Oxford Win the 80th Anniversary Varsity Match Against Cambridge

President’s Varsity Report 2010

Saturday 27th February marked a historic day for Oxford Judo, with the 80th anniversary Varsity judo match taking place in the Oxford Town Hall, 40 years since it was last held there. We ended up with around 200 spectators, creating an exciting atmosphere in the hall and spurring on our teams.


The day didn’t start too well for Oxford, with the city team losing 6-2 to Cambridge. Fortunately the student teams brought the fight back to them, with the men’s B (Behemoths) team winning 5-3, the women’s team winning 4-3, and the men’s A (Blues) team winning 3-0 in the fight-off after a 4-4 draw. See below for a full account of the day’s matches. Congratulations to everyone that fought on the day, and many thanks to all of the stewards, referees, first aiders and announcers, and, of course, supporters, that helped to make the whole event run smoothly!


Benoit ‘THE BOMB’ Bourbie led the charge against Cambridge, but came up against a (very) heavy opponent and couldn’t escape a crushing pin. Alan ‘THE BEAST’ Patrick gave a high-level French player a hard time on the mat, but was also pinned for ippon. ‘JABBERWOCK’ Jim Birnie took on a Hungarian international 3rd Dan, but was quickly caught with his own favourite throw – a drop seoi-nage. Undeterred by the strength of the Cambridge team, Luis ‘EL PIRATA’ Patatas came back from injury just in time to fight, and ended up throwing his opponent for ippon!


With only one win for Oxford so far, the pressure was on Ben ‘TEAPOT’ Clifton, facing a Bath player, and ‘THE MACHO MAN’ Henry Winney, facing a French international, to pull it back. Both of them gave impressive performances against skilled opponents, but eventually Ben was caught when he let his guard down for a split second, and Henry conceded a yuko that ultimately decided the contest. Last of the city men, Alex ‘SUPERFLY’ Jones took on an opponent 14kg heavier than himself in a lightning-fast battle that ended with him being countered with an ura-nage for ippon. Finally, team captain Jordan ‘WOTEVA’ Doherty saved some face for the Oxford side by arm-locking the same opponent she defeated last year.


The B team started in excellent form, with Frank ‘LEVIATHAN’ Curry executing a perfectly-timed hiza-guruma for ippon and Nick ‘THE TANK’ Rounthwaite beating his opponent by two yukos after a gruelling 5-minute bout. However, the scores were soon evened up as Matt ‘THE MASHER’ Taylor and James ‘EL CID’ Fowler lost against experienced opponents. Jonny ‘THE PLOUGH’ Goodfellow pushed Oxford into the lead again, pinning his opponent for ippon, but then Bobby ‘THE GODFATHER’ Previti was held down by a Cambridge player with a strong ground game. With the scores still even, it was up to Teddy ‘THE BOAR’ Chadd and Chris ‘THE CAVEMAN’ Kavanagh to win the match for Oxford. Teddy pulled out a huge harai-makikomi and Chris quickly dispatched his opponent on the ground, leaving the score at 5-3 to Oxford.



The women’s team was exceptionally strong this year, fielding four black belts and a brown belt as they attempted to retain the women’s trophy for the eighth year running. The match got off to a flying start as ‘MAGIQUE’ Melissa Canseliet smashed her opponent for ippon within seconds. Next up, Karen ‘THE KARENATOR’ Kruska had a tough battle with a much heavier opponent and was ultimately pinned for ippon. From there on it was decisive victory for Oxford, as Amy ‘I AIN’T POSH’ Ellis-Thompson threw the Cambridge women’s captain in seconds and ‘THE BANSHEE’ Becky Bayliss dispatched the Cambridge president for the third year in a row! Last up, Emma ‘SLASH ‘N’ Burnett had a long fight with Cambridge’s lightest, but eventually threw her twice for wazari, leaving the match a 4-1 victory for Oxford.



The climactic final match saw Oxford pitted against a light but experienced Cambridge team in yet another very close contest for the Matsudaira cup. Bradley ‘THE CRUSHER’ Joyce lived up to his name as he executed a perfect BRAD SMASH for ippon. Ifor ‘THE PRINCE OF WALES’ Capel followed suit, throwing Cambridge’s previous president for ippon after chasing him around the mat for three minutes. Next it was a battle of the captains as Justin ‘THE GRIZZLY’ Gregory took on his opposite number. Still recovering from injury, his opponent was able to resist his crushing throws, and Justin was ultimately thrown for ippon after being concussed halfway through the match. Juan ‘PANCHO’ Francisco ‘THE SLAMMER’ Martinez Sepulveda pushed Oxford further into the lead with a huge ura-nage, leaving the scores at 3-1 halfway through the match. However, Cambridge’s lightweights fought back. Andrew ‘THE BONE-QUAKER’Stewart put up a better fight this year against Cambridge’s Austrian international, but was beaten with an armlock. Vitek ‘THE BARBARIAN’ Sipal had to deal with a Brazilian Ju-Jitsu player that didn’t like to stand up, but submitted to a strangle after taking his opponent to within a single penalty of being disqualified. With the scores level, Hugh ‘THE JACKAL’ Leonard pushed Oxford ahead again, pinning his opponent for ippon. This left Nick ‘GAUCHO’ Suarez to face a determined Cambridge opponent, and despite a strong performance he was caught and thrown for ippon.


With the score at 4-4, and all contests won by ippon, the new system for deciding drawn matches was implemented: three matches were randomly selected to be re-fought, and Brad, Ifor and Vitek came out of the draw. Brad stepped out and SMASHED his opponent in exactly the same way he had the first time around, then Ifor’s and Vitek’s opponents ran away from them until they were disqualified by Hansokumake, leaving the re-fight score at 3-0, and leaving the Matsudaira cup in Oxford!

Congratulations again to all that fought – everyone, including the Cambridge teams, gave an excellent performance on the day. I hope that this will inspire confidence in our teams for BUCS, and motivate you all to train hard to keep these trophies and bring back the one that’s missing when we travel to Cambridge next year!

Andrew Stewart, President
March 2010

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