LIVE BLOG: Football Cuppers Semi-Finals

The Tab is bringing you all the action from the pitches this afternoon, with Pembroke vs. Catz beginning at 12.54 and Fitz vs. Robinson at 13.30

2016 Cuppers Cuppers football live blog Sport the tab The Tab Cambridge

We’re live at the pitches for the 2016 Cuppers Semi-Finals.

Last year’s runners-up Pembroke are playing underdogs Catz at 12.45, while Fitz have trekked all the way over to the remote Robinson pitches – so remote you pass a ‘Welcome to Cambridge’ sign to get there – for today’s other semi-final, kicking off at 13.30.

Reporters: Joseph Spencer is reporting from the Pembroke pitches, while Joe Abel, Steph Sinclair and Patrick Tice are updating us on the Fitz vs. Robinson game.

16.23 We’re going to wrap up the live-blog there. Thanks for being with us and many thanks to Joe Abel, Patrick Tice and Stephanie Sinclair who braved a 120 minute (plus half, extra and injury times) match in the freezing wind.

To recap:

Pembroke emphatically triumphed over St. Catz 4-1 and are through to their third consecutive final, having lost to Jesus and St. John’s in the 2014 and 2015 finals respectively.

Robinson squeezed past 2013 Winners Fitz in an extremely tight game that was decided on penalties.

The oldest cup competition in Britain will have a new winner on Friday as neither of the finalists has won before.

See you all on Friday evening for the final! It promises to be a good one.

16.19 Interesting fact, there will be a new name on the Cuppers trophy, which predates the FA Cup, this Friday.

Neither Pembroke nor Robinson have ever won it.

16.17 Fitz supporters are very sombre. Understandably so. Their team fought hard in tough conditions. The match could have gone either way and it came down to the narrowest of penalty shootouts (credit to both goalkeepers for several saves).

The final will be Friday 26th February at Grange Road-the University Rugby Ground. It’s looking like it will be a good one.

16.14 ROBINSON VICTORIOUS Well, well, well. What can we say? Robinson are a Second Division side currently at the top of the Division and in prime position for promotion. The same position Pembroke were in when they reached the final two years ago.

16.13 Absolute heartbreak for Fitz. Robinson victorious 3-1 on pens after a goalless game and a tense extra-time period.


16.12 Fitz score. They need to save!

16.11 Robinson score! Fitz have to score to stay in it.

16.09 Dan Sandbach for Fitz and….ROBINSON SAVE. Good work by Harrison. Still 1-0 to Robinson and Fitz have yet to convert a penalty.

16.09 I’m told that Robinson have ‘shit chants’. Not that the Tab live-feed team are biased at all…


16.08 FITZ MISS. Goes very wide. Advantage Robinson.


16.07  Wind issues keep delaying the penalties.


16.06 FITZ SAVE. Unbelievable first save by Henry Warne. You can see why he’s a Blue.

16.04 Penalties. Tension palpable.

Robinson are taking the first penalty…

16.03 Battle of the Goalkeepers:

Fitz have Uni 1st goalie

 Robinson have Uni ends goalie
 Henry Warne (Fitz) V John Harrison (Robinson)

16.02 PENALTIES Team talks in progress. I shudder to think of what is going through the goalkeepers’ minds


16.00 Fitz vs. Robinson: Frantic scenes here in last few mins. In the words of the lovely Megan Millar ‘Everyone’s everywhere!!!’


15.51 Fitz vs. Robinson 0-0 (extra-time at the moment)


The teams are still deadlocked

15.50 Fitz vs. Robinson: This game is developing a bit of bite as Fitz defender Dunn-Massey becomes second player in last 5 minutes to be booked

15.44 Fitz vs. Robinson: Fitz have hit the bar! So close to breaking the deadlock.

15.42 Fitz vs. Robinson: STILL 0-0. It’s half-time in extra-time and unless something changes quickly we’ll have a dreaded penalty shootout in fifteen minutes.

