This Sunday will see the 115th annual varsity hockey match between Oxford and Cambridge being played at Southgate Hockey Centre in London.
The match has a long history, first taking place in Oxford in 1890. The following year, the match was played in London on neutral ground and has been ever since, changing venues a further ten times before the current venue was established at Southgate, which has been the location since 2003.
In total, Oxford has won the match 45 times, Cambridge has won the match 51 times, and it has been drawn 18 times. Previously, if the match was drawn, the previous holders of the trophy would retain it, but 2014 saw the introduction of a shoot-out in order to decide the winner. In the shoot-out, five members of each team are given eight seconds to score in free play against the opposing goalkeeper, which would make for an exciting (and extremely tense) finish to the match.
In recent times, Cambridge have come out on top, winning the trophy three years in succession from 2012. Last year’s match was extremely tight, finishing in a 2-1 victory for Cambridge. For many of the Oxford squad in this year’s varsity, it is likely to be the last varsity they compete in, and will be even hungrier for the win because of it.
This year, the Blues faced some difficult times early on in the season as the team settled in and team members took time to get to know each other. However, the group has subsequently begun to find form, finishing third in their British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) league, and reaching the quarter finals of the national BUCS cup. The team eventually only went out to a strong Durham side.
According to spectators, the squad has also displayed some very promising performances in the Saturday league recently. Team members will be extremely positive going into Sunday’s encounter.
Transport from Oxford is available for supporters to watch the match, but space is extremely limited, so interested parties are encouraged to approach members of the team to book spaces as soon as possible.