‘Ordinary Punters’ Win the SKADL League

The Summer 2023 SKADL Darts League has been won by the Ordinary Punters having seen off their opposition in twelve of their sixteen fixtures. They become the second winners of the “RCSA Purse”: £100 of prize money.

Our very own ORCS, the “Old Royal College of Science” darts team, were victorious in nine of their fixtures and came in at third place. Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, our RCSA Double Elevens team ended up in a very creditable 9th position – an impressive achievement for their very first season.

To remind you, the various teams in SKADL (the South Kensington Academic Darts League) have their roots in the Union Bar, in the Holland Bar, in the RCS and in various other academic institutions ‘not so far from South Kensington’. The RCSA Double Elevens team play on a Monday night with their home fixtures being in the Union Bar, and their away fixtures taking place in a variety of excellent pubs across London.

The new Captain of the RCSA Double Elevens is Oscar Farrell (Yes….Stephen Davies, the wonderful Captain of the inaugural season is stepping down). So if your Monday evenings can be freed up and you fancy throwing a few darts, then do contact Oscar. [...] Read more...

ORCS Win the SKADL League

ORCS, the “Old Royal College of Science” darts team have been victorious in the Winter 2023 SKADL Darts League. They become the inaugural winners of the “RCSA Purse” – £100 of prize money. Of twelve games, ORCS won ten, drew another and lost only one. A very impressive run for which we congratulate them most heartily.

The various teams in SKADL, the South Kensington Academic Darts League, have their roots in the Union Bar, in the Holland Bar, in the RCS and in various other academic institutions ‘not so far from South Kensington’, and the 2023 Summer League see another RCSA Team joining the fray. The newly formed RCSA Double Eleven team will play their home fixtures in the Union Bar, and their away fixtures in a variety of excellent pubs across London, all on a Monday night. If your Monday evenings are free and you fancy throwing a few darts, do contact us.

The RCSA are delighted to once again offer the “RCSA Purse” for the winning team of the 2023 Summer League and hope to sharpen up the competition and to enliven the celebrations on ‘Finals Night’. [...] Read more...

ORCS Top their League

We’re top of the League, and we’re having a laugh,
We’re top of the League, and we’re having a laugh,…….”

You would typically hear this chant (repeated ad-infinitum) at a football stadium. But on Monday night, it could be heard following the latest ORCS team victory in the SKADL darts league.

Unbeaten so far this season, the “Old Royal College of Science” darts team crept to the top of the League, overtaking their nearest rivals but having two games in hand.

The various teams in the league have their roots in the Union Bar, in the Holland Bar, in the RCS and in various other academic institutions ‘not so far from South Kensington’, hence the name of the league: SKADL, the South Kensington Academic Darts League.

Formed in 2001, SKADL is run by League Chairman, Duncan Robertson, who is also captain of the all-conquering ORCS team (and an ex-secretary and ex-treasurer of the RCSA). If you are looking for a darts league to join where you’ll rub shoulders with lots of RCSA members, let us know and we’ll put you in touch with Duncan and the various team captains. And the RCSA are establishing a new team, to be based in the Union Bar and playing in the Monday night league. [...] Read more...

Sparkes 2022: Down to the Wire

Sparkes 2022 contestants

After a 3-year pandemic-enforced absence, we were delighted to once again compete for the Sparkes Cup, and better still, it was possible to hold the competition at Harlington. It took until the last kick of the tournament to settle this year’s closely contested competition.

There was early disappointment as the RSM captain, out of action through injury, reluctantly conceded that our smallest constituent college would not be able to assemble a competitive team this year. But there were spectators to entertain and a very enthusiastic referee to keep busy, so the RCS and C&G captains agreed to retain the traditional three-match format. The competition would be based on the best of three matches and their two teams would face each other up to three times.

Here is a quick summary, the first game was won comfortably by C&G 33-12. The second game was much closer, won right at the end by RCS 24-19. The third and deciding game was tied at the death when C&G touched down between the posts. The last kick of the game would be the conversion and G&G broke RCS hearts when their attempt was successful.

So congratulations to C&G whose name will be engraved on the Sparkes Cup for the fourth time in succession. [...] Read more...

The Sparkes Cup 2022

Saturday 18th June at Harlington!

Imperial’s inter-college rugby competition continues after a covid-induced hiatus. Once again the RCS, C&G and RSM teams are preparing to go head-to-head in the Sparkes Cup’s 2022 match! The location will please many of you: we are returning to our traditional home of Harlington. Once again the RCSA, the CGCA and the RSMA are sponsoring this events making barbeque food, drink and even a certain number of coach spaces between the Union and Harlington available……..all free of charge.

The date is now only a few days away. Keep it free and we look forward to seeing you at Harlington, and to cheering on an RCS victory. [...] Read more...

