As with every year, the Glasgow Taxis Cup provided a storming show of grit, determination, skill and endeavour, with its fair share of emotion thrown in. The competition gets better with every passing year, and Glasgow’s grip on the trophy is looser than ever, but in in warrior-like spirit, we fought off the competition in nail-biting fashion. The Glasgow Guardian Sports Team describes their highlights from an enthralling day.
Jack Haugh: My favourite moment is without doubt the final race at the swimming event. Going into it, it seemed that Strathclyde were destined to win as they had dominated most of the competition so far. However, something can be said for the never say die attitude the Swimming and Water Polo Club possess as they fought tooth and nail to the final stroke; and oh how important a stroke it was. As the final relay kicked off, four swimmers from each team knew that any slip-ups now would surely cost them the bragging rights for another year. As the race played out, Strathclyde would appear to have received this message loud and clear as they took an early lead and were well ahead of Glasgow as both teams entered the final half of the race.
I don’t know how it was done, but somehow between Glasgow’s last two swimmers, two whole body lengths were made up. In a display Michael Jamieson would have been proud of, the race entered its final length with Glasgow and Strathclyde neck and neck. With huge support from both sides cheering on their warriors, and with the result impossible to predict, Glasgow did it, touching the side a fingertip before their opponents.
The raucous cheers from the bewildered crowd danced through the room and only became louder when Glasgow were pronounced the winners after a recount. Sport really is a wonderful thing.
Selena Jackson: Having played hockey (albeit not very well) at school, I can hardly call myself impartial when it comes to choosing my personal highlight of the Taxis Cup. I’m sure that the electric atmosphere at Glasgow Green would be enough to convince anyone that the women’s hockey team is one to be reckoned with. Having spoken to the club captain in the build up to the event, she told me all about the highly-skilled players which were recruited onto this year’s squad, and on the day they definitely didn’t disappoint. Stunning performances by captain Ellis Calcutt and goalie Rowan Sinclair went a long way in fending off unrelenting competition by both rival teams to lead the Glasgow girls to victory, in defiance of the inevitable pressure on them. Despite the light-hearted nature of the Taxis Cup, the team clearly took their role in defending the trophy very seriously, and they rose to the occasion. This wasn’t by any means the team’s first success, and I think we can all agree that it certainly won’t be their last.
John Gorrod: In terms of sheer nail-biting drama, the men’s volleyball took some beating. Both Glasgow and Strathclyde defeated Caley in their opening fixture, meaning that the winner took all in final game. At the time, nobody knew who was leading in the overall standings so there was the possibility that the Taxis Cup could have been decided by one point. Men’s volleyball was the last court event before athletics and the tension was almost tangible. Tournament rules stated that the first side to reach 15 points was the winner and both teams had won a set apiece going into the decider. With so much at stake, there was a sense of “let’s just go for it” and the score was 6-6 with little time to go. Neither side was able to take a grip on proceedings but Glasgow led 9-8 as the 40-minute time limit expired and the game had to end. The wild celebrations at the final whistle were a display of genuine relief and a realisation of the importance of the win.
Tsveta Rafaylova: Although the atmosphere was less exciting than that of the Davis C up tie a few weeks before, it was great to see our GU Tennis team players play in the Taxis cup, particularly against Strathclyde. We didn’t have a group of supporters, unlike Strathy who had brought about 10 people with them. It was lovely to see that the competitive spirit on the court was exchanged for friendly banter off it, as the players from both universities knew each other well. The highlights from the actual tennis were the two wins of our women’s first team players Emily Lauder (won 6-1) and Zoe Henderson (won 6-4, after trailing in the beginning of the set). The most dramatic were the two mixed doubles. Calum Gibson-Smith played with Emily and, despite the good start, Strathclyde simply played better and won 6-1. Zoe and Safwane Arfaoui’s match was more exciting to watch. They managed to re-break at 4-5 to level 5-all and return in the match. Although they played emotionally and put up a good fight, they lost 7-3 in the tiebreak. Then there were the two routine wins for Safwane and Calum against Caledonian, which secured our second place in tennis. Still, this is an improvement from last year’s 5-1 loss to Strathclyde, so here’s hoping to an even stronger performance from GU Tennis next year.