Hockey: Edwards in command

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Oxford University. . . 3

Cambridge University. .0

GRANT EDWARDS, Oxford's New Zealand captain, will remember with pride his afternoon's work at Reading yesterday as he led his side to a comprehensive 3-0 win to retain the University Bowl. It was Oxford's third successive victory and their 33rd in all, against Cambridge's 44, in the 93rd Varsity Match.

Edwards, afterwards named Oxford's player of the match, struck powerfully at three of his side's five penalty corners to secure one direct conversion and to have his other two shots turned into goals, Peter Bell and Mark Hoskin picking up rebounds off Charlie Blishen's pads. But it was Edwards' dominance and pressure play in midfield that won the day.

As was to be expected of a side brimming with confidence following their successful Peroni League season, Oxford stormed into the attack. In the third minute, they forced their first penalty corner from which Bell opened the scoring. Thereafter they penned Cambridge in their own half for long periods with only stout defensive play from Jon Stott and Colin Carter holding a thin Light Blue line before Edwards struck the second goal.

Oxford, shortly afterwards reduced to nine men following temporary suspensions to Hoskin and South Africa's captain, Wayne Graham, weathered a short period of Cambridge pressure, which ended three minutes into the second half when Tom McCarthy was injured and replaced by Jon Foley.

Back at full strength, and with Hoskin moving to the right wing intent on redeeming himself for what had been a torrid first half, Oxford continued to torment the Cambridge defence with some exciting midfield play. It was fitting that Hoskin should score their third goal in the final minute after earlier putting the ball against the crossbar at their fourth penalty corner. Cambridge's Jon Arscott was named their player of the match.

OXFORD UNIVERSITY: T Wigmore (Christchurch); A Minson (Balliol), M Meredith (Pembroke), P Bell (Lincoln), R Markham (Mansfield), M Hoskin (Keble), S Griffiths (University), G Edwards (Lincoln, capt), A Laird (Brasenose), B Ellison (Keble), W Graham (Keble). Substitutes used: S Little ( Worcester) and W Cresswell (Pembroke).

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY: C Blishen (St John's); J Stott (Homerton), T McCarthy (St John's), C Carter (Girton), A Walther (Trinity), J MacCormick (Corpus Christi, capt), M Carver (Corpus Christi), P Harvey (St Catharine's), D Bolgar (Homerton), R Lloyd (St John's), J Arscott (Magdalene). Substitutes used: W Ashworth (Emmanuel), R Cake (St John's) and J Foley (St John's).

Umpires: M Grimsdale and A Wooley (SCHUA).

(Photograph omitted)