15.40 Fitz vs. Robinson: Spectators are snuggling for warmth on the sidelines.


15.34 Fitz vs. Robinson: The wind is causing utter havoc and making it difficult for both sides. Still 0-0. Queens’-Robinson pitches evidently have fewer surrounding hedges than Pem pitches, though the wind was a problem there as well (not least for the fingers of your live reporter).

15.32 Fitz vs. Robinson: Spence here. Sorry for the slight hiatus, James has had to leave after a three hour seat in the hot seat and I’ve just got back from Pem pitches and taken over.

15.19 Fitz vs. Robinson: Fitz discussing tactics.

Serious stuff

Serious stuff

15.18 Fitz vs. Robinson: Full time and this one is still 0-0. EXTRA TIME and then possibly penalties will follow.

15.14 Fitz vs. Robinson:  Fitz key player arrives. Ben Shires better late than never will be a threat from corners.
Right on cue

Right on cue

15.11 Fitz vs. Robinson: Just wide from Fitz!! Oh so close and an audible cry of relief comes up from the Robinson faithful.

15.09 Fitz vs. Robinson: August Hepp giving plenty of sass to the ref after conceding a free kick. The boy looks like an angel but has the tongue of a Victorian chimney sweep.

14.59 Fitz vs. Robinson: Fitz starting to put pressure on in final stages.

14.54 Fitz vs. Robinson: Our gaggle of female fans seem engrossed in the game.

True supporters

True supporters

14.50 Pembroke vs. Catz: The Tab has consulted with supporters, and while Marcus and Berenson-Barros were close, Captain Tom Ogier is The Tab’s Man of the Match.

14.47 Fitz vs. Robinson:The game is really calming down. This dog looks most likely to score at the minute.

Dogged determination

Dogged determination

14.45 Fitz vs. Robinson: On another note, news is just reaching us that Fitz ladies have won netball cuppers (albeit on a technicality). Can their male, footballing counterparts do the same?

14.42 Pembroke vs. Catz: Diplomatic shaking of hands. Catz gutted but they’ve had a great run and can be very proud of their giant killing in the quarter final. Always careful Pem manager Trev is giving a post-match talk to his team.


14.40 Pembroke vs. Catz: Pembroke going for a fifth… shoot from distance but goalie collects. Kick goes. FULL TIME. Diplomatic shaking of hands

14.39 Pembroke vs. Catz: GOAL!! That makes it 4-1. Neilsen slots it home from point blank range. Delirium in the stands. Pembroke jubilant.

14.39 Fitz vs. Robinson: Great Chances at both ends. This game is opening up…

14.38 Pembroke vs. Catz: Berenson-Barros off, Mellor on. Into injury time now.

14.37 Pembroke vs. Catz: The spine of this team is the side that got to the final last year. The experience and coolness in the latter stages shows.

14.34 Pembroke vs. Catz: Bittlestone crosses in but Berenson-Barros fails to get a head to it. Surprising Pem haven’t scored more.

14.33 Pembroke vs. Catz: Mass sarcastic applause for Catz’s captain’s clearance.

14.32 Pembroke vs. Catz: James Burdett has been a rock for Pembroke at the back all game.

14.31 Pembroke vs. Catz: Pembroke fitness is astonishing. No signs of weariness yet. Tuesday 8am fitness sessions have been paying off.

14.30 Pembroke vs. Catz: Pemborke’s dominance is not being conveted into goals. Possible contributory factor is the low average height of the Pem forwards (fun fact).

14.29 Pembroke vs. Catz: Pem’s Nielsen shows no signs of tiredness as he sprints down the right and his cross goes behind.

14.27 Fitz vs. Robinson: Half Time it’s 0-0. Fitz looking the better side but Robinson’s defence is living up to its impressive reputation. This game could still go either way. A stroke of brilliance might be necessary to win this.

14.26 Pembroke vs. Catz: Berenson-Barros skins a right back. The Pem wingers have run Catz ragged today. Will Gayne comes on for Will Glennerster.

14.22 Pembroke vs. Catz: A Catz player just accidentally ran into the ref, fell over, and appealled to the same ref he collided with for a foul. General laughter from Pem supporters.

