Nomads 1-5 Oxford

Nuala Tumelty 15 February 2008

The Nomads (Women’s 2nd Team) went into the game against Oxford on the back of a successful season which has left them pushing for promotion in the East league 2c. Oxford began the stronger, applying early pressure that resulted in their winger driving down to the baseline and pulling the ball back across goal for the centre-forward to finish.

The Light Blues responded strongly but in their search for an equaliser the Oxford outfit managed to respond on the counter. Determined to establish a foothold, Cambridge pressed forward again and the increased possession led to two successive penalty corners. Sarah Baggs was in the right position at the right time and lifted the ball over the prone keeper to halve the deficit.

Cambridge, reinvigorated, had several chances to level things before half-time. Unfortunately, a combination of good saves from the keeper and careless finishing prevented the elusive equaliser. Oxford took advantage. They dented Cambridge hopes by decisively converting a penalty corner before the half.

Deflated, Cambridge’s focus turned to defence, and to their credit, they settled into the solid rhythm that has kept them nine clean sheets this season. Despite dangerous forays from Sarah Baggs and Helen Smyth, in the Oxford keeper they found their match.

Sadly, towards the end of the half the Dark Blues scored again and right at the death a wonderful strike completed what would go down on paper as a rout. The reality was different. It was all about taking chances and Oxford did that better on the day.

Nuala Tumelty