Nine in a row as Hallam net close win

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IT WAS derby day joy for Sheffield Hallam University’s sportsmen and women as they recorded a tense Varsity victory over their arch rivals from the University of Sheffield.

The victory was Hallam’s ninth in a row, but also their most hard-fought as the University of Sheffield took them all the way.

Indeed, after eight days of competition in sports ranging from futsal to korfball, the two universities were tied ahead of the grand football finale at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough.

Hallam nicked that 1-0, thanks to Charlie Weir’s early strike, and cemented their Varsity supremacy in the city.

University of Sheffield (UoS) Students’ Union Sports Officer, Ben Baldwin, added: “I’m disappointed that we didn’t manage to win Varsity 2012. Our students have worked so hard on across all sports but it wasn’t our year. We’ll be back next year.”

Victorious Hallam Sports Officer, Colan Leung, added: “I am so proud of everyone involved in the competition and I just want to say a massive congratulations to all the Hallam athletes who took part and worked so hard for this victory.

“Whether it was a win, loss, or draw, each and every student that competed and supported throughout the competition deserves praise.”

The University of Sheffield’s men’s basketball team are unbeaten in league competition this year, yet came unstuck at the hands of a Hallam outfit two leagues above them.

Hallam, inspired by Sheffield Sharks star Zach Gachette and Arrows guard Akin Lisk-Carew, were in charge throughout and ran out 73-51 victors.

And a near-sell-out crowd of around 900 spectators converged on the Octagon Centre to see the inaugural Varsity Boxing.

Team Sheffield Hallam claimed a 2-1 victory on the night in front of a lively audience. There were ten bouts altogether, with the last three fights being University of Sheffield v Sheffield Hallam University battles.

Mark Greenwood, of Team Hallam, claimed a unanimous decision from the judges against UoS boxer Vivek Mandeep, but the latter’s colleague Richard Schenk responded with his own majority decision against Hallam’s Shay McCarthy.

The final and deciding fight of the evening was between the University of Sheffield’s Sam Gunter and Sheffield Hallam University’s Ricki Webster.

The intensity of the crowd seemed to be spilling over into the ring during the first round as both fighters got off to an aggressive start, and Webster took the unanimous decision.

University of Sheffield coach Paul Watson said: “It was unreal. I’m a Blade and it was like going to Bramall Lane for a derby game.”