2016: New Year, New Hopes

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saints rugbyThe start of a new year often represents the chance for people to start afresh and put into effect changes in their lives, with many such resolutions short-lived and only half-hearted.

For sports teams a new year can also represent a new start, either by forgetting about a previously bad year or by changing the way they do things in search of more success but this is not always the case. Indeed, some teams could do with the new year being no different from the old if they had been previously successful.

The other major change of the year is more to do with the actual date, with progression towards spring meaning some sports begin their seasons in the coming months, like cricket, whilst others see their seasons wind down as we progress through the year.

This is the same of any year but the St Andrews sports teams can be divided into the two categories given above as 2016 properly gets into swing and the respective BUCS seasons recommence towards the end of January and the beginning of February.

Keep on kicking

If any sports team could do with 2016 being just as successful as 2015 it would be the football men’s firsts, with Stuart Milne’s side currently sat pretty at the top of the Scottish 2A table, with action set to resume on January 27th with a home tie against Aberdeen.

Their last game of 2015 was a thumping 5-1 defeat to Robert Gordon but they still remain four points clear at the top of the table and in contention for promotion to the top division of Scottish BUCS football, whilst they also have a Scottish Cup quarter-final against Glasgow to look forward to.

The same strong performances can be seen from the Women’s 1st Lacrosse team, who sit top of their division with a perfect record after the first five games of the season, whilst both Water Polo sides will be hoping to maintain their impressive starts in 2016.

Likewise the Tennis teams have been impressive so far, with Tennis being our highest scoring sport in the national BUCS competition, where we currently sit 25th between UCL and Surrey, and both the 1st teams sit 2nd in their respective divisions.

In need of a dramatic upturn

The old adage that a change is often as good as a rest often holds true and in the case of some sports teams at St Andrews they will be hoping the good rest they have had over the Christmas period will translate into performances as we move into 2016.

The men’s rugby had a jubilant start to 2015, securing promotion to the Premier North B BUCS division on the last day of the season before securing a third Varsity win in a row over Edinburgh but their season in that higher division could not really have gone worse.

They sit bottom of the table without a win all season but they have shown promise in the first half of the campaign and can only benefit from that experience. As our exam season is earlier than that of the English Universities we play against we had to postpone the last two games before Christmas. Thus we do have two games in hand over our rivals and hopefully wins can be secured in 2016 to avoid relegation.

They are not the only side in need of a new year boost, with Men’s 1st Hockey team also currently bottom of their league after seven games and they will be hoping they can have an upturn in fortunes in the new year and likewise avoid relegation.

Keep your eyes peeled

All of our teams will be in action during the next semester and therefore there will be something for everyone to keep an eye on and also get involved in, so seize the day and make a change by taking up a sport at the University.

With over 60 sports teams at the University and most of them in competitive action there should be an opportunity for most people to find their own niche and take part, hopefully leading the University towards more sporting success.

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