The Centenary Cup is a roughly-annual contest between Melbourne University Hockey Club ('MUHC') and Sydney University Hockey Club ('SUHC'), commemorating the centenary of their first meeting. It comprises a men's match and a women's match - the winner being the club with the highest aggregate score.
The clubs were both formed in 1907, to provide male and female students at their respective universities with the opportunity to play hockey, making them amongst the oldest hockey clubs in Australia.
The University of Melbourne and The University of Sydney first met in a men's hockey match on Tuesday 1st June 1909, at the Melbourne University Oval. This was also the very first men’s InterVarsity hockey match played in Australia. According to The Argus the next day:
There was no doubt, however, that Melbourne were the stronger side, and they won by 6 goals to 2.
The first women’s match between the two universities was also played at the Melbourne University Oval, on Friday 1st September 1911. Women’s InterVarsity hockey had begun in 1908 between the Universities of Adelaide and Melbourne, and this was the first time that Sydney had also participated. As both teams had already defeated Adelaide, this match would decide the overall winner for 1911. Again, The Argus reports:
At half time the scores were level – 3 goals each – but in the second half Sydney, with the wind, prevailed, and, despite the excellent goal-keeping of Miss Bury, won by 5 goals to 3.
These annual InterVarsity hockey contests gradually expanded to include more universities from around Australia, and in 1993 became part of the Australian University Games.
The Centenary Cup
With the two clubs having celebrated their centenaries in 2007, it was decided to relaunch the old rivalry. And so in 2008, matches were played at the Melbourne University Hockey Pitch – just a mishit hockey ball away from the University Oval where it all began 99 years earlier. The 'Centenary Cup' was then innaugurated the following year for the return contest in Sydney.
|Year||Venue||Men's Result||Women's Result||Overall|
|2008||Melbourne University||5-4 Sydney||5-2 Melbourne||Contest won by Melbourne (9-7)|
|2009||Sydney Olympic Park||4-1 Sydney||3-0 Sydney||Cup won by Sydney (7-1)|
|2011||Melbourne University||6-5 Melbourne||3-2 Sydney||Cup retained by Sydney (8-8)|