It’s that time of year again: Merger Cup is just around the corner. Here’s a look at its history.
Saturday 5th March sees the return of one of the biggest events on the sporting calendar at QMUL: Merger Cup. For those of you not in the know, the Merger Cup is a series of annual sporting fixtures played between QM and Barts. The results are then tallied up to determine the overall winner. It’s a grudge match of epic proportions – think Tyson Fury against the world, think the Ashes, think the Old Firm Derby, think the Ryder Cup. In short, this is one match that the teams don’t want to lose – bragging rights are of the utmost importance.
The event was inaugurated in 1995, the same year that the two institutions merged. Students from both ends of Mile End Road go head to head in order to lift the title and claim the glory. Each sport will acquire points based on the result of the match and the campus which accumulates the most points will become this year’s Merger Cup champions.
On the face of it, this should be a mismatch. After all, student numbers on either side differ immensely, with Queen Mary able to call on the services of roughly six times as many players. However, due to the way that degrees at Barts work, this advantage is tempered: the medical school is able to field older and consequently more experienced players, as well as having the luxury of having more settled sides as student turnover is lower.
Since 2005 Queen Mary have had the upper hand, winning the majority of tournaments, including a crushing 31-19 triumph last time round. However, the cup headed to Whitechapel in 2009, 2011 and 2014.
Each year the event gets bigger and better and this year promises to be no different. With matches taking place all over London, there is no reason not to get involved. The players are going to need all of your support and this year’s event promises to be more spectator friendly than ever due to the presence of live DJs, performances, demonstrations, good quality sport as well as food and drink stalls. In short, it’s a great day out.
Image: QMSU // Michael Shaw