Defeating their rivals Keble in a fast-paced match, Teddy Hall emerged triumphant at the girls’ Netball Cuppers tournament on Saturday 3rd May, which took place at the Community Arena in Marston.
With twenty colleges entering teams, the competition remained as popular as ever, and an OUNC representative remarked that there was a “really great turn-out” from the support- ing fans, who clustered round to watch the eight teams that made it through to the quarter finals: “We were so happy that so many people came to show support for their colleges and some of the hand-made signs were impressive.”
Beginning with group divisions in the morning games, the teams were subsequently sifted into the eight college teams who played in the afternoon quarter finals (Teddy Hall, Keble, New, Oriel, Somerville, LMH, St Anne’s and Brasenose A). Teddy Hall displayed a strong performance from the outset, defeating Brasenose A in their quarter final match. Rosie Thomas, a Brasenose player involved with organising Cuppers, explained that they were happy to accept this result. “Our team met the outlandishly tall team from Teddy Hall and having lost a couple of members of the morning’s team to finals revision, we unfortunately fell at this hur- dle. Losing to the eventual tournament cham- pions carries no shame, and we think Hall were worthy winners. Brasenose were proud to come away with our dignity and a little sunburn after a glorious morning.”
After some fraught matches, Keble – last year’s victors at Netball Cuppers 2013 – went on to defeat New in the semi-final and their team posed a strong threat to Teddy Hall in the final round. In spite of the fierce competition from Keble, who had cruised through their earlier rounds, Teddy Hall snatched the title from the previous holders to claim victory at Cuppers 2014.
Netball Cuppers is an ideal way to get involved with the sport at Oxford on a casual basis, as the official Oxford University Netball Club have a notoriously rigorous training schedule. Most college teams have a practice once or twice a week, plus friendly matches, and the opportunity is open to everyone.
The tournament involved short bursts of intense netball as each half was only six minutes, with one minute half-time allotted and just two minutes between matches, and so the day resulted in a lot of exhausted but happy players. The weather proved to be hot and sunny, and teams relaxed in the sunshine between rounds as all the games took place in one complex. Some colleges even had enough keen netballers for two teams: both Brasenose and Exeter entered an A team and a B team in the competition.
However, not all college teams managed to make it to the tournament this weekend. Kim Williams, Jesus netball captain, commented that, “Sadly we didn’t have enough players to pull together a team this year at such short notice, but a lot of our boys are keen to give it a try so we might get together a mixed team and have a go at Cuppers next month!”
Mixed Netball Cuppers is due to take place on Sunday 8th June, and is run by the OUNC Social Secretary.