tactical masterclass to beat Bristols strongest player and Rob knocks in the winning black!! Unbelievable scenes, a medal is ours!!
The semi-finals were against Exeter, another very strong university high on having beaten York in the quarters. Once again Warwick find themselves short at 4-3 down, but ONCE AGAIN veteran Rob Keogh comes from nowhere to force a 5-5 play-off!! This time Anthony, Rich and Max step up. Ant and Max dispatch of their two opponents in style! The crowd goes wild, everyone's lost their voice, WARWICK ARE IN THE FINAL!!!!!
In the final reigning champions Leeds are waiting. We've played them twice this year and both times we've lost. Once again they came out in full force going 4-0 up in the final. Warwick looked down and out. Frames from Ant, Max and Rich bring us back to 5-4!! Unfortunately it seemed this was one too many saves for Rob and he lost the final frame. Warwick finished runner-ups, but my word aren't we all proud!!!
MVP: The whole team!! Is England calling for Richard Whitfield, Anthony Church and Max Burt??
Sammy Valder (c)
The less said about the seconds the better probably.... The seconds started the weekend well by thrashing De Monfort 1. Their next match they even went 2-0 up against a tournament favourite York 1! They eventually lost this match 6-3 despite both Sammy and Barri beating number 3 seed and ex individual bucs runner-up Russ Shaw. this was the turning point.... The seconds then went on to lose all of their remaining games, but did managed to avoid relegation!
MVP: Sammy Valder winning 5/7 frames, only losing by a return dish and an individual semi-finalist.
Sam Burgess (c)
The thirds started the weekend so strong! They won all of their games on the first day against seeded St Andrews 3 and Loughborough 1. On the second day they wiped the floor with Hertfordshire 2, but then came up against shield favourites Ulster 1. They performed valiantly but lost 6-3 eventually, a special mention to Sam Olley for beating the winner of the individuals Rory Kinney in this match though! This left the 3s needing a win against LJMU 1. Unfortunately their steam had run out and they lost this match also, meaning they finished third but did progress into the Vase.
Their luck was very poor in the Vase. Drawing themselves against eventual winners and "who the hell knows how they dropped to the vase" MMU 1. They lost this match, but can leave with their heads held high after some smashing performances. It was a valuable experience for all involved and our future is bright!
MVP: Martin Barltrop, a solid rock in the teams Martin won 9/12 out of his frames and showed some real quality clearances. Performing well above the level he was playing.
What a weekend it was, I was so proud to have captained you all through everything and despite the occasional grump I did love every minute of it!
Remember boys... always pair the top and never pick the number THREE!