Hawks take UTS title on home soil
The University of Bath Hawks made the most of home advantage to take home the Universities Touch Series champions for 2017.
The Hawks beat Exeter 5-2 in a high-tempo and exciting final to exact revenge for their semi-final defeat in Round 3 and take the silverware.
Captain Dom Tripp was full of praise for his team.
“The squad have worked really hard for this and I thought they were awesome today – I couldn’t have asked for any more from anyone,” he said. “We were obviously disappointed with how things worked out last time in Loughborough and felt we had a bit of a point to prove on our home turf.”
The Hawks went into the final tournament of the academic year top of the series standings and started the day strongly with a 7-0 win over Cardiff Students. Bath were in a smaller group due to a late drop out from another team, which meant that their 13-0 win over Surrey University put them straight into the semi-finals.
A dominant semi-final win over Exeter Seconds set up a repeat of the Round 2 final on the sun-soaked limekiln pitches and the large crowd were not to be disappointed.
The Hawks came out of blocks firing and never looked like giving up their lead, despite periods of prolonged pressure from Exeter. Bath had a 3-1 lead at half-time and were looking to keep up the pace in the second half, but Exeter hit back with a well-worked touchdown to keep the pressure on the hosts.
The Hawks showed their class to remain composed as the second half went on and were able to close out a captivating match between these two rivals to claim their first universities’ series title.
Exeter had progressed to the semi-finals after topping their group with wins over Bristol, Oxford and invitational club team CSSC. They overcame Loughborough University in the semi-final, who themselves had beaten Southampton, Bath Seconds and Exeter Seconds in the group stages.
Meanwhile Loughborough won the third-placed play off against Exeter Seconds and CSSC won the plate competition. The bowl competition was a three-way round robin and Southampton University were the winners, beating Oxford and Surrey for the title.
The focus for University Touch players not involved with Premiership Permit sides will now shift to the upcoming announcement of the England Students Team who will be competing in France in the summer. To register your interest just complete the form that can be found by CLICKING HERE.