The Hockey team selling Varsity tickets on Wednesday morning. Photo: @UWMHCMagmen

Varsity clockwatch: DAY ONE

22:25: Finished. WARWICK HAVE LOST THE MEN’S BASKETBALL VARSITY, 75-49. But we all had fun, didn’t we? In fairness, Coventry are the in-form team and Warwick can be very proud of their performance. So, on the day it ends 1-1, but this year’s Varsity has only just begun, and we’ll be liveblogging throughout the week, so that you have the whole of the contest covered. Readers, it’s been a joy. Join us again tomorrow and we can do it all again (oh god). Bye!

22:21: Sorry, I’ve come over a bit Gok Wan in my bitterness.

22:20: We’re still going. The score is 73-39, and Coventry have begun to indulge in a bit of show-boating. But, despite their tricks and flicks, they still can’t make their magenta look work.

22:12: If the result is clouding up your sweet vibes this Friday evening, don’t let it. We still won the women’s game. Plus we won the Athletics last week. And we’re going to win the series overall. And also we have a cooler basketball coach; the Coventry guy is wearing a seriously disastrous blue polo and stone chinos combo. He looks like an accountant on his day off, shopping for a bumper pack of tent pegs in Mountain Warehouse.

22:10: Are you sitting down? Do you have a glass of water to hand? Good. Because there’s around five minutes left and Warwick are losing 64-32. I have this feeling that we might not win. I’m sorry to break it to you. If you live in Leam, start drinking and you’ve still got a chance of making it out to Neon and enjoying yourself. If you live on campus, start drinking and smash up your neighbour’s kitchen (the boar does not advocate smashing up your neighbour’s kitchen).

22:05: Close your curtains, find something or somebody to pray to, and blast this tune out. BELIEVE.

22:01: It’s the end of the third quarter and the Coventry number 8 just scored a 3 pointer whilst being bundled over by a brave old Warwick lad. Joking aside, that was a fantastic shot and indicative of Coventry’s quality tonight. His penalty makes it 59-32.

21:55: THE COACHES ARE ARGUING! I think they’ve made up now but let’s ignore that small fact. I met Vesselios, Warwick coach, yesterday and he’s such a cool guy. If you’re reading mate- I’ve got your back all the way. Punch him in the face.

21:52: We might be losing, but that was a fantastic piece of skill from one of our Warwick boys. He allowed the ball to run across him, sidestepped the Coventry tackle, and then dropped the shoulder to speed off and make a basket. He did him. He had him. He completely Angela Merkel-d him, Coventry responded in that oh so predictable way, by scoring against us. It’s 48-30 and with about 13 minutes left, it’s looking like now or never for Warwick.

21:50: Re-joining the action, and Warwick are bravely trying to launch a come back. But half way through the third quarter and it’s looking a big ask, the score is currently 45-28 to Coventry.

21:35: Genuine tweet from Walter White, just below there (not Isaac). Also, ‘Magenta Army’?! I’m quaking in my boots.

21:33: It’s half time, and the Warwick cheerleaders are strutting their stuff. A group of the Coventry support begin chanting ‘Warwick, Warwick!’ You have to give them their due, that was lol worthy. Also, on a side note, the cheerleaders were great, but they always look really pleased with themselves when they’ve finished a routine, don’t they? You don’t see Ann Widdecombe or whoever doing cartwheels when they’ve finished their ballroom routine on Strictly. Anyhoo, we’re off again.

21:30: Oh, that’s delicious. Warwick just scored from a play there that would have made Mary Berry herself proud, it was that delicious. Although, rather annoyingly, Cov scored themselves just seconds later. 40-16, now.

21:22: This game is so scrappy: it’s brilliant. Coventry have proven the more ruthless though, taking their chances well, and that’s why they’re winning 31-14. In other news, Cov have just brought on a player who makes Peter Crouch look like Warwick Davis bent over on his knees. Down by the sideline, the Warwick Bear is still trying- bless her- but the momentum just isn’t in our favour. Hashtag unhappy face.

21:18: Some Coventry punk nets a basket, despite being in the process of falling flat on his backside. What a show-off.