14.21 Pembroke vs. Catz: Some swearing from Cazt number 10. Tut tut. After early Catz pressure this half, Pembroke now seem very comfortable.

14.20 Pembroke vs. Catz: Nielsen skins a man and crosses into the box. Momentarily the Catz box is a sea of Pem blue, looking for the killer shark bite. Catz defender comes from nowhere to clear.

14.19 Fitz vs. Robinson: Joe Gregory putting in a Man of the Match performance here at left back. A thrilling display by the Fitz fresher

14.19 Pembroke vs. Catz: Entering final 20 minutes. Both sides show no signs of tiring.

14.18 Pembroke vs. Catz: Huge long ball from Catz is cleared by Demos.

14.17 Pembroke vs. Catz: A lot back and forth at the moment but Pembroke are fundamentally comfortable.

14.15 Pembroke vs. Catz: We believe Pembroke only has one (mainland) European in the side… but TWO Americans #EUref

14.14 Fitz vs. Robinson: The lovely Megan Miller arrives to join the away fans. Hepp noticeably lifts his work rate.

14.11 Pembroke vs. Catz: Oldfield through ball excites crowd but leads to nothing.

14.08 Pembroke vs. Catz: Bittlestone tacked in Pem box. It’s kicked and a Catz shot is unleashed. Pem keeper tips it behind.

14.05 Pembroke vs. Catz: Justo is coming off. Replaced by former captain Peter Harries.

14.02 Pembroke vs. Catz: Glennerster hand ball in Catz half. Pem goalie gathers a dangerous ball.

14.01 Fitz vs. Robinson: Rutzler with another good shot deflected wide of target. The man is surely a must for a call up into the varsity squad. A mad scramble around the goal mouth is cleared by the Robinson defenders. Fitz beginning to apply the pressure on their division 2 opposition.

14.00 Pembroke vs. Catz: “Wind has swtiched the game around”, says observant Pembroke supporter.

13.56 Pembroke vs. Catz: Nielsen shoots and misses. Glennerster is back

13.55 Pembroke vs. Catz: As predicted, Catz have had far more of the ball this half.

13.54 Pembroke vs. Catz: Pembroke is playing with ten men – Glennerster has gone off. No sub yet. They’re patching him up and he’ll probably return it seems.

13.54 Fitz vs. Robinson:This Fitz side is clearly making a statement about the upcoming EU referendum. It has no fewer than 5 EU member states represented in the starting 11. No doubt Mr Cameron will be pleased #StongerIn

13.53 Fitz vs. Robinson: First chance of the game for Fitz. Rutzler does well but the ball bobbles wide of the target.

13.52 Pembroke vs. Catz: Another Catz player in the ground has been hurt. Their number 5 has been playing well so far.

13.50 Pembroke vs. Catz: SECOND HALF. The crowd has grown to at least 50.

13.44 Fitz vs. Robinson: Neither team managing to get any sort of hold in the match so far. August Hepp in particular, despite has boyish good looks, is letting the wind get the better of his long passing game.

13.42 Pembroke vs. Catz: HALF TIME. The wind is very strong. Pembroke is playing with the wind so second half could see some developments.

13.41 Pembroke vs. Catz: Justo takes the corner for Pembroke. Marcus Nielsen hits the post.

13.40 Pembroke vs. Catz: We’re into injury time. There;s a cross into the box but Catz number 5 clears it behind.

13.39 Pembroke vs. Catz: Catz freekick is headed away by James Burdett, Pembroke fresher centre back.

13.38 Fitz vs. Robinson: The early stages are being dominated by the wind as an early Robinson free kick goes awry

13.37 Pembroke vs. Catz: High Catz cross into box, but Catz unable to do more than head it behind. Pembroke’s Nielsen breaks but the goalie comes out and blocks.

13.36 Fitz vs. Robinson: The whistle goes for kick off in this eagerly awaited bottom of the Tompkins Table clash. Who will come out on top? Anyone’s guess.

