Fans were already awaiting a feast of football this Michaelmas with El Clasico, the Tyne-Wear derby and the first Premier League meeting of Cardiff and Swansea on our screens in the coming weeks. Today, the Cuppers’ draw threw up a rivalry which trumps them all.
All eyes will be on Abingdon Road in 3rd Week as Brasenose take on their oldest foes, Lincoln. The sides have not locked swords since the Turl Street College dispatched their hosts 3-1 in February last year. They will also meet twice in the League following Lincoln’s relegation from the JCR Premiership.
Having scooped the trophy 14 times, Brasenose have the superior Cuppers history. Lincoln, however, have the recent pedigree. In 2010 they won the trophy as a 3rd Divison side, beating St Catz 4-0 at Iffley Road, and suffered extra-time heartbreak at the hands of Wadham in last season’s semi-final.
“It’s always a big match for Brasenose against Lincoln. Being drawn against them, especially in the first round of Cuppers, is huge,” said Brasenose captain Pelham Barron. “It will definitely be exciting, a must-watch game. I have great confidence in my squad, and a win here could be just the sort of push we need to make a deep run in the tournament.”
Alex Wilson, the Lincoln captain, said: “I was gutted we couldn’t go all the way last year but we’re determined to make it to Iffley this time and look forward to getting our campaign off to a flying start by putting a few past Brasenose.”
Brazil were famously awarded possession of the Jules Rimet trophy in 1970 for all eternity after winning three World Cups. Having won the last three finals, it is surprising that Worcester haven’t petitioned OUAFC to keep the Cuppers trophy.
Yet a fourth successive title will not be walk in the park. Worcester’s “golden generation” has all-but-graduated, leaving their new recruits to tackle Merton/Mansfield in the first round. Wadham, who Worcester swept aside to complete their Cuppers hat-trick, have an easier ride. They are one of four teams to receive a bye.
A tricky test awaits them in the second round, however. They will play the winners of Corpus/Linacre’s clash with New, who reached the semi-finals last time.
Cuppers Round 1
LMH v Magdalen
Worcester v Merton/Mansfield
Oriel v Queen’s
St Hildas v Somerville
Teddy Hall v Univ
Exeter v St John’s
Brasenose v Lincoln
Trinity v Keble
New v Corpus/Linacre
Pembroke v Christ Church
St Hugh’s v St Anne’s
St Catz v Jesus
Byes: Hertford, St Peter’s, Wadham, Balliol
Ties to be played in 3rd Week