February 26th 2022
Rosenblatt Pool, Oxford
Cambridge Men’s Firsts 12, Oxford Men’s Firsts 20
Cambridge Men’s Seconds 10, Oxford Men’s Seconds 7
February 26th saw the 121st Men’s Firsts Varsity match, and the 9th Men’s Seconds Varsity match, bringing the BUCS seasons to a close for both the firsts and seconds teams. This was most players’ first varsity match, as no match had been played in 2021.
Following the alumni varsity match, the Men’s Seconds were first up, in a close match dominated by open play and counterattacks. Early goals from pit man Thomas Gaertner and captain Zach Lyttle, converting a man up, opened the first minute of play, with the first quarter ending 4-3 following Oxford’s failure to convert two man-ups at the end of this quarter, setting the tone of the match. The second and third quarters saw Cambridge steadily pull ahead, to 6-4 and then 8-5, through further goals from Zach Lyttle and Thomas Gaertner, leading to a final score of 10-7.
The Men’s Firsts match was the penultimate match of the day, with Cambridge entering as underdogs into a rough match that saw a total of 24 exclusion fouls, four of them penalties. Early in the first quarter Cambridge failed to capitalise on an exclusion, and Oxford drew ahead to 3-0. Veteran Alex Norcliffe scored twice to bring Cambridge back into it, but the quarter ended 5-3 to Oxford nonetheless. This break between the first and second quarter saw Oxford seem surprised at our resilience, so we gritted our teeth and headed back for the second quarter. Dan Gilbey scored in the 14th second of this quarter, bringing Cambridge to within a point of Oxford, but a series of exclusions, successfully converted by Oxford, saw them draw ahead to a score of 11-7 by half time. The third and fourth quarters saw Alastair Horn continue winning swim offs, including against the Olympic relay gold medallist Andrew Wilson in the fourth quarter, but the shortfall of 2 goals in each quarter continued, to the final result of 20-12.
Andrew te Water Naude
Men’s Water Polo Captain 2021 – 2022