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London Varsity 2023: Friday 17th March, Roundup

London Varsity 2023 banner

Sports Editor Laurence-Elliot Key rounds up the second day of London Varsity 2023, highlighting the fine margin between these great rivals and the cruel nature of penalties.

After a very close first day, KCL faced their rivals, UCL, on the second day of action at London Varsity Series 2023. Friday saw the fixtures of Weightlifting, Tennis, and Table Tennis. Live-blogging coverage came from two teams today: one led by Varsity Correspondent Liz, with support from our Editor-in-Chief, Ishaan Rahman, at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre covering the GKT Hockey Men and Women’s matches. The other was by myself, where I covered the KCL Football Men’s and Women’s matches at Haringey Borough FC. Both teams were supported with help from colleagues at KCL Radio and KCLSU.

KCL Weightlifting (@kclweightlifting)

Today’s battle of the brawn ended with UCL’s domination yet again, but many personal bests and competition firsts were attempted with success. KCL’s own Jess claimed a total of 108kg, allowing her to win against her UCL counterpart. She also hit a personal best for her clean and jerk, just 10kg shy of her own bodyweight! Likewise for the men’s group, we had James hitting a massive 195kg total, leaving the crowd in awe at his impressive feat of strength and technique.

Honourable mentions include veteran member Taqi, claiming 189kg total just out of an injury, and KCL’s Co-Presidents Nathaniel and Zoe finishing with a 135kg and 103kg total, respectively. We also had members who competed for their first time ever: Farhat came out with a total of 157kg, and Allison with a total of 136kg!

KCL results from today’s action in kilograms. (Snatch/Clean and jerk): Zoe – 43/60, Jess – 48/60, Allison – 61/75, Nate – 60/75, Taqi – 82/107, Farhat – 65/92, James – 85/110

KCL weightlifter in action

KCL Table Tennis (@kclttc)

This event was played over four rounds with the three KCL men (Anthony, Jasper and Patrick) and the three KCL women (Jade, Anastasia and Eszter) taking on their UCL counterparts in a round robin format with a concluding round of doubles at the end. The final score of the event was UCL 15 matches to KCL’s 6.

KCL Tennis (@kcltennis)

This event was played in a similar style to a Davis cup match, in which teams played five matches in a best of five (first to three wins) format in order to reach a winner. KCL’s Tennis team started strong, winning both the men’s and women’s doubles, taking an early 2-0 lead. However, UCL fought back to win both the Men’s and Ladies Singles matches, as well as the Mixed Doubles to take the event. Honourable mention to Hassan Ali, who came from 1 set down and 4-2 down in the 2nd set to take the 2nd set and force a match tiebreak.

GKT Hockey (@gkthockey)

Over at the medic Hockey, there was heartbreak for the Ladies Team, as after a strong start with a great goal from Louisa Rowland and a superb keeping performance from Ella Job, UCL equalised in the dying embers of the game, taking it to penalties. After a penalty shootout which took over 15 minutes to complete, UCL came out the victors. Their coach, Omer Cayir said “team spirit was so strong […] they’ve improved so much” and that “to be leading one nil the whole game was amazing”. The Men’s Team took their revenge for the Ladies loss on their UCL counterparts, winning comfortably by 3 goals to 1.

KCL Football (@kclfootball @kclwfc)

The cruel nature of penalties was on show at Haringey Borough FC in both of the matches.

KCLWFC players in action

The evening started with the KCLWFC taking on their UCL counterparts. The game started off slowly as both teams tried to impose their will on the match. But it sprung into life as the KCL goalkeeper scored an unbelievable goal, striking the ball into the right hand corner of the net from about 40 yards out, making it KCL 1-0. KCLWFC pushed for a 2nd, and had a few chances to make it so. KCL’s number 10, Thalia struck the bar after a thunderous left-footed drive from outside the box, and after a cross from KCL’s number 11, Chloe Dubverger, as well as a few failed clearances, it led to another shot being saved by the UCL keeper. UCL’s main chance of the half came with their number 10 being played through on goal but was flagged for offside. A yellow card was also shown to UCL’s number 10 after a nasty challenge. HT: 1-0.

In the second half, UCL started having more of the play. KCL should have made it 2-0, but after being played into the area Chloe Dubverger found her left-footed shot saved by UCL’s keeper. And after having so many chances, KCL paid the price with a goal coming from a UCL corner, hitting UCL’s number 5 and bundling into KCL’s net, 1-1. After a lull in proceedings while a UCL player went off injured, the game went into penalties. KCL was the first to miss with UCL 2-1 up after a good save from their keeper. But the following penalty from UCL was skied over the bar. Then, at 4-4, UCL hit the bar. KCL had the chance to win, but they kicked their chance over the bar. The next UCL penalty was then saved by the player of the match, Clay Garrett (goalkeeper and captain). Poppy Bowyer-Mitchell stepped up and scored the winning penalty for KCL. Honourable mentions go to Poppy for her bravery and composure on her winning kick, Thalia who at times had dribbling akin to Lionel Messi and player of the match, Clay Garrett.

The Men’s match was a very stop-start, scrappy sort of game, resulting in a midfield battle leading to limited chances. The match started badly for KCL as after a warning from a previous corner where UCL’s number 10 had taken a free header, UCL scored on their next corner, with a back post header from their number 9 after a poor mistake from KCL’s left back. KCL thought they had a penalty late in the 1st half, but it was overruled by the linesman. HT:1-0.

Throughout this game, KCL’s final ball was not quite good enough, but they were able to build some pressure on UCL with a few half chances, a free kick and shoot from outside the area were both saved from UCL’s keeper. But in the final moments of the match, KCL’s hero, number 21, scored a wonderful goal, kicking the ball into the top right hand corner of the net from just outside of the box. KCL supporters went into hysteria, making another game go to penalties, the 3rd time today. FT 1-1. This time after four well-taken penalties each, KCL’s number 10 kicked his penalty over the bar, while UCL’s number 10 stepped up and scored the winning penalty down to the keeper’s left.

The losses clearly hurt players of both sides. KCL’s number 21 who was willing to speak to me after the match was so overcome with emotion, I left him to be consoled by his friends and family.

After day two, the overall score stands at KCL 4-7 UCL. On Saturday, we will see Taekwondo and Rowing. Live coverage will be coming from KCL Hockey at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and KCL Lacrosse at King’s House School Sports Ground.

Thanks must be given to @kclweightlifting with this article.

To capture this year’s Varsity, Roar News and KCL Radio will be joining forces to bring you exclusive coverage of the London Varsity Series 2023 every day. Roar News will be publishing daily competition roundups on our website, match interviews and highlights on our Instagram ( and YouTube (Roar News), and game liveblogs on our Twitter (@roar_news). Follow us on social media and keep an eye on our website for the latest updates on how KCLSU Sports are faring against our rivals from Bloomsbury. Tune into KCL Radio’s sports podcast for interviews, commentary and analysis on key matches between King’s and UCL too. The coverage team is led by Sports Editor Laurence-Elliot Key (@laurenceelliotkey), Radio Station Manager Ali Gibson (@ali_3g), and Varsity Correspondent Elizabeth Grace (@blehitsliz). #londonisred #bleedred

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