Blues Girls Triumph in Varsity Clash

Cambridge’s Women Footballers win 1-0 in a Varsity Match marred by controversy. Read more here.

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Cambridge Women 1-0 Oxford Women

Cambridge’s Women Footballers comfortably took victory in their Varsity Match in Oxford on Saturday, the eventual 1-0 scoreline not reflecting the extent to which they dominated their Dark Blue counterparts.

Hordes of travelling supporters greeted the Cambrige team, on an Oxford pitch which was badly cut up in places. The Light Blues bossed the show from the outset, captain Leesa Haydock coming close twice in the first ten minutes, seeing one shot deflected by an opposition defender and the other forcing a good save from the Oxford shot-stopper. Emma Eldridge also had a couple of excellent chances from free-kicks, one of which went agonisingly close to giving the visitors the lead.

The Cambridge girls must have felt their luck was out, when a series of corners came to nothing and several opportunities went unconverted. A clear foul on Catherine Murphy inside the Oxford box then went unpunished, adding to the Light Blues’ mounting frustration. The Oxford team lacked any attacking presence though; Cambridge keeper Sara Haenzi didn’t have a single save to make during the first period.

A jubilant team celebrates after the game. Photo: Danielle Griffiths.

The deadlock was finally broken with 40 minutes on the clock. Speedster Maisie-Rose Byrne linked up nicely with Ashley Winslow, their one-two leading to a searching cross from Byrne which found fox-in-the-box Kate Robinson unmarked. With only the keeper to beat, Robinson stayed cool and slotted the ball home into the top-right corner.

Robinson was unlucky not to double her personal tally a few moments later as Cambridge caught Oxford napping, only to have the goal disallowed for a rather dubious offside.

The half-time break was marred by controversy. A heated debate arose between the sides about one of the Oxford players who was thought to be ineligible to play. The fact that the girl in question was wearing a shirt with a different name and number to her own made it all the more suspicious. When confronted, the Oxford team looked decidedly shifty and the girl in question never returned from the dressing room, making a speedy exit from the ground.

Despite this set-back, Oxford looked an improved side in the second half. Nonetheless, all their efforts were thwarted by the Cambridge defence, Eldridge and Murphy holding off the Oxford strikers whilst Griffiths and Bellfield ensured that their wingers had nowhere to run. Haenzi still had little to do.

At the other end of the pitch, Kate Robinson was again denied by some dodgy refereeing. Clean through on the Oxford goal, Robinson was cynically hacked down from behind. The referee, amazingly, did nothing, sending the Cambridge supporters into frenzy and even eliciting a look of surprise from the Oxford coach.

As it happened, the decision proved inconsequential and Cambridge closed the game out with relative ease.

Speaking to The Tab after the match, Blues Captain Leesa Haydock said “The result in no way reflects our overall domination of Oxford, but a win is a win and I will happily take that! The girls have been fantastic all season and all their hard work has been rewarded. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Meanwhile, The Tab can exclusively bring you news of a post-game mishap. Rumour has it that the Cambridge team somehow contrived to misplace the Varsity Trophy amidst their celebrations. It was later found in a bar and is still awaiting its return to Cambridge…

The Tab’s Woman of the Match: Kate Robinson