University of East London (UEL) retained the Challenge Cup with a thrilling day of sport featuring basketball, cricket, football, futsal, rugby, American football, volleyball, netball, taekwondo, and badminton.
The Challenge Cup event on Wednesday 30 March 2022, held at UEL's iconic SportsDock sports complex and local venues across east London, was packed with students from hosts UEL and visitors Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).
Overall, UEL won with seven victories to the visitor's six, with the Phoenix recording wins in badminton, men's basketball, cricket, men's football, women's futsal, plus both the men's and women's volleyball.
The day was full of highlights. UEL stormed into an early lead and looked confident in the morning and early afternoon events. An epic match in the women’s basketball saw ARU threaten to stage an upset, as they held on for a narrow 52-56 victory despite a spirited fightback by UEL in the final two quarters, inspired by the noisy home crowd.
However, UEL men's volleyball team gave a dominant performance, swinging the balance back in the Phoenix's favour. This was quickly followed by an impressive 3-2 win in women's futsal, meaning it was all level going into the final fixture.
That final match was men's basketball on a showcase court packed with a full house of supporters. UEL came out fast in the match, and despite a close middle period, the Phoenix finished 91-77 winners, capping off an action-packed day of sporting excellence in style.