BUCS Match Reports 12th October

Blues Match Report

The blues travelled away to Birmingham this week for their match against a string Birmingham 2s team. 

Despite having many new combinations and 3 new blues on court the starting 7 below came out with tenacity and fire. 

GS- Aurnia Barlow

GA- Eleanor Butt

WA- Holly Hayward 

C- Phoebe Makin

WD- Jess Dunmore 

GD- Felicity Elvidge 

GK- Phoebe Dix 

The first quarter started close but Birmingham had clinical through court attack with a dominant WD, so they pulled ahead by a few goals. Oxford responded well with Dix and Elvidge applying intense pressure in the Birmingham shooting circle forcing missed shots and Dunmore steadily playing the ball out of defence. The game remained tight but Birmingham persisted with the slight upper hand to finish the quarter winning 13-7. 

The second quarter saw Charlie Leach come on at WD and little change in the Birmingham line up. Shooters Butt and Barlow showed their strong dynamic partnership in the shooting circle with decisive feeds from Hayward and Makin. However, Birmingham did not relent and capitalised on every error Oxford made as they fought hard and sometimes outplayed us for the ball. 

What Birmingham struggled to adapt to most was Oxford’s through court defensive pressure as Oxford dictated their movement and forced them to sidelines as they brought the ball through. Leach proved an asset as she opened up the court for Oxford coming out of defence. Birmingham maintained their lead and pushed to finish the second quarter on top 27-16.

The third quarter saw big changes for Oxford as Makin moved to WD, Katinka Mitchel-Thompson made her Oxford debut at C and Eve Tranter on at WA. Immediately both Tranter and Mitchel-Thompson had a strong positive impact with their fresh legs and confident vision. Birmingham’s changes to the shooting circle proved effective though as their tall shooters worked the triangles and fed shooter to shooter balls with fluidity. Oxford’s small errors in the attacking third were snatched up by Birmingham but converting to goal proved difficult for both teams as turnover remained high as both teams tired. The quarter ended 41-25.

The final quarter saw only one change for Oxford with Hayward coming back on at WA for Tranter. This quarter demonstrated the fitness deficit between the two teams as Birmingham kept up the pace as Oxford slightly flagged. Nonetheless, the defensive trio of Makin, Dix and Elvidge forced the Birmingham attack to reset the ball with they strong communication. Meanwhile Hayward and Butt flooded the mid court to pressurise the feed and hold up their WA and GA. With a new GK on for Birmingham, Barlow also showed her flair and strength in the circle with her aggressive holds. Birmingham remained on top though with a lower error rate and higher conversion to goal to win the game 58-34.

All in all very proud of the Oxford performance with Katinka Mitchel Thompson being awarded MVP for her spectacular performance at C, despite it being her blues debut. The performance from Oxford suggests there is much to be excited for this season as the squad develops and partnerships are entrenched.

Emus Match Report

It was the perfect start to the year for the Emus with a 49-33 win against Bedfordshire! The Oxford defence were solid, powerful and agile, limiting space in the circle, leading to some impressive interceptions, forcing the opposition to only shoot from the circle edge. Rebounds were taken with tenacity, and taken through court clinically and safely to be converted. The new attacking combinations gelled quickly as their communication and spacial awareness when balancing the circle was prominent, and played a key role in their success, all of which was only topped off by the high shooting percentage of the Oxford duo. The opposition couldn’t help but comment on the speed and precision of play through court! MVP was awarded to GS Zoe, a great early birthday present for her!

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