Varsity Match for Field Cup
THE university shooters of Oxford and Cambridge battled it out at this year’s Varsity Match on 23 April for The Field Cup. The event, revived in 2011, was sponsored this year for the first time by Champagne Pol Roger.
Tension was high and temperatures low as the contestants arrived at the Oxfordshire Shooting School, however, hot tea and bacon sandwiches soon had everyone warmed up and raring to go.
The Varsity Match is a 100-bird English Sporting competition. Each university fields three squads – Men’s Blues; Men’s Golds; and Women’s Blues – all shooting the same layout.
The Cambridge Men’s Blues accrued an early lead, with solid performances from returning shooters, but Oxford soon settled and, at the halfway mark, scores were neck and neck. A Cambridge near-wipeout on a tricky simultaneous pair of rabbits put pressure on the visitors but mixed fortunes over the final stands meant it was anyone’s guess who had triumphed.
The Golds and Women’s squads faced an equally tough battle, again with the final result too close to call.
Back at the clubhouse, the scores were tabulated, with the trophies, sporting glory, subscriptions to The Field and magnums of Pol Roger Reserve presented to the winning teams. Cambridge had swept the board with hard-won victories in both of the Men’s competitions and an exceptionally narrow one-shot victory in the Women’s. Edward Wilson of Cambridge also took high gun with an excellent 86/100.
Oxford’s consolation came with the award of Women’s High Gun to Caroline Greenhalgh and personal bests for many newer shooters as a result of dedicated training and a long-needed infusion of materiel from Browning, Oxford’s new sponsor.
With Cambridge deserving it and Oxford needing it, the teams enjoyed post-match revelries, including a vension and partridge dinner provided by Taste of Game. With the close of Varsity 2016, all sights were set on 2017 and the next encounter.
Luke Pepera, Damien Warner and Edward Evans Diego Quinones and Philip Kelvin
Chase Shaffar- Roggeveen
Emily Kruger Edward Wilson
James Shaw Thomas Langton