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By Matthew Handley
On a weekend which saw the conclusion of the Premier League season, West Oxford played host to a different kind of football, as teams from all over the city met for the annual American Football Trinity Cup.
The tournament was played under the non-contact rules of Flag Football, with each player wearing two detachable strips on their hips, and to make a tackle, defenders must remove at least one, stopping the play dead. Eight teams entered, including teams from the Said Business School and the City of Oxford’s local team, the Saints, as well as six teams representing various colleges.
After two intensely competitive pool stages, the four teams that met up in the semi-finals were the Said Business School team, referred to all afternoon as the ‘Special Boat Squadron’, a team from Wycliffe Hall styled ‘Team America: World Police’, and the creatively named ‘Lincoln and New’.
A repechage was held for the remaining teams, with the local Oxford Saints beating Balliol to take home the plate competition.
In the semis themselves, Team America, quarterbacked by former Princeton player Chase Campbell, proved too strong for a resilient Lincoln team, who were hampered by the effects of sunburn on many members of their team. In the other match-up, the SBS held off New to set up a final between the two teams with the best names in the competition. Ultimately, the Said Business School prevailed, going the entire day undefeated to earn the title of Trinity Cup champions.
Oxford University American Football Club President Guy Edwards said afterwards, “The tournament was a great success, with a high standard of play from all teams, contributing to an exceptionally competitive and rewarding afternoon.”
He added that “the weather was frankly too good, and several players caught the sun, slightly resembling lobsters by the end of the day.” The lobsters in question were unavailable for comment, but the event was thoroughly enjoyed by all of the competitors, many of whom were playing the game for the first time.
For those who caught the American Football bug, Oxford University’s own Lancers hold training at 12pm every Sunday at Botley Park. They are recruiting for next season and all are welcome to attend.