In this year’s hockey mixed Cuppers final, favourites Christ Church faced off against a combined team from St Anne’s and Queen’s.
Whilst they boasted some experienced players, the recently-formed ‘Quanne’s’ side had only played four matches as a team before this match, all without a goalkeeper.
The match started well for Quanne’s, who swiftly won a penalty flick in the opening minutes. However, they could not convert this opportunity, after they were denied an early lead by the nimble Christ Church keeper. The frustration continued as Christ Church charged down a string of successive short corners until their defence was eventually cracked by a smart reverse from Johann Perera.
Another goal followed soon afterwards courtesy of Ed Audland and things began to look more positive for the Quanne’s side.
However, the team took a literal blow when star player Helen Megone was struck in the face with the ball from close range. Sadly she was taken to the John Radcliffe and after a lengthy delay the game was resumed.
The injury was a sign of things to come as the game turned scrappy. As tempers flared, Christ Church received the first of several green cards, which allowed Quanne’s to take advantage as James Hawrych snatched a third goal.
After the half-time whistle blew, both teams received rousing team-talks from their captains. As the second half progressed, the extreme heat of the evening began to take an effect on the players. Christ Church’s were able to bring on fresh legs in the form of formerly unused substitutes, while Quanne’s suffered on account of their non-existent keeper.
It should have been one-way traffic as Christ Church pushed forward.
Despite this, the last ten minutes saw Quanne’s superstars Danielle van Gilst and Ayaz Mohamedali find the backboard to spark wild celebrations among the combined XI’s players. The game ended 5-1.
Quanne’s departed as Cuppers champions, having come a long way for so recently formed a team. After winning Water Polo and Floorball Cuppers and the Summer Eights M1 headship last weekend, it was a swift crash back down to earth for Christ Church.