Division-Three Newbroke will face a Jesus side that sits two leagues above them in next month’s finalAlex Parnham-Cope

Cuppers football was all the rage this weekend, giving Storm Eunice a run for its money in who reigned supreme. Four teams clashed over the chance of resting a single hand on this year’s silverware, but only two emerged victorious. On Saturday (19/02), Jesus got the better of St John’s/King’s with a 1-0 win, while earlier this afternoon (20/02) Newnham/Pembroke (‘Newbroke’) beat Churchill/Christ’s/Lucy Cavendish (‘CCC’) by a thumping score of 4-0.

Briefly looking at respective paths to the semi-finals, Division-One Jesus dismissed the league-below Caius/Hughes side with a 2-0 victory in the quarters, while John’s/King’s, who currently sit top of Division Three, shocked top-division outfit Fitz/Corpus with a tight 2-1 win in the same round.

Meanwhile, Newbroke knocked out Wolfson/Darwin by a fairly comfortable 3-1 margin, and CCC beat divisional rivals Emma/Homerton with a resolute 2-0 win.

Jesus 1 - 0 St John’s/King’s

Another weekend of Cuppers, and another exciting match despite the weather. As Storm Eunice made her noisy exit, Jesus won a place in this year’s final with a narrow 1-0 victory over St John’s/King’s. No amount of mud, wind, and rain could prevent co-captain Kaya Hardie from scoring a first-half winner, leading her side to a chance at the Cuppers crown.

It was a scrappy game. The conditions prevented any moments of control from either side, and both keepers were called into action on various occasions from corners and one-on-ones. The John’s/King’s keeper made some outstanding saves, closing the angles quickly and effectively in potentially dangerous situations.

The deadlock was broken in the first half from a corner, as often happens in these kinds of conditions. Isobel Boothroyd provided the pass and Hardie followed up with a decisive touch.

The rest of the first half was played, for the most part, in the midfield. Melissa Villalba was a dominant force in the central area for John’s/King’s, and she managed to carve out a number of chances for Fran Southwood, who was unlucky not to get on the score sheet. Both defences stood strong, with Jesus’ Eva Timlin particularly helping to keep the game at a cagey 1-0.

The second half provided only glimpses of goal. Hardie could have had a second just before the final whistle, using her pace to get in behind the Jesus defence only to be stopped in her tracks by the John’s/King’s goalie.

John’s/King’s fought valiantly, but the midfield battle was won by Jesus, who are now favourites to win the competition after passing a tough test on Saturday afternoon.

Player of the Match: Kaya Hardie (Jesus)

Jesus: Mia Barnes, Ellie Doran, Elo Wilkinson-Rowe, Eva Timlin (CC), Lauryn Anderson, Isobel Boothroyd, Francesca Hunnable, Anna Herr, Laura Brown, Nadia Chadirchi, Kaya Hardie (CC)

Substitutes: Katy Cartlidge

St John’s/King’s: Unconfirmed

Newbroke 4 - 0 CCC

In the weekend’s second matchup, the wind made once again made it difficult for either team to grasp any real control of the game in the opening exchanges, but Newbroke managed to create an early chance as a deep corner from co-captain Sophia Dyvik Henke was met by Eyres and turned against the far post.

However, CCC were a more consistent threat in the first half - Emma Parker and Belle Roston were particularly dangerous with their silky dribbling down the wings, creating several nervous moments for the Newbroke defence.

Dieu Hoaxing Ha was unbeatable in the Newbroke netAlex Parnham-Cope

The pace picked up towards the end of the half and CCC were lucky to escape a goalmouth scramble, but last ditch defending ensured the game remained goalless. Roston struck back with an outside of the foot effort from the left side of the box, trickling just wide.

After a hectic and end-to-end opening thirty, Newbroke were the first to capitalise on an opportunity - Dyvik Henke steamed through onto a Newbroke clearance that fell beyond the CCC defence and finished neatly to the keeper’s right.

Newbroke will look to win their second successive Cuppers title next monthAlex Parnham-Cope

Having been slightly unfortunate to go into the break 1-0 down, CCC came out with a vengeance in the second half. Early on, both Parker and Roston were played through after lovely link-up play with just the keeper to beat. However, Newbroke keeper Dieu Hoa Ha put in a godly performance in the net, saving strongly on both occasions and gathering the follow-ups as well to keep her team ahead.

Newbroke continued to defend their lead resolutely, not offering much in attack until it all seemed to click fifteen minutes from the end. The ball fell to Dyvik Henke on the edge of the box and she curled a stunning first time finish into the top left corner and off the post, leaving the keeper with no chance.


Mountain View

Churchill and Fitzwilliam through to this year’s Cuppers final

Just two minutes later, Izzy May began a majestic run from just inside the CCC half and knocked the ball past the opposition right-back before drilling it in at the near post. Substitute Leonie Kallis capped off a brilliant counter-attacking performance after she latched on to a ball into the box from May and finished smartly to the keeper’s left to make it 4-0.

Although the scoreline was slightly flattering, Newbroke were certainly the better side and deservedly progress to the Cuppers final, getting a chance at securing their second title in as many years.

Player of the Match: Dieu Hoa Ha (Newbroke)

Newbroke: Dieu Hoa Ha, Maria Victoria Rodriguez Noci, Monami Yoshioka, Pauline Eller, Delfine Lang, Elizabeth Blackwell, Izzy May, May Bui, Elena Russo, Mairi Eyres, Sophia Dyvik Henke (C)

Substitutes: Maryam Grassly, Leonie Kallis

CCC: Unconfirmed

This year’s final will take place next month, with an exact date and venue soon to be confirmed by Cambridge University Women’s Association Football League.