The University of Stirling Men’s First football team claimed a third consecutive BUCS Premier North title last week.
Needing just one point from the final two league games of the season, it looked as though it might come down to the tenth league game after trailing Durham University 3-1 at half-time.
But a spirited second-half comeback earned the student footballers a draw in England to secure three British Universities and Colleges Sport titles in a row.
Head coach Chris Geddes said: “Three BUCS Premier Norths in a row, Stirling Uni have never done that! I think they had only won two until my staff and the players came in.
“The boys are producing the goods; everyone fights for each other, and there is a real togetherness. Every player knows their place in the squad, and for this BUCS campaign, everyone has contributed at one point.
“It is difficult when you know you only need a point, but we never played for the draw – in the second half we showed why we are the best team in the league.
“You don’t win a title too often in your career, so for us to win three for the University is impressive.”
Midfielder James Stokes got Stirling’s only first-half goal after Geddes’ side fell behind early on in England, but Durham pulled clear before half-time to set up a daunting task for the away side.
The hope of more historic achievement was restored halfway through the second period, though, as Stirling got one back before Euan McGill completed the comeback five minutes later.
Having made a habit of scoring important goals, McGill said: “It is a really good feeling. We always backed ourselves and knew that to win the league we only needed to win 2-0 in the second half.
“We just kept digging in, and we got there in the end.”
It was not just a third title in a row for the University but also a handful of the fourth years, including McGill, who has been involved throughout the prolonged University success.
Goalkeeper Ben Fry highlighted the scale of the achievement as another of the three-time winners club.
He said: “Outside of University football, people probably don’t know how big an achievement it is, but we know playing these games and coming down on these away trips, it’s a tough ask to win one title and, so it’s a tough ask to win three in a row.”
Featured Image Credit: John Turnbull