The first-ever Women’s Handball Varsity match took place at SportHouse in London, one of the 2012 Olympics venues. After throw-off both Cambridge and Oxford were trying to measure their opponents, trying to understand what they were up against. The first goal of the game and first of ours only came 5 minutes into the game from Nina Szamocki, followed by the first Oxford goal in 2 minutes later. Despite only having two substitutes against a larger squad on the opposite bench, we were levelled off most of the first half. However, due to some great penalty saves from our goalkeeper, a very strong defence and some beautifully executed fast-breaks by Nina and the first 30 minutes ended with us leading by 5 goals, 12-7. The second half built up further: Lisanne Schoutens got her first goal in an official match, Michi Hofmann on the line scored twice, and Nina executed some great waist shots. The Oxford attack were being fiercely held up by Chantal Deininger and Vanessa Polito in defence. Alex Vaideanu scored one 7m and between Agi Föglein and Nina the crosses and the fast-breaks worked perfectly to bring us to 23-12 at the final whistle. It was a great team effort, despite having not played long together and regardless of leading for the whole match we played every minute like the first.
The Men’s Varsity which followed the women’s match won by Cambridge was thrilling, exciting and a bigger challenge for the referees: lots of goals, penalties, yellow cards and 2 minute send-offs. Both teams put on a great defence but the first goal came from Cambridge by Chris Bentz. For the most part of the first half the two contenders were levelled however, with most Cambridge goals coming from Chris who executed perfectly a series of penalties. Marc Briant and Pierre Strandberg on the wings and Kolja Ortmann on the line also scored, however three 2 minute send-offs in the space of 3 minutes on our side brought Oxford to lead by 15-11 at half-time. The difference in the second half was smaller, with 5 goals coming from Raffael Winter. Pierre and Marc demonstrated some beautiful lobs from the wings and Kolja followed with a penalty and a back shot. Florian also got a goal and we had very nice saves from Kris in goal. A very solid defence from Ignacio Vázquez, David Labonte, Chris and Raffael held the Oxford attack, but another three send-offs made it easier for Oxford to keep the advantage they had built and the final whistle left the score at 32-26. The whole team fought well taking on the current University Champions and a very well organised and trained Oxford team and all in all they showcased a great handball match.