The strikes are over, the Commonwealth Games put to bed for another four years and students are plodding back into lectures after the Easter break; normality has returned. Even the Courier is about to return, finally freeing you all of having to read such dreadful columns as these.
Things have changed for Harry Glover, however. The second year Politics and Economics student is now a Commonwealth bronze medalist after playing a key role in theEngland Rugby Sevens'stunning performance on the Gold Coast. Glover scored the third try in England's 38-5 win over Jamaica, and his team went unbeaten in the group stage to progress to the semi-finals. A narrow defeat at the hands of New Zealand put them into the bronze medal match, where a comfortable 21-14 win over South Africa saw them claim third place.
There were rugby scores for Newcastle closer to home as well, but this time inassociation football. Newcastle University's men's firsts continued their domination of the Northern Football Alliance Bay Plastics Premier Division (NFABPPD, for those in the know) with a conclusive 12-1 win over AFC Newbiggin and a 5-0 frolic against Percy Main Amateurs.
Meanwhile the seconds got their chance to shine in the Newcastle Corinthians League Cup, where they snuck through to the quarter finals with a narrow 7-0 win over Dynamo Fenham.[pullquote]Having failed to make any progress whatsoever in the Premier North division this season Newcastle's women's first rugby were thrust into a playoff against Manchester[/pullquote]
Perhaps the biggest footballing story of the week, however, was the shock Hardly Athletic victory over Classic XI. 6-2 was the final scoreline as Hardly Athletic carried home the three points from their first win in history, just hours before confirming that they would be competing in the league again next year. With one game left of their debut season, they need just 24 points to guarantee the league title and promotion into the second division.
Flying even higher than Hardly Athletic were the Wildcats, who have represented Newcastle well at the Ice Hockey Nationalsin Sheffield. Newcastle's first team were unbeaten in the group stage of their Tier 2 competition, before claiming a 3-2 win over the Imperial Devils in the semi-finals. In the final the following day it was the Manchester Metros who came out victorious, but Newcastle's outstanding performance suggests that the club, who also took a B, C and women's team to Sheffield, aren't getting the recognition they deserve.
Into BUCS, and the scrabbles for promotions have begun in earnest. In rugby, Newcastle's women's firsts won their first game of the season at what couldn't have been a better time. Having failed to make any progress whatsoever in the Premier North division this season they were thrust into a playoff against Manchester, champions of the Northern 1A division one tier below. Quirks of geography meant that one of these sides would be playing in the Premier North next year, the other in Northern 1A, but a 22-5 win saw Newcastle retain their place in the top tier.
Quite a lot for Team Newcastle to celebrate at the AU Ball this Friday, then.