21:12: A Coventry player goes on a mazy dribble, taking it around 4 Warwick players before laying off a teammate. At the last, a Warwick hand snatches it away. Coventry cheer, Warwick cheer, everyone is cheering. Simon and Garfunkel starts playing on the stereo and everyone at the Cov Leisure Centre gym turns to the person next of them, regardless of alligience, and embraces them. Yoko Ono walks onto the court and releases seven virgin white doves. It’s beau- oh hang on, they’ve started with the ‘fuck off’ chant again. Doesn’t matter because we’ve pulled a few back and it stands at 25-14. We’re still in this!

21:10: The second quarter starts with a Coventry player tripping and smacking his face on the court. A pity he didn’t smack it harder but you can’t have everything in life. 25-7.

21:07: End of the first quarter. We’re losing 23-6. Now is the moment: if you’re reading this and know anybody who attends Cov Uni, give them a ring and tell them they’re an arsehole.

21:03: Coventry have a noticeable height advantage and it’s hurting Warwick. There’s about a minute of this quarter left and we’re 20-6 down.

20:57: After a time out, we’re back underway in this men’s first quarter. Two observations: before today I really didn’t appreciate how physical basketball could be. This game has seen some heavy falls and the players are constantly jostling one another, trying to gain an advantage. A gentleman’s game this ain’t. Also American sports are so loud aren’t they? So much music and buzzing. Anyway, whimsy over; the scum are now 18-5 up. Urgh, scum.

20:50: Oh God, Cov have started the “fuck off Warwick” chant. Cerebral stuff. Also a lad in the Coventry section of fans has a t-shirt that says ‘#SICK’ on it. More like #DICK, am I right guys?! Warwick receive a penalty but Coventry have an instant reply, and the score is 17-5. Balls.

20:48: The men’s game is underway and it’s an intense atmosphere. Unfortunately, the boys are being pushed back at the minute and the score is currently 11-2 to Coventry, after a couple of seriously impressive three pointers. It’s not looking good.

20:34: Oh my days, that was a beating, as a Coventry student may say. We’re now waiting for the men’s fixture which is set to start very soon. I may well miss the start though as I’ve had to retreat into some weird little cafe area of the Sports Centre to recharge my laptop. I’ve had to unplug a toy Brum car in order to do, so I hope no Leisure Centre workers catch me. Cutting edge field journalism, this.

20:18: IT’S OVER! WARWICK HAVE WON THE VARSITY WOMEN’S BASKETBALL! The Warwick crowd have gone crazy and they’ve every right to: Warwick win 55-14. Blimey, I was expecting a contest but that was like when I play FIFA against my friend one-hand Harry.

20:15: The score is 45-14 in Warwick’s favour. The men’s team are now preparing themselves, and the Warwick Cheerleaders are getting ready too. I’m not saying this win has been comprehensive, but put it this way: if the Coventry team were an elderly dog they’d have been put out of their misery by now.

20:05: The final quarter has begun and the game has lost a bit of sting. Although I guess it’s quite difficult to get riled up as a Coventry player, losing 13-41 with only 7 minutes left of the biggest sports game of your life, knowing that you’ve let your friends, your academics and yourself down.

20:01: End of the third quarter and it’s 41-13. Warwick are in cruise control here. Plus a load more of our fans have just turned up, thanks for nothing Stagecoach (probably).

19:46: Coventry have nicked our chant! I’m being serious! ‘Let’s Go Coventry, Let’s Go’?! What the fuck is that? The syllables don’t even fit. Although they’re now repeatedly yelling ‘Defence’ so I guess song writing isn’t really their strong point. Anyway, Warwick have failed to make good on a few opportunities and the score stands at 34-13. It’s been a scrappy quarter in truth. Also I was just interviewed by RaW: hi Mum!

19:40: The second half is underway and who knows what to expect? Although I’m guessing it will involve bouncing balls and dunked nets. And Warwick scoring- 32-9 now.


19:26: It’s half time. Warwick are winning 30-7. Surely there’s no way back for Coventry at this point. It’s been a great half of basketball and the Warwick team walk off the court looking pretty pleased with themselves. There’s now some half time entertainment. Lucky us!

