Bar for a final-day loss with a remarkable goal swing, Fitz have won the league as wellMADELINE COOLE

It’s Friday night. After a long week of worrying about tripos you head to Grange Road. The sun is setting, there’s a slight breeze. You have free entry to watch 90 minutes of the highest quality college football around. What more could you want?

A pitch a bit flatter than the moon, is the answer. Even in the warm up, it is clear that the teams would have their work cut out for them, as every single flat pass hits several bobbles before reaching its recipient.

This made for a scrappy first half, with two yellow cards in the opening 20 minutes for Fitzwilliam, who seemed unable to string three passes together (not that Churchill could either). The first was given to Codrin Moisoi, whose two-footed lunge on Joseph Helm meant he was lucky to remain on the pitch, and Helm was lucky to remain with two working ankles.

Both sides have chances. Churchill centre-back and league coordinator Sam Ernest clears an attempt off of the line, and another glorious chance is spurned from six yards as Churchill find themselves on the ropes. Churchill respond with two shots from a similar distance at the other end, one which is blocked and one which clears the crossbar.

Most of the half’s best entertainment, certainly as a neutral, was the Churchill congregation, who stood up in large numbers to the tune of “stand up if you hate the Fitz”. The Fitz fans responded with some barely intelligible singing, which only made the Churchill fans louder.

A beautiful day for itMADELINE COOLE

Having the crowd behind them meant that Churchill grew in confidence. Both full-backs kept threatening wingers Jed Odagbu and Lumi Kanwei in their pockets. Pink keeper and captain Sagar Agarwal saved well from a Tom Randall shot from range. And the best chance of the game yet came as a pink shirt met a corner, with the header only stopped from going in, gut-wrenchingly, by another, badly placed pink shirt.

The Churchill fans sang 'and after all, Sagar Agrawal' to the tune of Oasis' WonderwallMADELINE COOLE

On the stroke of half-time, Agrawal made another good save from a deflected shot. The resulting corner is cleared only as far as Odagbu, whose inch-perfect cross met the head of Moisoi, who looped a header over the keeper, to the delight of the Fitz faithful.

After the break, we saw more of the same. Fitz squander several one-on-ones, and danger man Kanwei strikes the bar (of the rugby posts behind the goal) with a free-kick. Olamide Ogunnaike turns on the style as he dances into the box once or twice, and Sonny McPherson channels his inner Phil Foden with more than his (questionable) hairstyle as he draws several fouls in the centre.

We see another case of Churchill tripping themselves up, this time quite literally, as one pink centre-back slides into the other, letting Kanwei in on goal, who somehow puts his shot past the post. Down the other end, a delicious nutmeg from pink winger Jocelino Rodrigues draws raptures from the crowd.

One of the ref's easier decisionsMADELINE COOLE

But the pressure eventually pays off, as a deflected shot from Kanwei falls fortuitously to striker Harry Houillon, who does his job very neatly and slots the ball into the corner of the goal. The Fitz fans break out into a “stand up if you’ve won cuppers” chant in only the 75th minute.

Fortunately for them, Churchill couldn’t conjure much for the rest of the match. A yellow for Ernest, an attempted bicycle kick from Moisoi, and a weak penalty shout against Fitz keeper Simon King (who actually won the ball well) was the best that the last 15 minutes had to offer.

And thus, Fitz retain their cup — in spite of a valiant effort from Churchill, who will hope that it doesn’t take it the best part of another two decades to make it back to the cuppers final. The “Fitz football factory”, as Kanwei calls it, delivers yet again.


Mountain View

Downing beat Girton to win Plate final

Varsity man of the match: Olamide Ogunnaike (Fitzwilliam). A match for the full backs as the other standout performance came from Churchill right back Alex Perrin.


Fitzwilliam: Simon King (GK), George Smith, Codrin Moisoi, Josh Douglas, Lumi Kanwei, Harry Houillon, Cavan Farrow, Ben Shires, Thomas Willock, Cass Ashworth, Gareth Effiom, Olamide Ogunnaike, Sonny McPherson (CC), Tom Randall (CC), Jed Odagbu

Churchill: Sagar Agrawal (GK) (C), Dan Lofts, Sam Ernest, Alex Perrin, Ed Stevenson, Osa Iluobe, Conor O’Neill, Joseph Helm, Jocelino Rodrigues, Phil Dillon, Ed Wicken, Andreas Economou, Aran Haber, Tom Burke, Peter Isaksen, Michael Griffiths.