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2011 Judo Varsity Match, Saturday 5th March
Cambridge Women took victory for the first time in nine years, whilst the City, Men’s B and Men’s A teams fought excellently but were narrowly defeated. The match was held at Hills Road Sports Centre, Cambridge, and sponsored by Bam Construction, who are currently overseeing the building development of the Cambridge University New Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
2011 Varsity Team
Fighting first were the City teams (the non-student members of the clubs), with Cambridge defending the trophy which they won in Oxford last year. Long-standing club member and Varsity veteran Archie Reid was up first, starting brightly for Cambridge, but being eventually thrown for ippon. Vlad then came out, throwing his opponent for waza-ari with a sacrifice throw and finishing him with a hold down. Jamie Sutherland then managed to go the distance against a more experienced opponent, but was narrowly beaten by two yukos. The scores were levelled as Hamish defeated his opponent by two yukos in one of the best fights of the day. Next up, Cambridge Judo newcomer Graham Belcher clearly dominated his opponent, but, in a momentary slip of concentration, attempted a leg-grab in breech of recent rule changes. The referees were showed no leniency, disqualifying Graham with hansoku-make and awarding ippon to Oxford. Dave Southby then held his opponent down for ippon, leaving the scores equal at 3-3. Captain Matthew Maddison gave Cambridge the lead, scoring two yukos before finishing his opponent with an o-soto-gari. Last fighting Lauren Naisbit did well against talented opposition, but was caught by a throw late in the bout for ippon. With the match tied at 4-4, three fights were drawn randomly to be refought. Luck turned against Cambridge as Hamish was forced to retire early in his fight through injury, and Graham and Lauren failed to overcome their Oxford opponents. Oxford therefore took the first trophy of the day.
Men’s B Team
Next up were the Men’s B teams. Momentum returned to Cambridge as Igor Gotlibovych submitted his opponent with an arm-bar, Peter Mann’s opponent withdrew through injury, and Xiong Chang quickly scored ippon with a foot-sweep. Up next was judo newcomer Ryan Sykes. Ryan demonstrated strong attacking ne-waza, eventually working his opponent into a pin. The glory however was short lived as the Oxford fighter escaped and eventually defeated Ryan with a throw. B Team captain Alex Barns-Graham was matched up against an ex-club mate but lost by ippon, followed by two more wins for wins for Oxford as judo newcomers Liang Wu and Egor Tsiaulouski were both beaten by vastly more experienced opponents. With Cambridge now behind 4-3, Max Wood was thrown by a well executed ippon-seoi-nage. Despite losing the match 5-3, the Cambridge B Team showed great spirit against a very strong Oxford B Team, which included several black-belts.
Oxford Women came to Cambridge having won the previous eight consecutive Varsity Matches. However, Cambridge captain Anna Baxter immediately demonstrated Cambridge’s intention to end this draught, defeating her opponent with a pin. The teams then traded wins by pin as Megan Sorenson lost to the Oxford captain, Lisa Kleiminger won and Rachel Moore lost. With the scores level on 2-2, Cambridge’s Jessica Alsiö stepped onto the mat and, attacking aggressively, won the final match in style with a superb harai-goshi. This victory is a huge success for Cambridge Women, who finally bring back the beautiful sake-bowl trophy to Cambridge.
2011 Women’s Team
The Men’s A teams concluded this well-contested Varsity Match. Cambridge entered the match with high hopes, including Varsity veterans Kane Chandler, Philipp Oberhumer, and James Maheswaran in the team, as well as new arrival Florian Wanner. Michele Castiglioni fought first for Cambridge, and but eventually submitted to an arm-bar. Florian Wanner, German ex-World Champion and Olympian, then evened the scores. Demonstrating great skill he dispatched his opponent with a viscous strangle in the first ne-waza phase. Benedict Broy then lost his fight against a more experienced opponent. Team captain Kane Chandler then fought valiantly, but eventually submitted to an arm-bar. Robin Irvine fared no better either, as Cambridge went 4-1 down, now needing three ippon wins to tie the match. Philipp Oberhumer pulled a first win back for Cambridge with a pin. Next, James Maheswaran fought a much larger opponent, and struggling to deal with strong, over-the-top grips, conceded three shidos, going a waza-ari down. In the last minute he pulled off a drop-seoi-nage. The crowd was sure he’d scored ippon to keep Cambridge in the match, but the referee awarded merely a yuko, with the fight going to time and won by Oxford on points. David Saxton fought last for Cambridge, but lost to his black-belt opponent, as Oxford successfully defended the Judo Challenge Cup. Despite a year of hard training, and determined fighting on the day, it was not to be Cambridge’s year.
Congratulations go to everyone who fought for Cambridge, showing determination and skill against a strong Oxford team. A huge congratulation goes to the Women’s team, who achieved a fantastic win. Thanks go to Kane Chandler, Robert Blackburn and Marianne Butler for organising the day, our coaches Alec Edwards, Nick Palmer and Matthew Maddison, the match officials, Graham Belcher for organising sponsorship, and of course our worthy Oxford opponents.
Check out some pictures and videos here!
– Max Wood