M5 delivered a stunning 19-2 victory on a searing varsity weekend this year. The first day unfolded eerily similarly to that of August the 28th, 2011 at the magnificent Old Trafford, only with Worcester college the theatre of M5 dreams. Two strong sides, seemingly evenly matched stood ready to battle it out, two titans of university tennis ensuring both teams appeared relatively small.
But as the first whistle blew, and the first serve was struck, it became clear one side was the better. Dominant performances from the top three seeds (Justin Kenny, Adam Gregory and Thomas Griffiths) ensured that, just like United, M5 were already 3 up before the first break. A second round of comprehensive victories from the tail end of the order (Hugo Jacquemin, Adam Vaughan and Jack Eaton) ensured that, at the end of the first round of singles, Oxford were a mighty 6-0 up.
The first round of doubles followed a similar pattern. Two comprehensive victories and one stunning three set nail-biting triumph from Harry Orrin and Cameron Brown ensured they entered the final portion of the first day a massive 9-0 up, one better than Sir Alex's heroes… and they hadn't even reached half time.
A few quick taps on the calculator and all became clear..they could win it today, on the first day! A quick, efficient, and extremely rousing team talk from Captain Jack and they went again. Serves boomed, forehands whipped, and drop shots died. And they emerged victorious. 12-0 up after the first day, varsity literally in the bag. Flawless.
Like the professional athletes M5 are, they rested their weary limbs, re-cooperated, and, the next day, returned to finish the job. Despite a solitary Isner-Anderson style three set loss in the first round of singles, the team further demonstrated their dominance, grinding out another 3 setter and dispatching all other singles matches with pure tenacity, power and skill. The doubles proved a similar affair. A disappointing but well fought loss in one match was more than outweighed by two more fantastic victories in doubles matches that wouldn't have seemed out of place amongst some of the best doubles matches at Wimbledon (on like court 6 or something).
Ultimately, M5 emerged triumphant. A shining example of teamwork and tenacity. Every player played their heart out and every player cheered each other on with fervour. Whilst the Tabs may have scored two lucky and irrelevant goals, the men of M5 delivered a performance that even the great Sir Alex Ferguson would have been 'delighted' with.