Oxford keep their command of the artificial art

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Oxford University 4 Cambridge University 1

Oxford retained the Varsity Bowl with another emphatic victory over Cambridge at Reading yesterday. Before the season's largest crowd, they took their sequence of successes to six since this annual game transferred from Lord's to Reading's Astro.

Oxford opened the scoring at their first penalty corner in the 11th minute, with the final touch provided by their captain, Toby Griffiths. Surprisingly,Cambridge were on terms eight minutes later. Ian Bateman, collecting a shrewd pass in midfield from Mike Meredith, who was winning his fourth blue, weaved past five Oxford players before shooting past David Jefferson.

However, Oxford then opened a commanding 3-1 interval lead. The New Zealander Ken Robinson took advantage of perfect stopping by Ben Raumann, who comes on only for set-pieces, to convert two penalty corners.

Cambridge's best spell, just after the interval, was summarily halted in the 47th minute when Jon Press sent away Richard MacDowel. Oxford's man of the match, to provide the pass for Ben Cope to score Oxford's fourth. Cambridge's best player was their captain, Colin Carter, one of three former Royal Grammar School High Wycombe players in the side.

OXFORD UNIVERSITY: D Jefferson (Brasenose); T Griffiths* (capt), W Kendall* (both Keble), M Barr* (New), P Bell* (Lincoln); H Tewes* (Keble), J Pratt* (University), B Cope (Brasenose);

S Morley* (Green), K Robinson (Keble), R Macdowel* (St Benet's). Substitutes used: A Walther* (Keble), S Innes (New), B Raumann (St Catherine's), N Berry (Exeter). Substitute not used: S Knight (St Catherine's).

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY: P Piotrowicz* (Fitzwilliam); C Carter* (Girton, capt); D Churton* (St Catharine's), J Harding* (Robinson), R Cake*; T McCarthy* (both St John's), M Meredith* (Clare), I Bateman (Emmanuel); G Playfair (Robinson), G Osborne, C Mannall (both Homerton). Substitutes used: D Clark, F Schulten* (both Queens'), A Sainsbury* (Pembroke). Substitutes not used: T Parr, C Durrant (both Sidney Sussex).

Umpires: D Collier and A Wooley (both SCHUA).

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