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2023 cuppers finals

Sunday 7th May, saw the conclusion of the 2022/23 Inter-Collegiate 15-a-side rugby season, with Cuppers Finals Day at Iffley Road. Due to the Coronation on Saturday, the event was delayed 24hrs, and what good fortune that was as the players and spectators enjoyed an afternoon & evening of glorious spring sunshine and temperatures in the late teens!

Matches commenced at midday with the Men’s Bowl final, which saw Queen’s take on Christ Church, with ‘House’ securing a 31 points to 7 victory, a strong late second half performance, capped off with a brace of tries by Greyhounds wing Will McGowan, saw them home.

Next up was the Men’s Plate Final where Pembroke faced Worcester, once again the result was confirmed with a strong second half performance, with Pembroke running out winners by 27 points to 12.

At 4pm, the women took centre stage when the Corpus/LMH/Trinity/St Hilda’s Cluster, looked to retain their Cuppers crown when facing Worcester/St Catz Cluster. A thrilling 60 minutes followed, which went right down to the final play of the match, when Corpus/LMH/Trinity/St Hilda’s Cluster scored a try on full-time, only for the conversion to be missed to leave Worcester/St Catz victors by 17 points to 15 and lift the Emma Bidiscombe Cuppers Trophy. Honorary mentions were made to Lauren Webb (Corpus) for her two tries & non-stop running, Flo Baker-Masters (Catz) for an excellent showing at scrum-half and Elisa Smith (Hilda’s) for her powerful ball running, but the Player of the Match award went to fly-half Olivia Walk (Catz) for her two tries and fine defensive efforts.

With the sun dipping down behind the west stand, the day came to a ‘crescendo’ with the Men’s Cuppers Final, which saw last year’s runners-up St Anne’s/St John’s face college rugby ‘powerhouse’ St Edmund Hall in front of a large, vocal but on the whole respectful crowd. Teddy Hall scored first, emphasizing their pre-match favourites tag, but Saints hit back to go in at half-time leading, perhaps surprisingly, by 17 points to 5. Teddy Hall came out after the break determined to right the wrongs of their first half efforts, and soon took back the lead with two converted tries, but Saints were not going to be overwhelmed and quickly narrowed the gap to one score with a well struck penalty. With the clock ticking down Hall scored a fourth converted try, to extend the lead to what proved a match winning 11 points, but it was Saints who had the last word, with a try in the corner to make the final score 31 points to 15, to see Teddy Hall claim their first crown since 2019 and their 35th overall. Honorary mentions were made to Piers Von Dadelszen (Hall) for his excellent line-out play, Ned Russell (Saints) for expertly directing his team from fly-half, and Teddy Thompson (Hall) for his all-action display, but the Peter Bridges Player of the Match Award went to Hector Skipworth (Hall) for his two well taken tries that proved decisive.

Thanks to OURFC President Sir Ivor Roberts, for presenting all the trophies and awards throughout the day.

Huge congratulations to all those players who took part in Cuppers, not only on Sunday at Iffley Road, but in all the previous rounds leading into the showcase finale, once again highlighting the passion for rugby union right across the entire University community.

Thanks and congratulations to all the match officials, medics and other volunteers who contributed to ensure Sunday and previous rounds ran safely and smoothly.

Finally thanks and congratulations to Simon Brown, OURFU College Rugby Administrator, for coordinating the entire Cuppers programme and facilitating such a great event on Sunday.

Here’s looking forwa

rd to another successful season in 2023/24.


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