On Saturday afternoon, an extremely close Floorball Cuppers tournament took place at the Iffley Road Sports Centre.
A little-known sport, floorball is a form of indoor hockey popularised in Scandinavia and Central Europe. As many beginners who turned up soon discovered, the game requires an amount of coordination and stamina.
Despite this, Luke Shore, a beginner competing for the Christ Church side, thought the sport was surprisingly easy to learn. “It’s great! I really improved as the day went along,” he told Cherwell.
Having beat a strong Queen’s College team after a penalty shootout in their semi-final, the favourites Christ Church, who improved steadily throughout the day despite some inexperienced members, were placed against the wiley Wolfson College.
Christ Church took an early lead in the final, only to be denied by a late Wolfson equaliser. In the ensuing penalty shoot-out, Christ Church hero Dan Zaitsev calmly dispatched the ball into the top corner, and victory celebrations followed for Christ Church.
Despite Christ Church’s relative inexperience, enthusiastic defender Jack Bara thought the secret to his team’s success was past experience of ALTS ice hockey, which requires similar stick-handling skills.
This marked to the end to a very successful day for Christ Church, who became Head of the River and also prevailed in Water Polo Cuppers.
Although competition for the Cuppers trophy was fierce, many had come to Iffley simply to try something new or to have a fun afternoon. Milan Fowkes, captain of the runner-up Wolfson side, was not only proud of his team’s performance, including nail-biting victory against Green Templeton in the other semi-final, but was also happy with how everyone played a part. “We all contributed along the way; it wasn’t an individual effort that stood out,” he told Cherwell.
Lucas Buzaglo, who played for Keble, emphasised the friendly atmosphere, but stressed his disappointment about the result. “Everyone was friendly with each other. That being said, all of us would have liked to take the Cuppers trophy home.”