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Triumphant York reclaim Roses crown

The University of York scored a comprehensive victory against Lancaster University and reclaimed the Carter-James trophy in the annual Roses competition.

York hockey player Kirushanthan Sivagnanam in action. Photo by Jack Western
During the three-day tournament, York teams amassed 180.5 points out of a possible 286 from a range of nearly 100 fixtures and more than 35 sports, ranging from Trampolining to Ultimate Frisbee.

The home teams also dominated in more traditional sports, such as Hockey, Tennis and Rugby; in the official launch of the tournament on Friday, the Men’s First Rugby team beat Lancaster 57-14 at the Huntington Stadium. Other non-sporting competitions between York and Lancaster included Computer Gaming and University Challenge – which, as new events, did not qualify for points – and Debating, which the York side won to add four extra points to the overall tally.

The tournament was decided early on Sunday afternoon in the Women’s Canoe Slalom, in which York’s top three competitors finished quicker than their Lancastrian rivals at the Howsham Weir on River Derwent.

The Carter-James trophy was named after the first Vice-Chancellors of both universities – Professor Sir Charles Carter from Lancaster and Lord Eric James from York – who initiated the Roses competition in 1965, when the University of York was two years old and Lancaster University had been open for under a year.

That year, Professor Carter challenged Lord James to a boat race, which the University of York ultimately won – along with the Carter-James trophy, which has been fiercely fought over ever since.

The competition alternates every year between the campuses on either side of the Pennines, and was named after the Wars of the Roses – the 15th century dynastic dispute between the Houses of Lancaster and York. In the sporting competition, the home side has won on all but eight occasions – the most recent away victory came in 2008 when, York beat Lancaster by two points.

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