Oxford and Cambridge warm up for the Varsity Match

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Cambridge and Barnes
Saturday, 10th February 2018

As is now traditional the two universities warmed up for this week’s Varsity Match with matches against sides consisting of former players. Both universities lost by small margins and gained valuable experience for a fixture which promises to feature several new players and some fresh pairings.

The Cambridge ‘Past versus Present’ kicked off with 8 individual Singles matches, as that is the format to be adopted in next week’s Varsity Match. While Ed Kay, Matt Shaw and Charlie Mabbutt won their matches well for the Present, the Past had too much firepower in the remaining Singles to take a lead of 89-63.

As is the custom with so many members of the Past volunteering to play in this fixture, four new players entered the first round of Doubles, which proved to be very close, with the Past picking up just 8 additional points.

In the second round of Doubles the Past’s experience shone through, with Elliott Malone & Tom Chase in particular having a great tussle with the Cambridge first pair. In the end the Past beat the Present 267-218 to win the Trapnell Tankard.

During the second half of the afternoon a Mixed Match was played for the Ted Isaacs Trophy. Cassi Henderson’s team beat Lottie Simpson’s side by 70-57.

Meanwhile at St. Paul’s, 30 players were gathered to play in the largest Oxford ‘Past versus Present’ match on record.

Former Cambridge player, now Oxford Present number 1, Jacob Brubert put up a strong fight against the Past’s Matt Cavanagh, losing only narrowly to the former National Singles champion. However, thanks to some hard fought wins further down the order, Sid Bhushan’s Present team were ahead 100-84 after the Singles.

The Doubles was closely fought throughout, although the Past’s experience eventually came to bear as they overturned the 16 point deficit to win the match 239-224 and retain the Mackenzie Bowl for another year.

For the first time in the Oxford match, there was a ladies’ round robin fixture, with Lisa Haseldine and Phoebe Thornhill coming out on top.

The Varsity Match will be played at St. Paul’s School, Barnes on Saturday, 17th February