Sports highlights: Weeks 3 & 4

Thursday 16 May 2024


The following highlights from various sports clubs and teams were compiled from recent reports. If any captains or team members have a result that you'd like to feature in the next round-up, please contact


Congratulations to the men’s first team on their victory in a close-run 2024 Cuppers Cup final at the St John’s playing fields on 10 May. Buoyed by the recent success of the men’s second team, the team were joined by a large crowd of supporters who more than made up for any home advantage that St John’s may have hoped for.

Both sides had opportunities but neither was able to score, resulting in a penalty shoot-out. After St John’s kicked a fifth penalty off target, St Catharine’s was able to remain calm and scored to win. The final score was 0-0 (5-4 on penalties), marking the first time that St Catharine’s has won the Cuppers Cup since 2009. (Varsity)

Daniel Sánchez, a third-year Engineering undergraduate and captain of St Catharine's College Association Football Club (SCCAFC), reflected:

"The 2023–24 season has been a historic season for Catz sports, and especially for SCCAFC. Our second team has had arguably its most successful season ever, finishing comfortably in mid table in a very strong division 3, and beating Pembroke in a penalty shoutout to win the Shield cup. As for the first team, the start of the season was a struggle: injuries plagued the squad, and after three league losses the team saw itself reliving past memories of a division 2 relegation scrap. However, as soon as the infirmary emptied out, the team started a seven game winning streak, culminating with the first Cuppers win since 2009. What this club has accomplished this year is an incredible feat in SCCAFC history and college football, and I could not be more proud to have been this club’s captain this season."

Moment St Catharine's men's football team win the 2024 Cuppers Cup
The moment of victory (credit: David Bogie)
St Catharine's men's football team celebrate winning the 2024 Cuppers Cup
Pitch invasion after the match (credit: Sir John Benger (1979, English), Master of St Catharine's)


Congratulations to the mixed hockey team representing St Catharine’s and St Edmund’s Colleges who won the 2024 Cuppers competition at the Wilberforce sports ground on 4 May! 

After progressing through earlier knockout stages, our side faced a semi-final against a rival squad representing four colleges (Corpus Christi, Lucy Cavendish, Robinson and Peterhouse). Captains Heather Magee (a final-year Modern & Medieval Languages undergraduate) and Karen Rodriguez (a final-year Music undergraduate) report that there was a quiet first half with no goals from either team, which lulled the opposition into false sense of security. With both teams scored in the second half, with our side eventually sealing a 2-1 win and claiming a spot in the final later the same day. The team’s performance in the final was equally impressive:

“We started with one final chant of ‘For the Wheel’, no doubt intimidating our opposition, Christs-Pembroke. Having lost to them in the league, the match promised a challenge – and so did the blazing summer heat, with both teams giving it everything. It remained at 0-0 until just before the half time whistle when we volleyed the ball into the back of the net past a very bewildered goalkeeper, giving a Catz a much-needed boost before the break. A rousing team talk ensued from Heather, and the team were pumped and ready to take on the second half. A stream of goals followed, but our wonderful goalkeeper made some great saves and Chembroke only managed to sneak one (legal) goal in. Ultimately, the oppo simply couldn’t keep up with our fitness, and we clutched victory with a 4-1 win. It’s been a joy to play with this team through the year, and it is this team bond, supplemented by pub trips, that won us the trophy.”

The St Catharine's-St Edmund's mixed hockey team celebrates winning the 2024 Cuppers competition
2024 Cuppers champions! (credit: Dik Ng)


Later on 4 May, our supporters (and at least one player) made the short journey from the Wilberforce sports ground to the Grange Road rugby ground, in order to watch St Catharine's men’s rugby team, alongside their partners from Homerton, compete for the title of Cuppers rugby champions (last won by St Catharine's in 2001). Our side was pitted against Jesus College, who we beat in the 2023 Plate final and it seems like our opposition was out for revenge in what the Varsity match report described as “an intense final”. 

The Jesus forwards made life difficult for our resilient defence from the very start and the first half finished with us down 0-19. The gap widened in the second half but our players never backed down, and even managed to secure “a well-deserved try after playing unrelentingly the entire match”. The final 31-7 scoreline doesn’t do justice to our players’ perseverance or the vociferous support from the St Catharine’s community, including the Master even when sat next to his counterpart from Jesus. (Varsity)


The first weekend in May also saw St Catharine’s rowers join the Cambridge University Boat Club (CUBC) at the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) regatta in Nottingham, many competing for the first time since their victories in the 2024 Boat Races.

Clare Hole (2020, Natural Sciences; now a Population Health Sciences MPhil student) had a great weekend to kickstart her summer racing, coming third in the Champ 2-, fourth in the Champ 8+ and fifth in the Champ 4+. Clare is looking forward to rowing for St Catharine’s in our May Bumps campaign alongside training for the Henley with CUBC over the coming months.

Also on the women’s side, Emily Wolfenden (a third-year Medical Sciences undergraduate) and Jessica van de Grint (a Psychology PhD student) raced as part of CUBC Women’s development squad, coming 21st in Inter 4+ and 21st in Inter 8+, respectively.

Clare Hole coming third in the coxless pair at BUCS 2024 regatta
Clare Hole (right) came third in the Champ 2- (credit: Nordin Ćatić)

Matt Edge (2018, Natural Sciences; now a Chemistry PhD student) was in the Championship 4- that won gold. He explains:

“It had been a quick turnaround since the Boat Race and we were jumping into a different boat class, but preparations had gone well and we were feeling good going in. Our first race was the time trial and we got a good piece down for our first race as a unit and came away with the win by a tight 0.6s over 5 minutes. This allowed us to go straight through to the final and skip the repechage, which we were very thankful for on a blazing hot day. It also afforded us the centre lane in a 6-wide field, a big change from the one-on-one match racing we're used to. We were sandwiched between three strong crews from Oxford Brookes who had taken the title in Championship 8s the day before with Newcastle and University of London in the outside lanes. We tussled for a lead off the start but came through 500m with our nose in front and relaxed into our rhythm. Through the middle of the race, our pace proved slightly better as we edged away from the field, making it up to nearly a boat length a head of the two crews either side. With 500m to go, we looked to be in a comfortable position, but Brookes started charging and eating back on our lead. We lifted through the last few hundred metres just in time to hold our lead and cross the line 6 feet up on the top Brookes crew to take Cambridge's first openweight men's championship BUCS title since 2019.”

In addition, Nikita Zoglo (a final-year Natural Sciences undergraduate) and Tom Heppel (a third-year Psychological & Behavioural Sciences undergraduate) were both in the Intermediate 4+ that came sixth in their final.

Matt Edge winning gold with the Champ 4+ crew at BUCS 2024
Matt Edge (left) won gold with the Champ 4+ crew (credit: Nordin Ćatić)