The men's Fitzwilliam-Sidney Sussex rugby union team
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Sporting success amid the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown period brought a premature end to intercollegiate sport at the University of Cambridge, which has enabled Fitzwilliam College to enjoy a full trophy cabinet.

The cancellation of the men’s rugby union Cuppers final, and the subsequent decision to place both finalists’ names on the trophy, means Fitzwilliam are holders of the men’s rugby union, football and cricket cups. 

The enforced postponements mean Fitzwilliam’s footballers did not get a chance to win Cuppers for a fourth straight year, and the cricketers did not get the opportunity to go for five in a row. 

But the men’s rugby team, which is made up of players from Fitz and Sidney Sussex and won the Division One title in Lent term for the first time since 1982, have been named Cuppers champions, alongside Downing. Fitz’s only previous success in the Cuppers tournament, which dates from 1923, came in 1965.

Captain Will Lockhart said: “We got an email from CURUFC to say both names were going to go on the trophy, which is obviously nice on the face of it, but everyone’s pretty competitive and it doesn’t count for us! 

“We knew we’d had a good season, so to have got to a final and not been able to play it, beating a very good Johns side in the semis, was a bit frustrating.”

Fitz’s sporting successes in 2019-20 included the women’s netball team winning the Division One title for the first time in recent memory, the athletics team claiming Cuppers and the mixed hockey team emerging victorious in ‘Supercuppers’ against Oxford’s best college team.

Fitz JCR President of Sports and Societies Jake Marshall, who is also the men’s football captain, said: “Of course cancellation of cup finals is frustrating for all involved - I think the players treasure the experience of the occasion even more than the pride of having the name on the trophy! 

“But having said that, there is so much to celebrate again in Fitz sport this year. The breadth, as well as the consistency, of Fitz sporting talent fills me with great Billy pride.”

The Master, Baroness Sally Morgan, said: “I’m delighted by Fitz’s sporting achievements, extending the successes of recent years. Fitz is well known for an enthusiastic approach to sport and it's great to see the brilliant results across such a wide range of sports.”

Read more about the sporting stories on the College website.

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