JCR Rugby First Division
Teddy Hall 33
St Catz 17
On Tuesday afternoon, amongst the freezing winds of uni parks, Teddy Hall stormed to a Premiership title unbeaten. Despite some refereeing controversy, Hall stormed out of the blocks, scoring 2 tries in quick succession. With players barely able to feel their fingers, and some apparent 5th week blues affecting many on the pitch, the rugby was scrappy and by no means the spectacle Hall fans have come to expect this term.
It could be argued that this term has been so successful for SEHRFC due to a perfect balance of experienced heads and highly talented freshers. This was most apparent as Oscar Vallance skipped through Catz twice and star flanker Rich Collins also touched down in a high scoring opening.
The real twist of the knife came though when the ever-present Roland McFall, fresh from bursting into the College’s XV on Sunday (staking a sound claim for a call-up to Twickenham), found himself on the shoulder of another Collins break and touched down under the posts. Eames was exceptionally consistent with the boot and Hall found themselves 28-0 up, bonus point and therefore the league already in the bag before half-time. This led to a sharp dip in commitment, and Catz’s strong full back went over for his first to show they weren’t going down without a fight.
Collins almost immediately scored again, to put the half-time score at 33-5. Following many changes the second half took on a slower, less interested atmosphere as the minutes ticked by. Hall number 10 Charlie Millar controlled midfield pretty much at his ease, and the game produced very little interesting rugby for the remaining 40 minutes, aside from Tom Clark spinning his way through much of Catz’s pack like he was a fully-fledged member of OUDC. Catz ran hard, and coupled with poor tackling in the middle from Hall, their 15 and 10 each touched down. However, there was no coming back and Hall left the field proudly led by Captain Tom Sanders and old boy Ben Tucker as the new Premiership champions of college rugby.
JCR Football Premier Division
St Hugh’s 2
Both teams began the day in the relegation zone, after reaching fifth week with neither team having any victories to speak of. St Hugh’s lined up in a conventional 4-4-2 whilst Wadham defected to a Fifa/Real Madrid inspired 4-2-3-1 in an inspired break from ex Captain Frodo Baggins’ rigid 4-5-1 tactical regime. The breakthrough came in the seventeenth minute when Wadham switched the play to the right and winger Tim Poole(y) found the far top corner with a miss-hit cross from the corner of the 18-yard box.
Wadham pressed on for the next half an hour, and were rewarded when the diminutive Elliott Miley (of teapot pose fame on last week’s Cherwell back page) was hauled down in the penalty area. Poole doubled his tally with a blasted penalty down the middle, as the Hugh’s keeper David Hinton dived out the way half an hour too early.
Wadham’s defence looked typically solid from open play, however (at the risk of exposing our weakness) looked positively shocking from set-pieces. Just before half time Hugh’s scraped one back from a deep cross after yet another poorly defended corner, Mark Jamison controlling skilfully and shooting past the helpless Cowboy Jenkins to make the score 2-1 at the break.
Wadham extended their lead shortly after the break from a corner as Wright headed onto his own arm before finding the net. In an interesting interpretation of the rules of football, referee Alex Bunn said “it definitely hit his hand but I’m not giving it.”
JCR Football Premier Division
The clash of the titans! Tickets sold out 3 weeks before the game as Queen’s recorded their highest attendance of the season of 23,781. The grandstands were brimming with anticipation as the teams took the field and kick off had to be delayed because of a succession of flares and bog-rolls hurled onto the field by the over-enthusiastic fans. After the stewards restored order the match could finally get underway, Queen’s winning the toss and boldly attacking with the wind in the first half.
It was Jesus who started the brighter of the two teams, camping on the edge of the Queen’s box for prolonged periods. A clumsy challenge by the scrambling Queen’s defence gave Jesus an opportunity to test the keeper inside the 5 minute mark. Perennial underachiever Maximilian Gordon-Brown, still sulking after losing the election, used the wind to his advantage to tamely float the ball onto the bar. Amid the chaos caused by this somewhat mediocre free-kick, hard-man Aussie centre-back Mike Murphy was on hand to open the scoring.
The score was doubled 5 minutes later as Italian import Tomaso Barker, astutely nicknamed “The Praying Mantis” by his adoring fans back home, showed his predatory instincts to volley the ball home from 20 yards out. The rest of the half was dominated by Queen’s however, the revival being led by the bullish striker Alex “Not as good as Ross” McDonald, and it was fitting that just before half time he levelled the scores with an easy tap-in after some silky Queen’s passing.
After the break the quality of football deteriorated as route one was too often chosen by both teams until finally a long ball from Jesus captain Shark Jeeves found Barker in space and he proceeded to slot home what would eventually be the winner. Queen’s can consider themselves unlucky not to have won the game after laying siege to the Jesus goal for the last 20 minutes, however it was to be Jesus who march on to the next round, leaving Queen’s to lick their wounds and rue missed opportunities.