19:20: Warwick are totally bossing this. Totally bossing it. It’s 28-5 and I genuinely can’t remember the last time I heard the Coventry coach make a noise, bless him. In contrast the Warwick coach, Vassilios, is stalking the touch line, chest puffed proudly out. His team are doing him proud, here. Time out called, 28-5.

19:15: The guys at RaW are doing a fantastic job, make sure you tune into their coverage if you haven’t already. It makes for the perfect soundtrack to your Friday pre-drinks. Honest.

19:10: Warwick are leading 20-5. Big whoop. In other more important news my laptop has run out of charge and I can’t find anywhere to plug it in. So I’m having to blog on my phone, which is like how they blogged in the Stone Age. ‘First World Problems’, you may well say, but I bet John Motson doesn’t have to put up with this shit. In other news, Warwick have extended their lead to 23-5.

19:04: Frantic start to the quarter. And Warwick’s Alex Lord is on fire. She just netted a free throw, won Warwick another, and then made a well worked 2 pointer. And as I type, Warwick have scored another (total nuisance). Coventry have called a time out and it’s 19-5 to Warwick.

18:58: First quarter over and it’s 12-5 to Warwick. Warwick actually scored just as the buzzer rang, but it was judged by the referees to have been netted fractionally after. Bloody conspiracy and all that. It’s been a breathless, physical, excitable encounter- everything you’d expect from a Varsity fixture.

18:56: The score is 12-5, and an injury time out has been called. A Coventry player bounced off a Warwick girl pretty hard but she’s up and seems to be okay. Warwick are ready for the re-start, but Coventry are taking slightly longer to ready themselves. There’s 59 seconds of this quarter left.

18:50: Jesus, there are bodies flying about all over the place. The game is becoming increasingly intense, Coventry got their first few points on the board with a sumptuous three pointer, only for Warwick to race down the other end and score consecutive 2 pointers. There’s been a bit of wrestling, and a slight bit of bad blood, and the score currently stands 10-3 in Warwick’s favour. I can see why the first aiders are in attendance, now.

18:46: Warwick have called a time out. Coventry just missed another two free throws. At the moment, this is like watching England playing Scotland in the 6 Nations. Or Germany play Brazil in a World Cup semi-final. Or like watching Keith Chegwin on Celebrity Big Brother. I’m guessing it won’t stay that way though…

18:45: Coventry have missed all four of their free throws. The score is still 6-0. Plus it’s worth saying the Warwick crowd, despite their smaller number, have been far louder than the Coventry students. We’re winning on and off the court, guys.

18:38: Coventry call a time out. Probably because they’re pretty crap. Charlie Coe, RaW Sport’s resident basketball expert, is standing next to me and says it’s because Coventry are allowing Warwick to “get in their faces”. Hell yeah. Momentary lapse in proceedings and Rihanna is being played on the sound system. And it was all going so well.

18:37: Guys it’s 6-0 to Warwick already. This is easy!

18:36: Warwick win the tip off (not a bounce off) and then win a penalty after a Coventry block. It’s netted, and Warwick are 2-0 up. First blood to Warwick.

18:35: The girls shake hands. IT’S ON.

18:32: There’s a slight delay to the start. Well that totally ruined that last motivational update. In other news, two first aiders have made their way to the side of the court. Wise decision, because this could get propa nawty’.

18:30: You could cut the tension with a knife. This is what it’s all about. Now is a time for heroes and baskets. The Boar, The Dirty Duck, Nigel Thrift, Lord Rootes, the Koan, Stephen Marchant…they all believe in you girls- this is your time. This is our time. Let’s go Warwick (let’s go).

18:25: The women’s game is about to begin! Everything is ready, the teams are beginning their final warm ups.

18:20: The Warwick girls are on the court and the Warwick fans are in place. The girls are being put through a pretty intense warm up and just briefly stopped for a hands in, ‘Go Warwick!’ moment. Only for the Coventry fans- who outnumber us by about 5 to 1 (shame on you people reading this at home) to loudly drown it out with boos. Intense stuff, it’s like being at the San Siro for a Milan derby. The Warwick Bear started to rally the troops with a chant, only to be replaced by two small girls in the chorus leading. I don’t really know what’s going on.

