This past weekend the Oxford Lancers embarked on their first international Tour! The boys geared up and headed out to Dublin, Ireland to engage in a scrimmage against the UCD American Football program. The weekend was an overwhelming success as past and present Lancers joined together to traverse the Irish isle.
The team arrived on Friday afternoon and were greeted by beautiful sunny weather. They promptly took to the streets to soak in some Irish culture. Guinness in hand and with a backdrop of folk music, the first afternoon was a great indicator of the good times that would be had over the weekend. The night ended early so that we could properly prepare to gear up the following afternoon but it was capped off with some impressive street magic in the alleys of Dublin.
Saturday afternoon the Lancers geared up with UCD on an unbelievably hot afternoon. After the preliminary training was out of the way the teams squared off for a scrimmage. The Lancers started with the ball and quickly advanced down the field. However, the UCD defense managed an INT that was returned for a TD and put up the first score of the day. UCD then put their fast paced offense on display and quickly added a second score to their total.
The Lancers offense responded to the challenge and quickly answered UCD with a score of their own. From here the scrimmage went back and forth. Both teams had noticeable stops on defense and some great passing TDs on offense. Both teams were evenly matched and as such it was the final minutes of the scrimmage that decided the day. The Lancers connected on a deep TD pass to go up by 4 with 2 minutes to go. After which UCD answered with a deep pass of their own which brought them back up by 2. The Lancers mounted a valiant effort to respond as time wound down but fell just short on an incomplete pass in the dying seconds which left the final 32-30 for UCD. Although the game was intense, both teams showed their comaraderie and sportsmanship, after every big hit, a helping hand was always extended to the opposing player. The session provided an excellent training opportunity for both teams and a fun day was had by all.
UCD extended their hospitality after the session and invited the Lancers out to their team clubhouse for dinner and drinks. Afterwards, both teams adjourned to the Dublin city center. The night ended with a casual stroll through the gardens of Dublin and a great time was had by all.
The final day allowed the Lancers the chance to let loose after a hard day of training. No trip to Dublin would be complete without a trip to the famous Guinness factory where the Lancers refined their pouring skills.
Defensive tackle, Max Howell, proved that his prowess exists on and off the pitch as he was crowned with the best pour of the day. Afterwards, the team took in the sights and discovered a new love for passion fruit in the evening. Finally, a few members who 'kept it classy' in their apparel joined the afterparty of the 2017 Business of Beauty Awards for a great end to the weekend.
All-in-all the first Lancers Tour was a great success. Team bonds grew stronger and new friendships were made. The Lancers now look to cap off their season with a win against their biggest rivals, the Cambridge Pythons, at Varsity Bowl XI on May 6th.