Jesus and Johns battling it out in the ladies Cuppers finalAlex Berry

John’s ladies and Jesus mixed netball teams emerged victorious from the finals day of Cuppers last Saturday (29/04), after two closely fought finals saw the ladies match go to extra time while the mixed was won by a single goal. The day saw both mixed and ladies teams battling all the way from the quarterfinals to the finals, after the group stages were concluded at the end of Lent term.


The semi-finals of the ladies tournament saw John’s face off against Fitz while Jesus battled Queens’. John’s seemed to breeze through their match, a score of 19-1 sending them straight through to finals. Jesus took the victory against Queens’, the final score being 15-9, giving them a chance to fight to retain their title as Cuppers champions while Johns sought for redemption after their loss in last year’s final, also against Jesus.

As expected, the final continued to demonstrate the high quality netball played by teams throughout the tournament. It was John’s who had the momentum in the first half of the match, some smoothly worked goals setting them ahead of Jesus. However, Jesus remained hot on their tails, never allowing John’s to build too much of an advantage. They managed to hold John’s to within two goals in the first half, heading into the break with the score of 5-3.

Jesus came out firing in the second half of the match. They worked hard to disrupt the momentum gathered by John’s in the first half, their feisty defence working particularly well to break down the strong John’s attack. It seemed neck-and-neck between the two teams as time ticked down in the second half, with goals being matched at either end of the court. As the whistle blew, the score was left at 9-all which meant the match went to extra time.

Extra time saw the re-emergence of John’s’ first-half superiority as they tightened up their defence and powered forward with near faultless attacks in a still tightly contested circle. Jesus continued to battle to the end but John’s’ impressive display in extra time saw the final score left at 14-10 in their favour to crown them Ladies Cuppers champions.


Jesus had a chance to redeem themselves going into the afternoon of mixed netball games. They secured their place in the final by beating Trinity 12-7 in the semi-finals, and were joined by Pembroke, who defeated Hughes Hall 15-10.


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The final was a competitive match from the get-go. The strong defence of both teams made it hard for the attackers as any long balls into the circle were quickly being picked out of the air for turnovers. This didn’t stop them entirely, however, as some impressive lay-ups from Jesus created some quality goals, but Pembroke’s decisive and tactical movements seemed to be giving them the upper hand, which led to Pembroke leading by a goal at the halftime whistle.

Jesus came out of the blocks quickly in the second half, the decisions made to change some players during the break leaving them fresh-footed with lots of energy to try to make an impact. They made life difficult for the Pembroke attack from the first centre pass by digging in deep to tighten up their defence, and continued to pile on the pressure as the match went on. Up until the final whistle, it seemed like anyone’s game as both teams gave it their all to try to get the victory, but in the end Jesus’s impressive resurgence led to them snatching the win, the match ending in a close 8-7.

Hopefully this new format for netball cuppers can be retained going forward, as with two such high-quality, down to the wire finals, finals day was a huge success. This was all down to hard work of league coordinator Mercy Akinyele and the other players who umpired and supported throughout the day.