Last week Oxford’s Varsity Taekwondo squad inflicted a stinging defeat on Cambridge’s team on the Tabs’ home turf. The men’s B squad were the first to hit the mats. The Dark Blues came out with some fantastic performances, many of the squad punching above their weight against more experienced opponents. Cambridge’s underestimation of the boys’ fighting spirit would be their downfall, leading to an Oxford 4-1 victory in the opening matches of the day. The home support was shaken by the explosive cheers from the Oxford faithful as the visitors took the opening lead.
True to form the women’s team dominated their matches, racking up three quick victories to secure both the women’s shield, and the entire competition already for Oxford, regardless of the men’s A result. In fairness, Cambridge did put up more of a fight to bring the women’s matches to an end with a 3-2 score to Oxford, but it was too little too late for the Light Blues. The guests had been awake for hours, trekking from Oxford at six in the morning, but they had clearly caught the home side napping.
Such was the size of Oxford’s presence that there were fighters enough to compete in some exhibition matches in between the main Varsity matches. Cambridge couldn’t keep up with all Oxford’s competitors – the visitors’ squad far outgunned the home side’s in terms of size and this was echoed through raucous support for the invading Blues.
Finally the day climaxed with the gritty battle that was the men’s A shield event. Though it would be petty and unprofessional to make reference to dubious refereeing decisions in these bouts, what is undeniable is that the Oxford A squad fought valiantly against a tough Cambridge side. The first three fights went Cambridge’s way, however the day was far from being left on a sour note for the guests as the final two Oxford men tenaciously beat back the opposition, leading to a narrow 2-3 loss and the men’s A shield being wrestled out of Oxford’s grasp for the first time in many years.
So the day ended with Oxford bringing back the women’s A shield and being proclaimed winners of the Varsity 2013 plate. The huge support on both sides carried the day’s events with good spirits leading to both sides enjoying a drink with each other in the pub afterwards. Two out of three isn’t bad and we’ll be looking forward to welcoming Cambridge back next year on home turf.