The Blues and Kingfishers were back on song against their old rivals this week, sending out a strong message to Oxford ahead of Varsity.
After a Christmas vac spent eating copious amounts of turkey and ignoring emails from their long-suffering fitness coach, it was back to business for the lax girls this week as they took on Oxford as part of the BUCS League.
With Varsity matches looming, it was imperative that Cambridge asserted their dominance, took note of tactics, and attempted to injure key players in the run-up to the next meeting between these old rivals. Oxford have a lot to do before they come to Cambridge on 26th February, to play on Parker’s Piece, because Cambridge absolutely boshed them.
The Blues, currently undefeated this season, saw an unusually slow start to the game. Oxford capitalised on their opponents’ sluggish beginnings, and soon enough a rebound from an Oxford shot rolled lamely over the keeper’s line, making the first mark on the Dark Blues’ scorecard.
Some hard driving from Co-Captain Laura Plant led to an equalizer, but this was short-lived after Oxford responded with another two goals in quick succession.
Hastily calling a Time Out, Co-Captains Plant and Anna Harrison set about gathering the wits of their players, and the team regrouped. The tab girls had had their wake-up call, and responded to the team talk in fighting fashion.
First Check Warner took a well aimed shot at goal from a tight angle, then fresh talent Ellie Russell kept momentum going with a nifty quick-stick goal.
The half time whistle blew at 3-3; a shock to the Cambridge girls who habitually dominate the field at this stage in the game. Back on the pitch, it took another 20 minutes before Cambridge finally got into gear.
Making her season debut after injury, Co-Captain Anna Harrison proved that her time watching on the sidelines had not all been spent munching Doritoes, as her incisive tactics elicited a sudden rush of goals from the Light Blues.
Internationally renowned for her skills with a stick, Georgie Hurt set up a beautiful feed to dogged Jesus fresher, Georgie Pritchard, who converted superbly. A second feed from ‘the Hurt-locker’ was skilfully taken by Alana Livesey, who pounded the ball in the goal in what is known Up North as ‘wanging it’.
A string of other goals made the scoreline more convincing, and the Cambridge girls eased to victory over their Titanic foes, with a final score of Cambridge 9, Oxford 5.
Thrashing the Other Place became something of a theme of the day, as the Kingfishers replicated the Blues’ victory in a comfortable win at home.
The talismanic Lauren York made her return a memorable one after a term of injury, making a number of characteristic gallops down the pitch after turnovers from a solid defence. Goals came thick and fast from Ellie Jeffreys and Jo Hall, although the stand out goal-scorer was Newnham fresher Sam Davie, who netted a sublime total of six goals – more than the entire Oxford team could muster.
The play was not without its flaws, however, as the Cambridge girls allowed Oxford to capitalise on some fast breaks, allowing them back in the game for a few minutes after the half time restart.
But the girls responded with a more aggressive attitude, Ellie Pithers’ determination to bosh perhaps going a bit too far, as she was sin-binned after whacking the Oxford play maker on the head (accidentally). Some more great settle play in attack proved that the Cambridge girls can hold their nerve, and a last gasp goal from Pithers saw her regain some of her former dignity.
With a final score of 13-4, Cambridge are looking good in the run up to their Varsity games, but can they pull off another double win for the third year running? Stay tuned with The Tab for all the coverage you could ever wish for of the build-up.