Drawing O*ford in the BUCS league is a blessing and curse for any Cambridge sports team. The added pressure of fixtures before Varsity can bring out nerves, adrenaline, and excitement, but for this year’s CULNC blues, it brought out the best.
With a full squad and a home crowd supporting, the blues took the first centre pass. The first few minutes proceeded goal-for-goal with light blue pressure building at the back from captain Libby and our defensive stalwart Jade. Their efforts in the D were complemented Millie IC, the best brick in the wall, and Izzy and Indie who delivered the ball into Zoë’s hot hands. Cambridge’s intensity and ambition from the first whistle brought us to a confident 11-5 lead, yet as O*ford entered the game, fashionably late, as ever, the score narrowed to 14-12 (don’t worry, Cambridge still leading) by the end of the first quarter.
Despite a confident start from the blues, O*ford weren’t giving up and the second quarter saw tensions on the court rise with the scoreboard. In the next 15 minutes, each team scored 15 goals bringing the score to 29-27 at half time. Whilst the blues were confident they could maintain their lead, celebrations weren’t in order yet. The intensity rose as the teams pushed this non-contact sport to its limits, nowhere more so than in the O*ford attacking circle. But even in the dogfight going on in the D, Cambridge were coming out victorious.
Jade’s ferocity continued unabated as Astrid’s (many) interceptions were smoothly converted into goals by new attacking combination Lucy Dodd and Lucy Walker. This dreamy duo, fuelled by slick feeds and patient play by Millie Q and Indie (respectively) saw the Cambridge lead stretch to 43-38 going into the last quarter, barely missing a shot.
At this point, the excitement was high as the dream of beating O*ford for the first time in 5 years started becoming a reality for this Cambridge side. The blues played a smashing last quarter with smiles on their faces (well – Indie’s grin made up for Jade’s rage), although we can’t say the same for the O*ford shooters! Heartbeats on and off the court rose as O*ford managed to scramble back to within one goal, but any flicker of hope from the dark blues
was quashed in the final 5 minutes. As the clock ticked down, the goals from MVP Lucy Dodd clocked up to a huge final score of 56-50.
Bring on the next clash!