On Saturday, May 21st, the Oxford Lancers congregated with their respective colleges to battle it out in the annual Cuppers Flag Football tournament. University Parks was packed with competitors all wanting to try their hand at the fastest growing sport in the UK.
After a quick explanation of the rules to some of the newcomers to the game, the first matches were announced and the tournament was underway. The action did not disappoint those who came to see the clash of colleges as the group stage saw some fierce competition and many games that ended in dramatic fashion. As the group stage came to a close, four colleges emerged above the rest, namely Trinity, Brasenose, St. Catz, and St. Antony's. There was only one loss between the group of them and tensions ran high as they all headed into the playoffs.
In the first semi-final match-up, St. Antony's took on Brasenose. The match started close with each team scoring an initial touchdown, but St. Antony's high powered running game proved too much for Brasenose. The continued to press down the field and the game ended 4-1 in favor of St. Antony's.
The second semi-final proved to be the more dramatic of the two, when St. Catz took on Trinity. The two teams battled back and forth bringing the game to a 2-2 tie at the end of regulation. St. Catz appeared down and out after their QB Robert Moore had to leave the game due to an unintentional collision with a Trinity defender. However, on the opening drive in overtime, replacement QB Jon Watts hooked up with Oxford Lancer Josh Allen on a touchdown bomb that ended the game and Trinity's hopes at meeting St. Antony's in the final.
The final began with St. Antony's putting their running game back to work and scoring on their opening drive. St. Catz, however, did not get discouraged and marched the ball down the field. After a hard fought drive and several touchdowns called back for being just out-of-bounds, St. Catz managed to punch one in and tie up the game. At this point the defense took over and neither team was able break the tie until the final minute of the game. In the last 30 seconds, St. Antony's player Pranav Lokin, intercepted a pass and ran it back into the endzone to win the game for St. Antony's.
All-in-all the day was a big success and fun was had by all the participants. It gave many the opportunity to try the sport of American Football and showcased how exciting the game truly is.
Finally, for those hoping to know more about American Football at Oxford, be sure to check out the Lancers past season highlights at www.oxfordlancers.co.uk. The Lancers are coming off their most successful season in history which included a promotion to Division 1 and a massive win at Varsity. Recruitment for next season is already underway and the Lancers are always looking for new students who want to learn the game.