18:08: No sign of Warwick yet. Their coach, Vassilios Copetinas, is on the court though, and he’s just netted three consecutive 3 pointers. A shame he can’t play. I interviewed him yesterday and he’s one of the nicest guys you could possibly meet. Speaking of nice things- THE WARWICK BEAR HAS JUST MADE AN APPEARANCE ON THE COURT. Oh, and the Warwick fans have turned up. But the bear is on court.

18:05: The Coventry team have now appeared on the court to warm up! I resisted the urge to yell expletives at them, mostly because the coaches of Warwick and Coventry fans haven’t arrived yet and I’d look a bit conspicuous. After a quick training drill, they’re now in a team huddle, assembling their game faces.

17:55: The Warwick TV coverage is about to begin on YouTube. Months of hard work have gone into all the media coverage throughout this week, so give it a watch/listen/ read.

17:50: That annoying echoing sound that reminds you of being picked last in P.E. classes and sobbing in the toilets for the rest of the school day can only mean one thing. We’re in a gymnasium and it’s starting to get busy before the big bounce off (?). The media teams up here in the gallery are working furiously, and for some reason there’s loads of children running around trying to shoot some hoops and missing miserably. The Coventry Varsity stars of tomorrow, perhaps (/Varsity banter starts here/).

17:45: Apologies for the recent lack of updates. Boar Sport was winging its way to the Coventry Leisure Centre in a ridiculously over-priced taxi which then got stuck in roadworks with the meter ticking sickeningly up. But we’re back! And there’s absolutely nothing that can stop us (except lack of WiFi, laptop battery running out, or some other technological disaster).

16:20: The history of the women’s basketball fixture is pretty encouraging. Warwick have won the last two contests, and we’re now looking for our third straight win. The girls also play in the league above Coventry, so will be going into the game as favourites. Coventry won successive Varsity matches for five years before 2013, but let’s all agree not to talk about that tonight.

16.00: Enough messin’. The reason we’re all here is for the sport, and it gets underway shortly. The women’s basketball team will start tonight’s proceedings with their game at half six, before the men’s team take on their Coventry rivals at half eight. If you’re an eager beaver than you’ll already have your tickets, but if you’ve left it late they’re still on sale until 5pm, priced at £5. Transport leaves campus at half five, from bus stop AL1. I’d tell you where that is but I genuinely don’t have a clue- THANKS FOR NOTHING STAGECOACH.

15.54: As you can see from the picture, the whole of campus has gone Varsity crazy. Here’s Lifestyle Editor of the Boar, preparing for an exciting night of basketball. Send us in pictures of your friends gearing up for the contest and we’ll include them here.

Varsity fever has gripped campus.

Varsity fever has gripped campus!!!

15:46. No mention of Boar Sport in that tweet guys, but we’ll let you off. 

15:31It’s been statistically proven by Cayo Sobral, our Science and Technology Editor, that it’s actually impossible to miss coverage of this year’s Varsity. There’s more than you can shake a blue foam claw at. Starting with Radio At Warwick (RaW), the student station has live commentary of the two basketball games tonight, lasting from 6 to 10pm. Meanwhile, our friends at Warwick TV (WTV) have a super exciting LIVE broadcast, which also starts at 6pm. You can find it on YouTube here. And to round things off, at the Boar we’ll be liveblogging all night on all the important and interesting stuff that happens. Send us a message at @BoarSport or leave a comment below to get in on the action. 

15:20It makes the FIFA World Cup look like an amateur five-a-side toss up. It makes the Olympics look like a school fete with a load of dodgy sports no one actually watches (Greco-Roman wrestling, anyone?). And it makes the Super Bowl look like the, erm, not so Super Bowl. I’m, of course, talking about the Warwick-Coventry Varsity series, and this year- the 25th anniversary series no less- is going to entertain and blow your brain. And the Boar’s Varsity clockwatch is where it all starts. Boo-ya. 


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