The pattern of the game was set in the early minutes, with Oxford packing their midfield and defence and only occasionally threatening the Cambridge defence, in which Ian Sands was outstanding.
Although Oxford played a tactical game, it was Cambridge who looked more likely to score, forcing their first penalty corner in the 31st minute and from it winning a penalty stroke when Ian Bateman was sent crashing by a Oxford defender. Mayer made no mistake from the spot - it was a moment for the Light Blues to savour.
Their joy might have been short-lived when, within seconds of the restart, Bateman was given a temporary suspension for a tackle on Renwick Irvine and Cambridge had some desperate defending on their hands.
They survived and, with Bateman back on the pitch, began to move forward again. Oxford's downfall came with their inability to convert penalty corners. They brought Roger Wilcock on for each of their eight corners, but it was not his day.
Cambridge's captain, Mike Meredith, a former Oxford Blue, made sure of victory in the final minute when he scrambled in Cambridge's second goal at a penalty corner. Toby Griffiths, last year's Oxford captain, and Sands were named players of the match.
OXFORD UNIVERSITY: L Crofts (St Catherine's); T Griffiths (Keble); J MacCormick (Exeter), M Barr (New, capt), B Raumann (St Catherine's), D Edwards (St Edmund Hall); T Johnson (Jesus), R Irvine (Lincoln), B Cope (Brasenose); T Matthews (St Edmund Hall), G Bretten (Keble). Substitutes used: J Cutress (Worcester), J Hodges (Queen's), R Wilcock (Brasenose).
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY: P Piotrowicz (Fitzwilliam); I Sands (Robinson); D Churton (St Catherine's), D Harding (Robinson), T Parr (Sidney Sussex); O Brew (Emmanuel), M Meredith (Clare, capt), I Bateman (Emmanuel); J Mayer (St Johns), C Mannall (Homerton), G Playfair (Robinson). Substitutes used: T Gilman (Hughes Hall), D Heathcote (Christ's).
Umpires: S Brooks (NCHUA) and H Jamson (NCHUA).Reuse content