Queens' conquer in Water Polo Cuppers
Queens' move through the stages to beat Christ's in a dramatic final
by Dan Woolcott, Josh Hirschowitz
Monday 14th May 2012, 18:00 BST
Group 1: Queens’ won close games against Christ’s (3-2, coming from behind) and Selwyn (4-3), as well as a large win against Caius. Christ’s, who were league champions, beat Selwyn and Caius to make it out of the group as best runners up.
Group 2: Magdalene conceded before the tournament began, meaning a walkover granted to all the other teams. Emma were the weakest team, beaten 6-0 by Jesus and by John’s. However there was an upset as Jesus, who were pre-tournament favourites (due mostly to their large Blues contingent), lost to Johns in the deciding game of the group, which meant that John’s progressed at their expense.
Group 3: This group, including a very strong Clare team, holders Catz, Trinity and the self-proclaimed powerhouse of Trinity Hall, saw the most interesting results. Trinity Hall lost to a very fit and quick Trinity, beat Catz 4-0 and drew 3-3 with Clare in a surprise result in which J. Hirschowitz scored all Tit Hall goals, despite having conceded two goals in the first minute.
Catz were roundly beaten by all, which was a disappointing result for them considering their strength. The match between Clare and Trinity proved to be the deciding game, with a draw including a late goal by Trinity front man Alex Davies, ensuring that Trinity advanced as winners of the group.
The semi-finals saw Queens’ meet Trinity. Queens’ hit their rhythm at this stage of the tournament and eased past Trinity by a margin of four goals, with significant contributions from the whole team.
In the second semi Christ’s met John’s, in which an understrength John’s team proved incapable of repeating the miracles of the group stage, losing by a margin of five goals. This left a rematch of the first game of the tournament between Queens’ and Christ’s as the final.
The final began with tight exchanges, with neither team gaining any advantage for the first four minutes. With an injury to Queens’ captain Pete Lucas – the foundation of their rise in fortunes in the past few years, the vocal Christ’s support sensed that their team may have gained a significant edge.
However, Queens’ were first to break the deadlock with a counter-attack goal. This was rapidly followed by a second goal scored from an exclusion. By half-time, the score was 2-0 in Queens’ favour. Whilst Christ’s looked to get back into the game at the restart, Queens’ effectively ended the match as a contest when they scored two goals in two minutes.
Christ’s won a penalty which captain Adam Kuo converted, but with another Queens’ goal with a minute and a half to go, the match ended 5-1, making Queens’ Water Polo Cuppers champions for the first time.
Last updated: Monday 14th May 2012, 17:12 BST