After a 5-2 win in their first game of the season against Oriel, Brasenose’s Men’s Firsts went into their JCR Third Division clash against Univ quietly optimistic.
Their opponents had lost their previous game to Corpus/Linacre in the first round of Cuppers, and were facing an availability crisis, with a number of first and second team players missing due to academic commitments.
However, the scale of the mismatch between the sides could not have been foreseen.
“We thought it might be our day,” Brasenose’s Tom Steer told Cherwell, “when we scored with our seventeenth attack.”
Indeed, the visitors were dominant from the first whistle to the last, battering Univ’s limited team and playing a free-flowing brand of attacking football.
Going into half-time, BNC were ten goals to the good, and it would have been easy for them to take their foot off the gas somewhat.
But the 2016 Cuppers winners did not ease off their opponents. Indeed, with one eye on their goal difference at the end of the season, Brasenose were just as ruthless in the second half, bagging another ten goals to seal a 20-0 win.
Steer and captain Calum Flintoff both hit the back of the net four times, with Oli Hanson, Johannes Fuest, Sunny Huang, and Tom Hurleston all grabbing braces. Nimrod Nehushtan, Ed Shorland, Sean Cuddihy, and Joey Fisher rounded off the scoring.
Univ skipper Misha Jones cited the scheduling of the game as a major reason for his side’s defeat. “It was good to give several members of our team their debuts for Univ football,” he told Cherwell. “But also a shame that their first match had to be such a heavy loss.”
As if to prove the old adage that a week is a long time in football, Univ bounced back to hold Trinity to a 2-2 draw in their next league game, but still languish at the foot of the bottom JCR division.
Brasenose, meanwhile, won their next fixture, beating St. Anne’s 6-3 in Cuppers, but have failed to turn their goal glut into any meaningful momentum, and are now three games without a win following Saturday’s Cuppers defeat at Wadham.
Fresher Will Stone was hardly glowing in his assessment of Brasenose’s performance in their victory: “we were fairly clinical,” he told Cherwell.
Flintoff, however, was more optimistic, suggesting that the winning margin proved Brasenose were on their way back “to the highest echelons of the college game.”
“Sights have now transitioned to Cuppers. Next year’s Cuppers.”