The romance of the cup was on full display in this weekend's Cuppers Quarter-Finals. We bring you all the thrills and spills.
The romance of the cup was on full display in this weekend’s Cuppers Quarter-Finals. We bring you all the thrills and spills as Fitz, Girton, Downing and Jesus all booked their places in the semi-finals.
Fitz ease past Darwin
Fitz marched on to the semis with a comprehensive defeat of Darwin. The Grads were slow to get out of the blocks and never really got into the game, while the Division 1 side always looked comfortable.
Five different scorers helped Fitz to victory, and they will play Girton/Magdalene in the next round. Darwin are left to concentrate on their progress in Div 2.
Coldham’s Common was the setting, a bleak tundra much like Fitzwilliam itself and they certainly looked at home despite being the away side. Right from the off they set about creating chances and troubling Darwin’s back four with direct runs at the defence. If it weren’t for an impressive display from goalkeeper Patrick Dickinson they would have had more joy.
The deadlock was broken by Hobbs, ghosting in to volley home a flicked-on long throw from zu Ermgassen. Fitz failed to push on though, and through some slightly uncertain defending handed Darwin a couple of chances, with Rob Norfolk’s bustling runs causing some bother. It wasn’t until zu Ermgassen buried a 20-yard shot in the bottom corner that they really began to assert themselves.
Early in the second half captain Bogle’s header made it 0-3, and not long after Daniel Lobron pounced on a loose ball, calmly lobbing the ‘keeper when one-on-one. From then on it was a formality, Fitz beginning to play the sort of football that sees them top of Div 1. Rennes topped off the victory late on, slotting across the ‘keeper from a Hobbs cross. Job done for Fitz, and a semi to look forward to, while Darwin’s sporadic pressure never evolved into any palpable threat.
Girton pile the hurt on Magdalene
In the battle of the Division 3 sides Girton cruised passed a Magdalene side who had previously won every game so far this season. Read our full report here.
Pembroke left pen-broke by Maini’s heroics
by Tim Kitching
On a sunny Saturday afternoon on their home turf Jesus needed penalties to see off Division 2 Pembroke. They were left to thank their goalkeeper Maini who saved the first two penalties. Maier showed nerves of steel, scoring the decisive spot kick having come on as a sub expressly for that purpose.
Jesus will have a tough tie against Downing in their semi, a fixture that could also decide the destination of the league title. Pembroke’s brave cup run comes to a sad end having performed superbly against some of the best teams in the league.
Jesus went ahead through captain Purcell’s smart volley but found themselves pegged back by a 25-yard stunner. Another threat which Jesus where failing to deal with was the long throw long throw-in, something they really paid for in the second half when a header from 6 yards out looped over Maini in goal.
The Jesus equaliser cam late on when O’Loughlin converted from close range after Purcell drilled in a cross from the right. Extra time proved uneventful due to fatigue that set in for both sides and with a chilling inevitability it al came down to penalties.
Pembroke scored only one of their first four pens, and with Crawford and Purcell on target for Jesus they only needed Maier to step up and finish the tie. Maini’s two saves were absolutely crucial, and Jesus can continue to dream of Cuppers glory.
Late Fitton strike means Caius are Gone-ville
by Rob Dunn
Whilst Sunday offered up a beautiful, calm morning for the people of Cambridge, the Cuppers Quarter Final between Downing and Caius was anything but. Downing emerged victorious, 2-1 winners in a real thriller, but it took extra time for them to secure their place in the semis.
From the off it was a physical affair. Caius edged the first half in terms of possession, with Marsden, Scott and Yerolemou looking particularly threatening. Despite this, it was Downing who came closest to scoring. Long balls from Dunn and long-throws from Churcher allowed Guest and Burley to cause Caius some trouble in the box, the best chance falling to Davison who volleyed inches wide
The second half began with the same intensity as the first. The deadlock was broken when Scott was felled in the box, and despite protests from the Downing players, the referee pointed to the spot. Although Matthews got a hand to Yerolemou’s penalty he couldn’t keep it out. 1-0 Caius.
With a Cuppers exit looming, Downing picked up the pace, playing more aggressively and attackingly. Caius stood strong though, right until the dying moments. Deep into injury time, a long and hopeful ball up front fell to Burley, who took it past the defence to finish clinically past Feng.
Into extra time with tough challenges coming in thick and fast. Yet again, deep into the injury time, Downing’s belief was rewarded when a Ross long-throw again caused trouble in the Caius box, and substitute Fitton headed home from close range. Jesus await Downing in a tasty semi-final, whilst Caius need to focus on trying to stay in Division 1. Selwyn’s victory over Christ’s means they’re second from bottom with three games to play.
Next weekend’s Semi-Finals look like this:
Girton v Fitz
Downing v Jesus