WOMEN’S FOOTBALL – Oxford thrashed 6-0 in pre-Varsity encounter

MEGAN HUGHES reports on a game dominated by the light blues.

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The battles lines had been well and truly drawn when Cambridge Women’s Football Blues faced Oxford across the pitch on Wednesday. A mere three days ahead of their Varsity Clash, the team from ‘The Other Place’ had cobbled together a side to travel the distance between our two cities. From the referee’s whistle, the Blues dominated the game, and their rivals could only look on as sublime pass after exquisite touch outfoxed them again and again.

The scoring opened with a beautifully-placed free kick, taken by Furtwangler, which curled deliciously into the top corner over the outstretched arms of the Oxford keeper. It wasn’t long after, the floodgates now very much open, that Bale’s long-range shot dipped under the bar, doubling the Cambridge lead.

As the half drew to a close, the Blues relaxed into the rhythm of their play, and took control of a game which looked increasingly desperate for their opponents. Furtwangler then struck her second of the game, a corner which floated over Dark Blue heads and into the netting. The break came with Cambridge, three goals up, looking distinctly composed, whilst Oxford, yet to score, looking distinctly uncomfortable.

The ladies had every reason to be delighted – with a huge boost in confidence before the big one on Saturday

Despite an initial burst of energy from the Dark Blues, dealt with by a solid Cambridge defence, it soon became apparent that the second half was going to be another forty five minutes of Light Blue supremacy. The Oxford defence, which had always looked shaky, soon showed signs of weakness; last years’ Blues captain Van Thorenburg took no prisoners, swiftly capitalising on sloppy defending to shoot home the first her two goals in today’s match, the second scored in quick succession. Whatever hopes Oxford might have had for the second half were well and truly crushed by this point; Bale’s final appearance on the scoresheet came when the Blues had been reduced to ten men through injury, yet continued to smother their opponents.

All in all, Wednesday saw a convincing victory for the Blues against an Oxford side that, though depleted, simply couldn’t cope. The handshakes after the game might have been amicable enough, but beneath the smiles Oxford were seething. They might feel hard done by, and they might even feel that they could have won if they’d had a fuller squad, but in truth the game was little more than an exhibition of Cambridge skill, and of Oxford incapability.

The Varsity match, which will take place at 2pm on Fenner’s Cricket Pitch this Saturday, will see Oxford return with renewed enthusiasm and belief in themselves. As far as the Blues are concerned, however, it will also see this same enthusiasm and belief well and truly destroyed by a Cambridge side who, when on form, are unstoppable.