Wilcox finally finds chink of light: Hockey

London University 1 Oxford University 2
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The Independent Online
Roger Wilcox's moment of clarity four seconds from time secured victory for Oxford University yesterday in their annual game against London in the thick, swirling fog at Motspur Park.

It was a game which Oxford dominated, and only an outstanding display of goalkeeping by Lar Hewell, London's German custodian from the Rot Weiss Koln club, kept the hosts in the game.

After 30 minutes of soaking up constant Oxford pressure, a defence-splitting pass from Satyen Gohil and some naive defending by Oxford gave Julian Soles the opportunity to put London ahead with a rasping shot from the edge of the circle. Moments earlier, the players had managed to persuade the umpires to continue a game which was quickly becoming a farce.

The tactical switching by the coach, Gavin Featherstone, of Oxford's experienced Ben Cope to the right side of midfield and the introduction of the former London player Charlie Oliver into attack exerted even greater pressure.

Hewell, however, appeared to have no difficulty in picking out the ball in the murky conditions, and he seemed unbeatable until, at Oxford's seventh penalty corner, the ball was eventually scrambled past the German goalkeeper by Cope.

With the match ebbing away, a cracking shot from the edge of the circle by Wilcox, Oxford's squash captain, sealed the game. With both sides going back to their League programme on Saturday, the opportunity to complete the game - thanks to some sensible and sympathetic umpiring - will have been greatly appreciated.

London University: L Hewell; J Galliford; S Finn, T Grant, P Meakin (capt); Imran Tavir, S Miners, A Plunkett; Satyen Gohil, A Terris, L Nolan. Substitute used: J Soles.

Oxford University: L Crofts; T Griffiths; N Berry, J Hodges, B Rauman, M Barr (capt); C MacFarlane, R Irvine, B Cope; R Wilcox, J Goodman. Substitutes used: G Bretton, C Oliver, Mahood Yassir.

Umpires: K O'Brien & D Griffith (both SHUA).

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