13.36 Pembroke vs. Catz: Corner goes behind. Pembroke domination Ogier shoots 20 yards out but misses.

13.35 Fitz vs. Robinson: Robinson will be relying on their strong defence which is littered with university defenders.

13.33 Fitz vs. Robinson: Team news: Fitz have a strong line up despite missing goal hero from the last round Joe Painter through injury.

13.32 Pembroke vs. Catz: Justo takes the corner but there is a pause in play for an injured Catz player. He’s their number 10 and he looks to be in a lot of pain.

13.31 Pembroke vs. Catz: Berenson-Barros shot from three yards blocked by the goalie. Corner.

13.30 Pembroke vs. Catz: Ogier tackles in midfield. Through-ball to Nielsin who’s through but just shoots it wide.

13.28 Meanwhile, the other Cuppers semi-final is about to start. With 5 minutes until kick off in Fitz vs Robinson the tension is running high. This is the biggest match for either college since Fitzwilliams cuppers winning campaign back in 2013

13.28 CATZ SCORE (at last!) with a confident shot from Garetho Go just a few yards out. It’s now 3-1.

13.27 It appears Pem goalie isn’t taking kicks either.

13.26 Tom Ogier gliding across the mid-field.

13.25 It’s getting a bit testy, but the ref seems to be letting the game flow. On another note, there’s a rather chilly breeze pout here.

13.24 Marcus Nielsen scuffs a shot but the keeper collects.

13.23 But Catz aren’t managing to get shots off and under serious pressure from Pem counters.

13.22 Catz having a good spell of possession now.

13.20 Catz player falls over in the box. No penalty given.

13.19 Foul. Pem freekick. Catz is getting a bit desperate.

13.17 And another! Pembroke is winning 3-0. OWN GOAL this time, as Justo charges into the box and takes a weak shot – keeper then spills the ball coming in off a Catz player. 23 minutes in and this is looking worrying for Catz.

13.16 GOAL! 2-0 Pem

13.15 Catz have a shot but whistle blown by ref for offside.

13.14 Goal scare. Looked like it was in. Chip shot by Pem’s captain, Ogier. Ogier is on fire (not literally).

13.13 Bittlestone throw in easily handled by Catz left back

13.13 Trev, PCAFC’s Manager, yells “put some pace on the ball”.

13.12 Free kick from  Oldfield goes behind.

13.11 Demos (Pem centre back) is a Hughes Hall player who plays for Pembroke (allowed under the rules as Hughes Hall don’t have a team)

13.10 Yet another Catz goal kick by their left centre-back.

13.09 Brilliantly-named Zach Berenson-Barros burns opposition left winger, but the ball goals out

13.08 Catz defending deep again. Free kick.

13.07 Pembroke appear lifted.

13.06 Pembroke GOAL – Captain Tom Ogier makes it 1-0 twelve minutes in, after an excellent cross by Oldfield.

13.05 Catz throw into box. Cleared but Pem defending deep.

13.04 A lot of kicking around the midfield.

13.03 Pembroke left-back Oldfield pushes forwards but muscels out.

13.02 Catz goalkicks are being taken by a defender because the goalie isn’t confident with them.

13.01 Excellent kick by Pembroke’s goalkeeper is left and ends up being a goal kick at the other end.

13.00 The figure of James Norton-Brown arrives to join me. That makes a grand total of two in the crowd.

12.59 Catz foray forward is cleared by Pembroke defenders. Resulting throw in leads to a cross into the box which is also cleared.

12.57 A series of throw-ins either way so far.

12.56 Not much of the anticipated large crowd has turned up yet, but Pembroke supporters have brought their famous chants.

Famous chants

Famous chants

12.54 It’s begun, kick-off at last. Bittlestone crossed into the box, with the ball assuredly collected by the goalkeeper.

12.50 Kick-off any time now. Catz are in a distinctly maroon colour, Pembroke are proudly sporting blue.

12.45 Joseph Spencer, former PCAFC 3rd XI Captain, checking in – completely unbiased commentary coming up. Safely arrived at the Pembroke pitches in the nick of time, but it’s looking rather overcast and I’ve forgotten my umbrella. Pembroke vs Jesus semi last year was played in torrential downpour – an omen for Pem victory?