It’s not often that we get the chance to report on some of the lesser known sports societies. I find this somewhat surprising given the small nature of the university anyway. All that aside, the women’s 1stof the St Andrews Pool and Cue Society have provided me with a quality exception to the rule.
It is a sport that I would imagine a lot of our readers enjoy recreationally and so it is surprising that we are only just starting to give the society a bit of attention. For those unfamiliar with the society, it was founded in 2003 when, following consistent growth and success at British University & College Sports’ (BUCS) events, it became an Athletic Union affiliated club. They now compete in both national and regional events with two teams who compete in a local league every Wednesday.
On top of competing against other leagues and universities though, they also run a variety of internal tournaments each semester in which all abilities are encouraged to go and join. Casual practice sessions also run every Tuesday at the union.
The last championships brought great success for the club as St Andrew’s teams put in an incredible performance across several different events. The most notable of these was completed by the women’s 1st, who won the BUCS Championship Trophy in 8 ball pool for the first time in the history of the Pool and Cue Sports Society.
The tournament, which took place in Great Yarmouth, saw the women’s 1sttop their group after three wins and a draw. This granted them a place in the quarter-finals and, from then on, they were to come up against some of the toughest opposition present at the tournament.
The quarter-finals saw them dispatch Nottingham Trent, the 6th seeds in the competition before they were put up against an even higher seeded opponent in York 1sts, who were ranked 4th in the overall seedings. In what was arguably a match more tense than the final itself, Philippa Orme had to compete in a one frame play-off after the initial match had ended in a draw.
After this, the team went onto the final, in what was incidentally an all-Scottish match up, where they defeated Stirling 1st 4-0. Team members included captain Siobhan Redmonds, the aforementioned Philippa Orme, Heather Curtis and Georgia Currah.
Siobhan Redmonds described the team’s win saying, “It’s an amazing feeling to win BUCS and the whole team played so well all weekend. All of us are in our final year so it’s a great way to go out.” On top of her impressive performance in the semi-final, Orme also reached the finals of the individual tournament for an impressive third time in four years.
It was not just success for the women’s 1stthough as other teams within the society also put out a good showing. The women’s 2s teams reached the final of another trophy, where they were defeated by Durham 1st. This came after successive play-off victories against Liverpool and Kent 1st. This team consisted of Chloe Fletcher, Ellie Connon and Daniella Montgomery. As well as all this, James Inglis also made it to the quarter finals of the men’s individual championship.
For many of us, the pool society often exists only in the corner of the union (regrettably the only place to my knowledge in St Andrews with a pool table), where they show off the skills that many of us only think we have. Either that, or our best games of pool come on our phones. However, their recent BUCS success cemented them as one of the best clubs in St Andrews. As mentioned, the women’s 1stteam are in their final year at St Andrews and hopefully their success will encourage others to join the society and replicate performances like theirs in years to come.