Tensions built up before the match, as the second team’s loss left Oxford having to shut their sobbing comrades out of their minds to focus on the task ahead.
The Blues suffered a poor start, with Cambridge having the edge and the majority of the possession. The only thing that prevented them gaining a sizeable lead was their totally abject shooting, displaying a stunning inability to get the ball through the net. As it was, Oxford seemed sluggish by comparison, and as they went into the first quarter break two points down it was clear that a slight change in game plan was needed.
At quarter time the coach was able to turn to two key players on the team, centre Eloise Waldon-Day and goal shooter Nat Redgrave (with Sir Steve proudly watching on in what was clearly the biggest sporting event he’d ever been a part of), initially rested because of slight injuries. Once the first choice line-up was restored, the Blues picked up the pace, with long, fast balls flying in from the mid court to the hero Redgrave who netted them with ease (being only a couple of inches shorter than the ten foot post does help). This Bolton-esque approach to netball proved effective, as from that point Oxford took charge of the match and gave themselves a comfortable lead as the half drew to a close.
After half time the match became even more one-sided. Redgrave and goal attack Natalie Hoon were almost metronomic in their shooting, punishing Cambridge at every opportunity, while in defence incoming Sports Fed president Hannah McKay dominated her opposition with a number of athletic blocks to deny the Tabs any chance of narrowing the gap. The match almost became dull for spectators, in fact, with the main source of interest being whether Oxford could outscore their opponents 2:1 or merely 3:2.
The final score of 48 goals to 32 was comfortably the greatest margin of victory in living memory, and although player of the match was awarded to Redgrave for her flawless display in the D, it could almost have been awarded to anyone in Dark Blue, such was their dominance.