The last week of Hilary term saw the conclusion of the college football season, a dramatic-climax for college football as battles for promotion and relegation swung one way and then the other.
The best story of the week undoubtedly emerged from Division One. Just a few weeks ago, Christ Church were in prime position to go up, alongside runaway leaders Pembroke. In fact, they were so confident, that the Christ Church Sports Rep, when reflecting on their loss to New in Cuppers final, remarked that ‘we are looking forward to playing you in the Premiership next year.’
It turns out they won’t have to worry about losing to New again next season. St Anne’s, who had been on the tails of Christ Church all year, duly beat them 1-0 on a gloriously sunny day in North Oxford, ensuring that both teams remained in the promotion race going into the last gameweek.
After Balliol forfeited the points against Anne’s, the pressure was on ‘The House’ to beat Queen’s, who had been in the drop zone all year. Queen’s, however, played a strong side, and Christ Church a weak one. The result? 6-0 to Queen’s. Anne’s were up, Christ Church were not. Karma? You can make up your own mind on that one.
Promotion to the Premier Division of JCR football caps a superb two years for the self-styled ‘MGA’. Back-to-back promotions, unbeaten at home in the league since 2017, plus a Hassan’s Cup victory last season, and a College Futsal League one this year. St Anne’s are once again mixing it with the big boys.
Queen’s not only did St Anne’s a huge favour, but themselves stayed in the division by following up the 6-0 defeat with a 15-0 win over Balliol two days later, ensuring St Hugh’s were to drop down to Division Two instead.
There was also drama in the Premier Division itself. Control of the title race had swung all season between Worcester and St Catz. With Catz having finished their campaign in Week 7, Worcester knew that two wins from their last two games (and nothing less) would ensure they claimed the title. A 2-0 victory against St John’s set up a tantalising game against already-relegated Exeter. David beating Goliath seemed to be theme of the week, though, and Worcester succumbed to a 1-0 home loss, conceded a late penalty. It’s fair to say Premier Division champions St Catz will be sending some flowers to Turl Street.
In Division Two, St Peter’s snatched the title on the last day, a 6-1 win over Keble ensuring that they pipped Hertford to the league on goal difference. In Division Three, Brasenose and Trinity celebrated promotion.
A captivating, memorable and (for some) sickening end to another great season of JCR football. We go again next year.