The cuppers final saw a face-off between Jesus and EmmanuelChiara Delpiano for Varsity

After the qualifying rounds last term, eight colleges remained to battle it out through the quarter-finals. Teams from Robinson, Emma, Jesus, Medwards, Newnham, Fitz, John’s and Downing arrived at the sports centre, all looking determined. The tournament was competitive, with one player telling me it was the “tightest Cuppers in years”. This was unsurprising given the exceptionally high standard of netball displayed and excellent performances from all areas of the court.

“tightest Cuppers in years”

The matches were short, only seven minutes each way with a two minute half-time. These quick matches ensured exciting viewing as there was little time to recover from any errors; every pass, interception and goal counted and the game could turn at any moment. Starting strong was paramount as there was scarcely any time for teams to settle into their rhythm.

After knocking out Fitzwilliam from the competition, Newnham progressed to the semi-final. They faced Jesus, who had defeated Robinson to reach the semi-final. The game was fiercely contested, with standout performances from the centre-court players on both sides, showcasing their agility, vision, and athleticism.

Emmanuel sailed through the quarter-finals after defeating Medwards 14-2 to meet John’s – a formidable opponent who had beaten Downing 14-1 to get their place in the semi-final. The match was fast-paced, with John’s quickly asserting themselves with an early goal. However, Emma responded, and the game ended 5-4 at half-time. All players showcased tenacity and resilience under pressure. The match was close, with John’s fielding an impressive squad both in number and talent. Their depth on the bench was definitely an advantage, though not enough to break down the opposition. Emmanuel emerged victorious after an impressive display of accurate shooting and dynamic defence. Players from John’s told me they were “really proud of the girls” who put up a “really good fight”. John’s were disappointed to lose and not get the chance to defend their title, but happy to finish the tournament smiling with no injuries.

“All players showcased tenacity and resilience under pressure”

The tournament quickly progressed to the final, meaning that Emma was once again back on the court just minutes after winning their semi-final. John’s players speculated whether this was an advantage or disadvantage, with some arguing that the “crazy” pace in the previous match would surely tire the team out, and others arguing that Emmanuel could capitalise on the momentum.

Interestingly, Emmanuel’s team had only a few University players compared to some of the other teams in the competition, including Jesus. This did not seem to phase Emmanuel’s team captain, Susie Kirsten, who was confident in her “strong team” and was really impressed with how the team were playing considering they hadn’t played together over the long Easter break.


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Throughout the tournament, teams had given their all and displayed great college spirit. The management and execution of the tournament should not go unnoticed, with University players helping to organise, score and umpire the tournament to ensure the event ran smoothly. League Secretary Georgia Baker, who played for Jesus, managed to help run the event while still competing.

The final was anticipated to be close, and Jesus and Emma delivered. Jesus exhibited impressive strength throughout the match but struggled at times to penetrate Emma’s defence. Their defence was a strong duo, pressuring Jesus’s passes and timing interceptions perfectly. However, this did not go unanswered by Jesus. Their attack demonstrated accurate shooting, helping to keep the team in the game. At half-time the score was still close, ensuring there was all to play for in the final seven minutes. The final minutes were hotly contested, with both teams clearly giving it their all. But, the match had to end. The final score was 10-6 to a deserving Emmanuel College, who were ecstatic with their win, and “ready to get the Prosecco out”.