16th March 2018
Falcons, Eagles and Kestrels Varsity
After 7 successive Cambridge victories, the OUAFC Colts finally inched past the CUAFC Kestrels to take the Men’s 3rd XI Varsity Trophy back to Oxford. In a roller-coaster game that saw both teams struggle to hold on to the lead, it was James Foord’s 89th minute winner that proved the decisive blow in an epic 4-3 thriller. Mention must go to Cambridge’s Kosi Nwuba for his powerful brace, and OUAFC scorers Patrick Barton (x2) and Matt Bradley.
The Oxford Furies were triumphant against the Cambridge Eagles in a comfortable 3-0 victory. Two well executed finishes from Alice Desquiens in the first half set the Furies on their way to avenging last year’s cruel defeat on penalty kicks. A defiant second half performance from the Light Blues kept the game finely balanced, but a late strike from Desquiens to complete her hat trick put the game out of reach for Cambridge.
The Falcons, flying high in BUCS 3A and pushing for the league title came into this Varsity fixture full of confidence and quiet expectation. Having witnessed victories for Oxford in Men’s 3rds and Women’s 2s respective games, the match became a must win to avoid an OUAFC whitewash on home territory.
Cambridge dominated the early stages of the game, as Luke Sefton produced a memorable moment of magic. Picking the ball up on the left flank, Luke viciously cut inside, bamboozling three Oxford defenders before curling an effort into the top right-hand corner from 25 yards out. ‘You are most vulnerable after just scoring’ and so the old saying proved correct as Oxford, having won a free kick out wide, scored from a free header. A tightly fought half ended 1-1.
Early into the second half, Oxford worked the ball well on the edge of the Cambridge box to find space for a shot that cruelly deflected past the hapless George Boughton. Not long after, Oxford were two ahead, again from a poorly defended set piece. In danger of capitulating, a response was needed. Joe Young found space on the edge of the Oxford box before delivering a well-executed cross to the back post for Nick Hope to volley home.
The momentum was with Cambridge as the Light Blues pushed hard for an equaliser that would send the game into extra time. A free kick on the left-hand side was launched into the box, creating a chaos in the six-yard box. Eventually the ball ended up with Harry Holt who lashed it into the back of the net. Full time 3-3 and inevitably more drama to follow.
The extra time period was extremely cagey with neither team wanting to overly commit in the fear of conceding and the game headed to a penalty shoot-out. What followed was a masterful display in the art of penalty saving from Cambridge’s George Boughton. Saving three consecutive penalties all to his left-hand side to win and retain the shield. Captain Dami Adebayo led the celebrations and the successful start to Henry Warne’s managerial career was maintained. A mention to the 3 Cambridge penalty takers is due, Joe Young, Alex Bull and Callum Parker, who all calmly slotted their penalties home.