EMMA STEVENS watched Cambridge lose this Varsity encounter in agonising fashion.
The build up to the 2013 Korfball Varsity match was promising, with wins for both the Cambridge alumni and second teams.
The game started explosively, with Oxford taking the lead just two minutes in. Cambridge answered with a goal of their own a minute later by Captain Thomas Hodges. Both teams fought hard, and Oxford proved themselves to be worthy opponents, as neither team seemed able to get a break. One team would score, only to be followed by an equalising goal from the opposition. Cambridge goals came in the form of a beautifully executed running-in shot and a sneaky goal from under the post, both from Thomas Hodges and a couple of high pressure penalty shots by Hannah Lindsay.
Half-time saw the score equal at 5-5.
The second half got underway with Oxford and Cambridge tightening their defences, making shooting opportunities harder to come by. Both teams upped their games, but 20 minutes into the second half, Oxford pulled away, sneaking three goals past Cambridge – bringing the score to 5-8. Despite now chasing a considerable lead, Cambridge fought on, strengthening their defence and re-establishing their first half structure.
They were rewarded with a couple of penalty opportunities, the first being painfully close to going in, but the second going in thanks to Thomas Hodges, bringing the score to 6-8. Going into the last five minutes, shots were made by both sides but a stunning goal from Jack Stockdale brought the score to 7-8. Seconds later he sunk another, but this was cruelly disallowed.
With only a minute to go, Cambridge looked for every opportunity to equalise, but unfortunately time was not on their side as the final whistle was blown with the score remaining Cambridge 7 – 8 Oxford. A thrilling 60 minutes which was well fought by both sides. Oxford can look after the trophy this year, but there is no doubt that Cambridge fully intend to bring it back home in 2014.
Team: Tom Hodges (4), Will Buttinger, Sue White, Emma Griffiths, Jack Stockdale (1), Ed Brent, Hannah Lindsay (2), Helen Webster
Subs: Chandu Wickramarachchi, Jenni French, Anna Weguelin