Women's Cuppers Quarter Final Round-Up
As the 2018-19 Women’s Cuppers competition (barely, because of the snow) reaches (and passes) the Semi Final stage, we take a look at the dramatic, hard fought and wildly entertaining Quarter Final match ups.
Hertford/Keble 4-1 Queen’s
Queens held Keble/Hertford at 0-0 in a tense first half, but quickly after the break, Hertble broke the deadlock. Viola Lough put a beautifully weighted pass through to Eleanor Frew to score the first goal. Very quickly after that, Lough scored herself and Hertble had control of the tie. Some more patient build up lead to two more goals for Hertble, with Annie Simm providing for Frew and Lough to add to their tally. Queens got a goal back through Greta Thompson who left defence to try and keep Queens in it, but the game ended 4-1 Hertble.
New 3-3 OSler (NEW WIN 4-3 ON PENALTIES)
New started off slowly, trying to get their heads into the game but let a goal in within five minutes. They stepped up their game and although they kept the pressure on, Osler were able to score two more goals in the first half. HT score: New 0-3 Osler.
New put their heads together for a passionate team talk during halftime to smooth out some strategy and entered the second half strongly. Things gradually heated up on Osler's side of the pitch with a few close shots before New scored their first goal. Two more in and that was time.
Deciding on penalties, each team put forward five players. Neck on neck both the first and second players from each team scored, then one saved on each side. One more each scored and then New College managed to save the final penalty, drawing the game to a close 4-3 win on penalties.
Merton/Mansfield 4-1 Brasenose
It was a decidedly wintery quarter-final between Brasenose and the M&Ms, with a biting wind cutting across the pitch encouraging both teams to keep the ball low to the ground. Brasenose were dedicated in midfield but good link-up play from the M&Ms reaped benefits, and they took an early lead. At the other end of the pitch the M&Ms had a strong defence anchored by Captain Sara Harb at right back, and with keeper Georgie Whitaker putting in an excellent performance they maintained a clean sheet, despite Brasenose forcing multiple corners and several on target shots. The wind continued to challenge both teams in the second half, with several attacks derailed by over-powered crosses and shots. However, consistent pressure from the M&Ms brought results, with further goals from both Blair Li and Ella Vickers Strutt, bringing them to a 4-0 lead. Brasenose were undaunted by this and maintained a good work ethic throughout, despite the horrendous conditions, with their eventual goal well-deserved.
ST CATZ 2-1 SAINTS
On a blustery Saturday, St Cats won the toss on their home turf and chose to play with the wind in their favour for the first half. Both teams took some time to settle into the game but, after finding their feet, the Saints looked the dominant team with strong movement down both wings. Consistent pressure paid off with a goal for Rebecca North in the bottom left corner.
St Cats weren't to be behind for long however - the Saints were caught unaware on a swift counter attack from Lily Dubuc who was able to dip one just below the crossbar to bring the home team level.
The second half, then, began on level footing. The Saints looked to hold most of the possession but despite several clever moves towards the goal no one was able to find the back of the net. In a move what would ultimately define the game, a St Cats midfielder managed to squeeze a shot past the keeper and into the goal.
Despite continued hard work from both teams, Saints couldn't find a reply and the scoreline was to stay at 2-1 for the rest of the game, knocking them out of the tournament.