A record crowd of 15,535 were in attendance as the University of Leeds defeated Leeds Beckett in the Mens Rugby Union Varsity clash however Leeds Beckett took the overall day for the twelfth successive season.
The University of Leeds ran out 20-9 winners. Leeds Beckett had led from the fourth minute when former Yorkshire Carnegie player David Mcilwaine slotted an early penalty and a cagey first half looked like yielding few more points.
The University of Leeds unexpectedly grabbed the lead in the 33rd minute when an attempted Mcilwaine grubber kick ricocheted clear and was picked up by wing Harry Jukes, who went the length of the field to score. His try was converted to make the score 7-3 at half-time.
Another McIlwaine penalty after the break reduced the deficit and he kicked Leeds Beckett 9-7 in front in the 63rd minute with a successful effort from 45 metres.
Shortly afterwards Leeds Beckett were again behind, though, when replacement Luke White broke and fed Will Byron to go over in the corner. White kicked the conversion to make the score 14-9 and put the game out of reach with a further two successful penalties in the final 10 minutes.
Nevertheless the result from Headingley Carnegie didn’t affect the wider outcome as Leeds Beckett maintained its perfect winning record since the inaugural Varsity in 2004.
After a day of tightly-contested action in more than 60 fixtures across 25 sports, there were just two points separating the universities in the final 2016/17 result.
Leeds Beckett managed to come out on the right side of the score line once again, though, winning 33-31 overall.
There were particularly strong performances in the tennis and basketball; Leeds Beckett won all seven men’s and women’s tennis matches while, in the arena, the men’s basketball first team triumphed 69-52, the second team won 64-54 and the women’s first team won 45-23.
Handball also provided success with the men’s first team winning 28-21 and women’s first coming out on top 28-8. It was a similar story in Lacrosse with the men’s first team taking a 15-4 victory and women winning 11-6.
The men’s rugby league first team were victorious and the men’s football firsts took home a 2-0 win. There were also victories in cricket, American football and table tennis.