“Absolute Filth” – Pembroke Triumph in Mixed Netball Cuppers

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Pictured:  the Hertford A and Pembroke teams pose for the cameras after a hard-fought final

Pembroke capped off a flawless Mixed Cuppers tournament run today at Lady Margaret Hall with a thumping 5-1 victory against Hertford A in the final.

After winning all seven of their Pool B matches, then beating Oriel A by five goals to two in the semi-final, Pembroke maintained their unbeaten streak to the end with a dominant performance in the final.

“Absolute filth”, the jubilant Pembroke team, showered in victorious Canti Prosecco, declared to The Oxford Student when asked for comment on their victory.

This win serves as redemption for the Pembroke side, many of whom had last month suffered a bitter 2-1 defeat in the semi-finals of the all-girls’ Cuppers competition against Keble, the eventual winners, who failed to enter a team for the mixed competition.

“This has been a good year for Pembroke”, the team told us, “And Hertford were a strong opposition in the final”, they added, commending their opponents, notable for the red ribbons all the team-members had tied in their hair.

The final itself showcased excellent display of netball skill by both sides.  Hertford A themselves exhibited some great attacking play, but Pembroke were just that more clinical throughout the match ; their frog-like leaps were higher than the opposition and they showed greater composure in front of goal, rarely missing a shot at the hoop.

Hertford A were also unbeaten on their road to final, winning all six of their Pool D matches and convincingly beating Somerville 5-1 in their semi-final. Their luck eventually ran out however. The Hertford team proved no match for the well-oiled Pembroke side.

Pembroke’s ultimate victory came after a marathon of netball, beginning at 9am, ending shortly after 5pm and which saw 59 matches being played in total over the whole day.

The pool games were frantic. Lasting for six minutes only, in contrast to the semi-finals and final, which lasted for two six minute halves, the intense pool games provided precious little time for players to ease themselves into the match before it was over.

For male players, the Mixed Netball Cuppers offered a refreshing novelty. Unlike in the league matches during Michaelmas and Hilary, men were permitted to play in any position on the court during the tournament, a rule which meant they could attack and defend in the shooting areas.

The minimum requirement of two boys per team, with a maximum of three, meant that there were a lot of players relatively new to the sport playing on the day. The short matches did not afford much time for novices to work out the rules and the permutations of playing in each position.

The atmosphere throughout the day was jovial, reflecting the informal occasion of a tournament situated for many on the cusp of exam season. Although it was a gloomy morning for the Pool A and B matches, a gorgeous summer sunshine struck the LMH courts in the afternoon.

Teams relaxed between matches with snacks and drinks, making the most of the luscious surroundings of the LMH gardens during this final event of the netball season.

Photo Credits: Ellen O’Brien