2019 Varsity Match Results

March 10, 2019


Sam Greenbank

Sunday 3rd March saw the honours shared between the Universities. Oxford opened up with a tense 2-1 win in the Women's match. After the Dark Blues had won all 5 matches at the 2nds, 3rds and 4ths Varsity day a fortnight previously, Oxford were a single match away from performing a whitewash. However Cambridge were victorious in the men's game, a 3-2 win that was delicately poised for much of the game. 


Women: Oxford 2-1 Cambridge (half time 2-1)


After a cagey start, Oxford scored two in quick succesion. The first was a clinical finish from Ellie Harrison on the far post. The second was possibly the best hockey of the day, as Olivia Lee-Smith broke through into the D, barely rounded the goalie before slotting home on the reverse from a fine angle.

Cambridge responded 20 minutes later with a dummied slip short corner. Amy Edwards smashed a slap in from left of top D to halve the deficit with only 5 minutes to go before half time.

The second half was extremely nervous for most, with several half chances for both teams. Sofia Baldelli (Oxford) and Freddie Briscoe (Cambridge) were having increasing influence as goalkeepers, including a spectacular save from Briscoe off a Shona McNab penalty stroke.

Neither team managed another significant chance, and the final whistle went with both teams showing signs of tiredness. Oxford had ran out victorious for the fourth time in succession.


Men: Cambridge 3-2 Oxford (half time 1-1)


Cambridge's Men staged the second half comeback that the Women had so painstakingly missed out on in their match. 

As ever in the Men's Varsity match, the first few minutes were a foray into madness from all involved. The first piece of controlled play was after 12 minutes, when Oxford almost took the lead through Keeling. It took 20 minutes for the deadlock to be broken, Johann Perera scoring with a well placed low drag-flick. Cambridge responded only 5 minutes later. Their own short corner broke down but their remained cool and Monty Flynn was left to score with a neat first time touch. Neither team managed much in the remaining 10 minutes of the half, so the match was left tied halfway.

But Oxford struck 1 minute into the second half, with Nick Leach continuing his excellent record against Cambridge. As ever for Leach, it was a drag flick into the roof of the net.
Cambridge dominated for much of the remainder, and Fergus McNab struck with his own drag flick 5 minutes after Leach to bring the match back to level. Despite their dominance, it wasn't until 2 minutes to go that Cambridge scored again, with Tom Jackson scoring a neat finish, the only open play goal of the game. With such little time on the clock there was no chance for Oxford to recover, thus the spoils were shared.

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