Captains’ Varsity Report 2011
CITY TEAM: 4-4(3-0) WIN TO OXFORD
[simage=619,320,n,center,,]All of city’s players were lighter than their rivals. Benoit took his much heavier (18kg) opponent late into the fight and tiered him out before throwing him for ippon. Paul started strongly in his match against an over 100kgs fighter (109kg) but when the fight went to the ground the heavier masters player had the advantage and pinned him. Jim fought against a skilled bjj practitioner (heavier by 11kg) and proved his class by dominating him throughout the contest and winning by wazari. Ben fought next against a strong player who again had the size advantage(12kg), but he was unable to complete any throws and lost by a yuko. Henry was next up against his foe who yet again had the size advantage (12kg). Henry was able to put in some great attacks and avoid the attacks coming his way. The referee called ‘mate’ after a leg grab from Henry’s opponent and duly disqualified him, giving Henry the ippon. Greivin fought against a sixth dan who had 12 kgs on him and fought hard but could not overcome the more skilled and heavier opponent and was eventually pinned for ten. Alex then fought against last years captain. Again alex gave up around 15kgs and was unable to make any of his attacks stick, and was thrown for ippon. Finally our vice captain Jordan was up and she had an equally tough draw from the strong Cambridge team. After scoring many times Jordan finally managed to get the ippon, drawing the match at 4 each.
The referees pulled 3 fights out of the hat to be recontested. Ben, Henry and Jordan were chosen to fight again. Ben came out all guns blazing this time and got control early, his opponent threw in an attack which was defended but in doing so he went over on his knee and could not continue, awarding Ben the ippon. Next up was Henry, he put on a great display of judo really making his heavier opponent struggle and concede shidos. After the forth penalty Henry had the deserved win. Finally Jordan had her fight and completely dominated her fighter, eventually scoring ippon via juji gatame and bringing home the City Shield to Oxford!
The city squad overcame a much heavier Cambridge team and deservedly won the metal, making captain Ben and the rest of Oxford Judo proud.
MEN’s B TEAM: 5-3 WIN TO OXFORD
[simage=615,320,n,center,,]The B team was exceptionally strong this year with many players who, in a normal year, would be on the A team. The match did not start well though. Firstly, Kabalan submitted to an armlock. This was followed by Vitek’s injury related withdrawal from his match and Nick’s mistake. At that moment, we were 0-3 down, and every Cambridge person believed that they had their hands on the trophy.
Fortunately, Cambridge could not have anticipated the storming performance of our last five fighters. Matt Taylor coming back after his back injury was in a head to head fight for most of the match before he presented a massive leg sweep for ippon. Guy went to fight his former vice-captain from his old school and has proven that he was the captain for a reason. Sam decided that there was no reason to waste time and with one of the most beautiful throws of the day finished his opponent very early. Next up were Lui and Nick. They both finished within 30 seconds and completed a phenomenal comeback from 0-3 to 5-3! A fantastic turnaround.
WOMEN’S TEAM: 2-3 WIN TO CAMBRIDGE
[simage=644,320,n,center,,]Even though the women’s team was severely weakened by injuries and late pull-outs they presented a strong side. President Karen, still not fit after her knee injury, was fighting well but lost to a hold down. Captain Amy stepped up the game and equalised to 1-1. Carina gave a good fight but one could see that she has only come back to judo in recent weeks and needs more competitive practice to hone her game. Becky proved her class and equalised the match again. At 2-2, Rachel, a novice to the Varsity was next up. Unfortunately, she lost which was more due to the pressure of the situation rather than any lack of skill on her part. Next year, we will fight back and get the sake bowl back to Oxford!
MEN’s BLUES TEAM: 6-2 WIN TO OXFORD
[simage=627,320,n,center,,]The last match was the clash of the Blues. Our team was motivated and ready to bring the Matsudaira cup back home. Brad was first up and showed that he does not lose his varsity fights. Good start for Oxford. Next up was a fight between Justin and former World Champion Florian Wanner. Unfortunately, Justin submited to a rather unfair technique and had to go to hospital to get his ear sewed back on. At one all, Ifor Capel entered the mat to make a routine 5 second win without breaking a sweat. (He needs to show a big performance at BUCS because these 5 seconds cannot be enough for a Full Blue ;-)). 2-1 for Oxford and the biggest fight of the day was on: the clash of Oxford’s Max Denning against Cambridge’s Captain Kane Chandler. After 3 minutes of breathtaking judo the score board was still at 0 : 0 when Max suddenly managed to catch Kane unprepared and won by an armlock. 3-1 for Oxford with 4 to go. Next up was David, who dominated his match and won eventually with a big throw. Good first five fights, 4-1 for Oxford and the traditional fight between Andy Stewart and his Austrian Nemesis was up next. Unfortunately, Philipp managed to hold Andy down making the match more interesting, 4-2. Next up was James Shepherd who faced an opponent who traditionally does not want to fight and receives a penalty after penalty. James was pracising smart judo, his opponent got three shidos and after 4 minutes, the trophy was now ours! Last fighter was Hugh Leonard, who was sent on to the mat with one clear instruction: “Don’t accept a 5-3 win, make it 6:2!” Not only did Hugh follow the instruction, he also decided that there is no reason to postpone the celebrations and gave us a big quick win that triggered unprecedented celebrations from the victorious Oxford squad.
Not only does the final score of 6-2 in Oxford’s favour, achieved on Cambridge home turf, demonstrate the extraordinary strength of this year’s squad, it gives us great hope for big things at BUCS in two weeks.