Cambridge University Karate Club (CUKC) won its fifteenth consecutive Varsity matchup, continuing a streak that began back in 2007Fei Yuan/Cambridge University Karate Club

After many Varsity matches were postponed last year, this past weekend (02/10 to 03/10) hosted a total of three sporting events: lacrosse, badminton, and karate. All teams came out in full force to host their Oxford opposition, with Cambridge ultimately getting their hands on the majority of the silverware.


Mixed fixtures

Blues: Cambridge 22-2 Oxford

Harriers: Cambridge 22-1 Oxford

Cambridge’s mixed lacrosse side performed a clean sweep of victories on what was a cold and rainy Saturday morning (02/10). As the scores imply, both matches were severely one-sided, with Cambridge simply outclassing Oxford. The Blues game saw periods of the first and third quarters where the hosts were scoring nearly one goal a minute. Barring Oxford’s early goal in the opening sixty seconds, the light blues were utterly dominant. If it wasn’t for some excellent saves by the visitor’s keeper, Cambridge’s scoring tally would have far exceeded 22.

Women’s fixtures

Blues: Cambridge 16-8 Oxford

Kingies: Cambridge 11-9 Oxford

Turning to the women’s fixture, slightly tighter affairs took hold of Trinity Hall’s Wychfield site. The Blues match witnessed a cagey opening five minutes, with Cambridge scoring first but quickly being matched by an Oxford equaliser. After a first close quarter, Cambridge began to pull away in the second fifteen minutes and then for the remainder of the game, undeterred by the driving rain and cold conditions.

Speaking after the tie, Blues player Camille Barton said: “It really was a team performance with a huge range of goal scorers and assists, making for a legendary celebration post-Varsity”. She added: “It was a very rewarding game and a brilliant day all round”. Focusing on the future, Barton emphasised that “the performance from every member of the squad makes me really excited for what this season has in store for us”.

Men’s fixture

Blues: Cambridge 5-11 Oxford

A different story was written in the men’s game, as Cambridge’s outfit just fell short of victory. The hosts started brightly and went into halftime with a 3-2 lead after a hat trick of goals from Kalyan Mitra. Patrick Nevill also displayed some excellent work on the face offs, as well as some very physical ground ball work from defenders Matt Rodgers and Brucie Morris.

In the second half, however, Oxford’s squad size advantage paid off. One goal each for veteran Will Barrie and captain Sam Allen, combined with multiple top saves from keeper Thomas Chalklen, kept Cambridge in the fixture for a time, but the away side eventually ran away with it as the match entered its closing minutes.

Despite the score, Cambridge saw a number of good debuts from the likes of Piers Seal, Will Touzet, and Kman. A notable mention is also in order for Monty Matson, who displayed great dedication by travelling straight from a shift as a foundation doctor in North London to represent Cambridge University Lacrosse Club (CULC). The men exhibited lots of promising talent ahead of the next Varsity match in February.

Taking all three matchups into consideration, Cambridge earned an overall victory in the lacrosse.


Cambridge 27-49 Oxford

Cambridge University Badminton Club’s (CUBaC) annual Varsity match also took place on Saturday, and had an adjusted format to allow mixed matches this year. In spite of defeat, Cambridge’s quality of play was very high and many games went to three ends. Both teams were significantly out of practice due to the recent absence of fixtures, so most of the host’s players took this as an opportunity to have some exciting games against new opponents rather than a purely competitive pursuit.

CUBaC enjoyed some great individual wins over the course of the day. Tom Wade won both of his singles games against Oxford’s best two players, but Cambridge was ultimately bested by the top end of Oxford’s squad. On the other hand, the bottom end of Cambridge’s squad substantially outperformed the visitors, winning twelve out of fifteen of their matches. Looking ahead, there are lots of encouraging signs for Cambridge, as they hope to prevent Oxford from clinching a three-peat in the next Varsity fixture.


Sunday (03/10) entertained a largely one-sided karate Varsity match, as Cambridge’s 20-strong team faced an Oxford squad of only three competitors. Consequently, a light blue victory was guaranteed going into the fixture, but in spite of this foreknowledge the Cambridge fighters put on a brilliant display. In the event, three separate trophies are up for grabs for the men’s, women’s, and mixed categories, determined by totals in both kata and Kumite, while the Enoeda Cup is then awarded to the side that emerges victorious in this best-of-three format.

Kata was the first order of the day, with the mixed individual routines taking centre stage. In one of the few kata events that Oxford was able to contest, Cambridge’s four participants earned an easy win to take an overall lead in the competition. Incoming Cambridge University Karate Club (CUKC) President Sam Hill and women’s captain Millie Johal achieved joint highest scores in the event, with a total of 17.1 out of 20 for their performances of Suparinpei and Papuren respectively. Both the subsequent men’s and women’s individual routines went uncontested by Oxford, yet the Cambridge groups still put on very strong showings. Alex Russell’s amazing Anan and Putu Khorisantono’s Papuren were standouts in the men’s category, while Alex Duncan’s sharp Shisoshin impressed in the women’s showing.


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Mixed team kata was the second event to be contested by Oxford. Despite a valiant display by the dark blues, Cambridge’s group of Sam Hill, Ismael Sierra, Dao Qian, and Millie Johal extended the host’s lead for the mixed trophy with a victory. Conversely, men’s and women’s team kata were only performed by Cambridge, thus taking all the points home.

Moving on to Kumite, four rounds of mixed fights typically take place, but with Oxford being unable to fill their entire roster the third fight was a default win for Cambridge. Nonetheless, the first matchup saw an Oxford victory, preventing the light blues from performing a clean sweep. The second fight resulted in Cambridge restoring the tie to 1-1, while the third and fourth fights finished with a default win and contested victory respectively. The women asserted their dominance in the tie. Millie Johal managed to score some decently timed reverse punches in the first set, while Jas Knight scored a beautiful Ippon in the second set of matches.

As the day drew to a close, CUKC retained all three of the men’s, women’s, and mixed trophies, subsequently continuing their Varsity dominance by winning the Enoeda Cup for the fifteenth year in a row. Following the achievement, former President (2020-21) Alex Russell graciously commented: “It’s worth stating that we highly appreciate Oxford being such great sports and turning up to compete”. He continued: “They came knowing they couldn’t win after Covid hit their club badly, but gave it their all and were great people to be around”.

Varsity thanks Amber Richards, Camille Barton, Kalyan Mitra, Jennifer Hu, George Moran, and CUKC for their contributions to the report.