Sparkes Cup Gets Better and Better

MATCH REPORT: On the 22nd of June 2019, a group of approximately seventy students and alumni of Imperial College London descended upon Grasshoppers RFC for the third annual Sparkes Cup since its revival in 2017. A competition steeped in history between the three constituent colleges of Imperial: the City & Guilds College, the Royal School of Mines and last but not least the Royal College of Science.

The day started in West Kensington, when a group of students, players and spectators boarded a bus towards our hosts for the day, Grasshoppers RFC. Arriving at the venue for 12.30pm, the players of the three colleges began to warm up for the round-robin seven-a-side tournament, whilst the spectators settled in for an exciting day of rugby. 

The first match of the day saw the engineers take on the miners, who in previous years have struggled for numbers but were anything but intimidated and took the game to the engineers. This proved an exciting affair, with tries from either side and the referee excitedly awarding a penalty try. However, despite RSM’s best efforts, City & Guilds walked away the victors 29 to 14. Much the same appeared to follow, with the scientists now trying their luck against last years victors, City & Guilds. [...] Read more...

The Sparkes Cup 2019

The saga of Imperial’s inter-college social rugby competition continues, with the RCS, C&G and RSM once more preparing to go head to head for the Sparkes Cup’s 2019 match!

The proposed date and location is Saturday the 22nd June at Grasshoppers RFC in Osterley.

Further details are on Facebook. See here https://www.facebook.com/events/1286584928171302/

(You can read about last year’s Sparkes Cup here.) [...] Read more...

Another Wonderful Sparkes Cup Competition

It is with begrudging admiration that we must congratulate CGCU Rugby on their overwhelming victory in the 2018 Sparkes Cup competition.

It was a hot summery Saturday 23rd June when the teams and supporters assembled at Wasps FC Sports Ground. But the writing was immediately on the wall – CGCU had turned up with noticeably more players than had their adversaries.

In an attempt to give small squads a bit of a sporting chance, the format was switched from Rugby tens (that were so successful last year), to Rugby sevens. Club Captain, Toby Simpson, took the whistle and the carnage began.

Even when the opposition were fresh, CGCU seemed able to pile on the tries. As everyone tired, the CGCU supremacy became yet more heightened. Not all the good Rugby came from CGCU, but they walked off as comfortable victors overall. RCSU came in a creditable second and were certainly the best dressed team in the splendid strip donated by the RCSA.

A few warm handshakes from Club President Rees Rawlings, a few kind words from Club Captain Toby Simpson, enthusiastic applause, poses for photographs, plumes of champagne sprayed everywhere and then we progressed to the second important matter of the day. We all took advantage of the free Bar and free barbeque that was laid on by the RCSA for a very pleasant period of rest and recovery. [...] Read more...

The Sparkes Cup 2018 – Saturady 23rd June at Wasps FC Sports Ground

The pinnacle of the Imperial inter-college social rugby calendar – the Sparkes Cup 2018 – is happening on Saturady 23rd June! If you’re in the area, feel free to come along as the event is free and open to all, whether as a player or a spectator.

The Sparkes Cup first brought together the RCSU, RSMU and CGCU rugby teams in 1950. Over time the rebranding of Imperial has seen these college teams fall by the wayside; RSMU play The Bottle Match once a year, and CGCU make their way to Oxford. The Sparkes Cup was restarted in 2017, and will be competed for again this summer with support from the RCSA and CGCA.

20min games. 10 a-side. 6 nations scoring system. 3 Constituent Unions. 1 victor.

To be held at Wasps FC Sports Ground, Twyford Ave, London, W3 9Q

Day plan:
10:15 FREE private bus from F3K to Wasps’ rugby pitches
11:00 Team warm-ups
11:30 RSMU vs. CGCU
11:55 CGCU vs. RCSU
12:20 RCSU vs. RSMU
12:45 Final
13:10 Trophy Presentation
13:15 FREE BBQ Burger and Beer
14:00 Bus departs back to Hammersmith Broadway
14:30 Head home to shower and change
16:00 (Optional) Reconvene at F3K for 1st Test South Africa vs. [...] Read more...

The Revival of the Sparkes Cup – Saturday 24th June 2017 at Rosslyn Park

The Revival of the Sparkes Cup – Saturday 24th June 2017 at Rosslyn Park


Free beer. Free food. Rugby.

The intercollegiate rugby tournament first kicked off in 1950 and will return this week. Thanks to the RCSA and RSMA the event is completely free – beverages and a BBQ will be provided, as well as transport to and from for the first 76 people. All are welcome to play or spectate.

Day Plan:

8:30 – Meet at Famous 3 Kings, North End Road to watch the Lions vs All Blacks (optional)
11:00 – Bus departs from Famous 3 Kings to Rosslyn Park
12:00 – Games get underway
12-4pm – Beers/Food served throughout
4pm – Bus heads back to the Union

Check the event here.

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