Teddy Hall remain unbeaten having begun Hilary Term by beating 5th-placed Balliol 3-1, with Jack Moran and James Hilton each scoring. Moran’s goal from the penalty-spot gave his side a first-half lead before Balliol equalised on the hour-mark through George Colenutt. Harry Lighton put Teddy Hall back ahead in the 80th minute, and Hilton finished things off in injury-time. Following this defeat, Balliol remain in relegation trouble with only six points for the season. Teddy Hall, however, now sit four points ahead of second-placed Worcester, although last year’s champions have a game in hand.
Teddy Hall’s next match is against St. Catz next Monday, whose poor season continued in their 4-0 loss to Wadham last week. Wadham cruised to victory thanks to a brace from Will Hayter – inexplicably nicknamed Pony by his teammates, Hayter also has the nickname ‘eight-er’ after he scored eight goals in a Wadham 2nds match last year. A goal from Blue Chris Wright and a rare successful penalty from Wadham captain Jeremy Stothart rounded off the victory.
Catz, historically a very successful side, along with the aforementioned Balliol, and St Hugh’s make up the trio of teams worrying about the league they’ll be in next year. Exeter’s scheduled match against Wadham this week was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. The Turl St. side’s league ambitions have tailed off, but their ambitions for Cuppers mean this could be a successful season in the cup.
The only match in the JCR First Division saw New College host a visit from Lincoln. Going into the game, the two sides were level on 10 points – but that did not prevent an enormous gulf emerging on the pitch, as New stormed to a 6-0 victory. American fresher and university player Michael Feeney netted a penalty to reach the top of the league’s scoring charts, with 7 goals, in addition to twice assisting ‘Sir’ Tim Wade – so named for helping New 2nds to Reserve Cuppers victory last year, reportedly New’s greatest ever sporting achievement.
New now sit in 2nd place behind Keble on 18 points who, having lost their first match of the season at the close of Michaelmas Term, are now determined to get their season back on track. Lincoln, in 4th place, will try and claw themselves back into contention for promotion but are probably too far off.
The Christmas break was clearly not kind to LMH, previously unbeaten in the JCR Second Division, as they collapsed to a 4-1 defeat against St Anne’s. Whilst technically a top of the table clash – LMH and St Anne’s sit first and second respectively – the league had in truth been a one-horse race prior to this game, as LMH had amassed a 9-point lead. This result may herald a hitherto unlikely exciting finale to the season.
Meanwhile, bottom-placed St Hilda’s optimism in the build-up to their match against second-bottom St Peter’s – their only league win so far this season came in the reverse fixture in November – led only to post-match despair, as St Peter’s grabbed a 2-0 victory to take their revenge.
Victory would have seen Hilda’s leapfrog Peter’s into 6th-place, but they instead remain rooted to the bottom. Pembroke moved into 3rd place with a 2-1 victory over St John’s, the victors’ goals being scored by Leo Barnes and Benjamin Southworth.
When Oriel lost 9-1 to Jesus in their JCR Third Division match in November, their players were presumably determined to make amends in the reverse fixture, played last Friday. However, they failed miserably, as top-of-the-table Jesus enjoyed a 7-0 thrashing. This is the third time that Oriel have lost by seven goals or more in league or cup this season, having only played seven games.
They are spared the ignominy of being the JCR’s bottom club only by Christ Church who, having amassed only a solitary point whilst also boasting a defence three goals worse than Oriel’s.
League tables can be found on page 30, with results, fixtures, and other statistics available at www.ouafc.com.