Men's Blues - Saturday 24th February 2018 - Varsity vs Cambridge
6th October 2013, 2pm. Brasenose College, Oxford. Cameron Montgomery stands nervously at the door of BNC JCR. His first day at uni and he is filled with nervous excitement. What will the next 6 years hold for young Monty? He opens the door and slowly steps in and begins to introduce himself to the 2013 cohort.
"Hi, I'm Monty and I like going to the cinema."
Great stuff Monty.
Meanwhile, a 14-year old Hannah (now known as 'HOB' to her teammates, or 'Bae' to a certain OULC men's captain) sits quietly at the back of her GCSE Spanish class. She carefully repeats after her teacher,
"Hola, me llamo Hannah y me gusta ir al cine."
Great stuff HOB.
24th February 2018, 1pm. University Parks, Oxford. Cameron Montgomery stands nervously next to co-captain Cob across from The Tab skippers DJ Swarbs and Leander. The celebrations of the Women's 2s (crucially, featuring HOB) ring in the background.
After a delay of the face time, the teams lineup. You could cut the tension with a knife as Leander and Ryan Power square up for the faceoff. The whistle goes and the crowd roars. Power wins the clamp and draws the ball back to Alistair Berven who finds himself with acres of space. Berven cruises towards the cage and rips it. Goal. Oxford have had their dream start. However, they Q1 slip from them allowing Cambridge attackman Rob Ippolito get an early hat trick and go into the first break 3-1 down.
Q2 begins and the Oxford gears begin to get turning. Berven replies by completing a hat trick of his own and celly king Ed Smith adds his name to the scoresheet off a beautiful feed. "Top cheddar" as Alex Foster-Powell would say. However, The Tabs maintain the gap with three goals of their own and the Dark Blues go into halftime 6-4 down. After an inspired halftime team talk from Tom Carver and Brucie Morris, Oxford get to work in doing what they've been doing all season and overturning the deficit.
Oxford look refreshed in Q3. In the midfield Theo Hayes and Alex Harbord keep the Cambridge middies busy with their consistently predictable dodges, meanwhile Jefferson 'my name Jeff' Smith looks strong in transition. Power is more interested is causing chaos off the ball and after the whistle, but every little helps. In defence James Kershaw and Monty keep their opposite men quiet for the whole second half, although the real standout performance defensively was Dr Sweere. Rumour has Pete Baddoo is still stuck in Dutch's back pocket, next to The Axeman's keys and recently awarded DPhil. Although struggling to finish their dinner, Cob and Rishi Goel start to get look after look and shoot stick side high with pinpoint accuracy each time.
Having played the first half at LSM for The Tabs, MVP Gabe Barrie starts to shine in his more favour attacking role. He finds the onion bag twice in Q3 and the score is tied up at 7-7 going into Q4. The scoring remains low and with a matter of minutes to go the score in tied at 8-8. It is at this point Jefferson makes a good time dodge down the alley and lines up for the shot. Quick witted as ever, Jeff spots Gabe stood at the far side pipe and, instead letting rip with the shot, has the audacity to attempt a bounce pass across crease. Remarkably it works and the ball finds Gabe's stick. Gabe slots it home and completes his foursome for the day, securing the referee's MVP award. Now Oxford just need to kill the clock.
A well placed timeout by Brucie with Oxford in possession inside the Cambridge half seems to have it sealed, but another stick side high shot from Rishi puts the game on a knife edge. The Cambridge keeper clears but the ball finds Berven. Not a team to simply win the game, Berven is then stripped with 5 seconds on the clock, giving The Tabs enough time to feed the crease as the whistle blows. They've done it. The sideline empties as both Oxford teams and the faithful alumni pour onto the pitch in celebration. Chants of "Shoe! Shoe! Shoe!" ring round and the Oxford team are ecstatic. There's a tear in Monty's eye as he lifts the (wrong) trophy with Cob at his side. Time to celebrate...#ShoeTheTabs
24th February 2018, 11.45pm. Fever, Oxford. Cameron Montgomery stands nervously by the bar. Fuelled by dutch courage and the buzz of the big win, he makes his approach.
"Hi, I'm Monty and can I buy you a drink?"
"Sí, excellente", replies HOB.
They dance the night away. The icing on the cake for young Monty and the even younger HOB. They awake bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning.
"Best. Day. Ever.", Monty groans before getting his clothes on, dragging himself out of the Lincoln College accommodation and stumbling home to get ready for the next day of celebrations. Rinse, repeat.
24th February 2021, 3pm. New College chapel, Oxford. Cameron Montgomery stands nervously at the altar. 'No White Flag' by Dido starts playing and the the chatter in the room silences. HOB emerges and brings a tear to Monty's eye. They look into each others eyes and smile in a scene that matches a certain picture taken on the above mentioned night (not to worry, dear reader, I'm sure someone will kindly attach said picture in the comments). After a beautiful ceremony and a suitably busy, largely OULC reception, Monty and HOB retire for the night.
"Best day of my life", HOB says softly.
"That was a pretty strong second place."
Shoe. The. Tabs.