I 17 www.sport.ox.ac.ukin the nets went well, with our new coaches, Matthew Watson and David Smith. With the arrival of Trinity term, we moved outdoors into the Parks, where we could continue our training out in the middle, and start playing some games. We progressed through to the knockout stage of the BUCS competition, fielding strong sides and ensuring that everyone got a game. Sadly, the perennial problem of the dreaded exams thwarted our progression through to the knockout stages of the BUCS competition, as we were unable to field sides for the away matches.We have also played a selection of friendly matches throughout the season, against the Army, the Young Lord's Taverners and the MCC. The latter fixture is one of the highlights of the season, with the match being played in the Parks, and us being treated to some excellent cricket from the likes of Charlotte Edwards, giving the girls an unrivalled opportunity to play cricket in such a setting. Our Varsity campaign this season held much more hope than the previous year, with our impressive bowling attack looking great. With the fixture being held at Lord's on the Nursery ground, once again we are grateful for the opportunity to play at such a wonderful location. Putting Cambridge into bat first, we took all their wickets, with a total of 267 being set. However, despite an impressive batting display by the Captain Sophie Le Marchand, we were unable to make the runs. We also participated in two days of coaching for 70 French school children visiting Oxford through a language school. We look forward to another successful and enjoyable season next year.CRICKET MEN'S The OUCC Blues Team had a very successful 2010 campaign. Starting in late April, the season got off to a good start in the Annual Town vs. Gown Trophy match against Oxford Cricket Club. The Blues won a closely fought match for the first time in five years, to take out the trophy and make a winning start to the season Other highlights in the early part of the season included victories against the Duke of Norfolk's XI and the RAF.The Blues BUCS Team also enjoyed a very successful season, reaching the semi-finals of the Cup competition, and therefore placing equal third overall amongst British universities. After being promoted to the Premier League (B) competition in 2009 (the highest university league, below the MCC Universities 1-day competition), Oxford anticipated some very competitive opposition. Unfortunately, Oxford fell at the penultimate hurdle, being defeated by UWIC in Cardiff at the semi-final stage. One of the undoubted highlights of the season took place on 4th June as Oxford played host to the 2010 Charles Russell Varsity Twenty20 Match. Over 2000 spectators flooded the Parks under glorious sunshine to witness an excellent spectacle of music, pink balls and a lot of big hitting! Having posted an imposing target of 178-2, the Cambridge side were never able to keep up with the run rate and were eventually bowled out for 125, giving Oxford a 53-run victory. (Oxford 178-2 Agarwal 88, King 41, R Sharma 33* defeated Cambridge 125 Pascoe 3-7) The One-Day Varsity match at Lords ended in a close defeat for the Blues. Batting first, the Blues made 270, largely thanks to some explosive late hitting from Nick Meadows (St John's) who top- scored with 66. In reply, a tight start from the Oxford bowlers kept Cambridge well below the required run rate, but a century partnership in the middle of the innings set Cambridge up, and a quick-fire unbeaten partnership of 68 for the sixth wicket saw Cambridge home by five wickets with two overs to spare. (Oxford 270 Meadows 66, A Sharma 51, Pascoe 42 lost to Cambridge 271-5).The Blues completed their season in fine style with a record-breaking victory over Cambridge in the four-day Varsity Match played between 7th and 9th July. Batting first, Oxford amassed the highest total ever recorded in the 183-year history of the match, scoring 611-5 decl. including reaching 475-2 after the first day's play. Some fine batting performances included Sam Agarwal scoring 117, Dan King 189 and Avinash Sharma making the highest score on debut in the Varsity first class match of 185*. Cambridge were bowled out in their first innings reply for 243, thanks mainly to some excellent spin bowling from Daniel Pascoe taking 5-38 and Alex Scott 4-52. Following on, Cambridge were then dismissed again for 343 with Sam Agarwal taking 5-78 and Alex Scott rounding off a fine debut performance with 4-95, to give the Blues a resounding innings and 28-run victory. (Oxford 611-5 decl King 189, A Sharma 185*, Agarwal 117 defeated Cambridge 243 Pascoe 5-38, Scott 4-52 following on 343 Agarwal 5-78, Scott 4-95 by an innings and 28 runs).CROQUETThis year the Croquet Club returned to its former strength. We have about 40 members, half of whom fully engage in the Club's activities. We managed to interest a lot of freshers with our demonstration match and free beginners' coaching sessions; those of them who joined the Club improved rapidly and participated in Varsity and Croquet Association tournaments. Most notably Alex Evans and Will Alderton won first and second place in the Northampton handicap weekend respectively. This year we also arranged more formal coaching sessions for members of intermediate level. These sessions were also a great opportunity to prod the less committed members to participate in the weekly matches of the Southern Croquet Federation league. As a result we won all but one match, which we drew.The Varsity Match was held on 8th June at the Hurlingham Club in London, with Oxford successfully organising the match and Pol Roger providing the prizes. Oxford won 7-2 and I feel that the coaching sessions, and the effort the Committee took to improve the commitment levels among Club members, is what ultimately made the Oxford team superior to the Cambridge one.After the end of term we hosted the National Student Championships. It had two sub-tournaments: singles and doubles; both were won by Oxford. In the summer we hosted Cuppers, the largest croquet tournament in the world. This was a great success, with about 230 teams of four entering, making it the largest Croquet tournament ever held. The trophy was claimed by St Edmund Hall's team after a series of hard matches. CROSS-COUNTRYOUCCC enjoyed a highly successful year in 2009-10. The season kicked off with the Manchester Relays in early October, in which the Men's A Team finished fifth, the B Team thirteenth, out of 50 teams, and the Women's Team eighth out of 43. Two weeks into Michaelmas we had our first main cross-country meet in Birmingham. The annual Cuppers fixture at Port Meadow was the second Varsity selection race. The Women's race was won by Lincoln's own international star Michelle Sikes. The Men's race then saw a fantastic battle between fresher Jake Shelley of Somerville and Club Captain Chris McGurk of Wadham, which culminated in Jake spectacularly taking a wrong turn on the last lap of the nature reserve; he was duly notified of this by McGurk, who waited for him before resuming. Who says Oxford no longer produces gentlemen! Jake would go on to pip McGurk to the post by just 10 seconds. The day itself was won by Wadham in both the Women's and Men's races. A turnout of 30 in the Women's race and 84 in the Men's was an encouraging indicator of the sport's popularity within the University.II's - IV's Varsity in Shotover was a success for OUCCC. The Dark Blue Women's II's prevailed in a closely-fought encounter. The dominance of the Oxford team was in full view as seven of the eight crossed the line before any of the remaining six Cambridge runners, thus running out 31-54 winners overall. It was a similar story in the Men's III's: four of the first
18 I OXFORD UNIVERSITY I SPORTS REVIEW 2010 five home were Oxford, with freshers Will Mycroft and Alan Cherry running fantastic Varsity debuts to finish first and second respectively. Unfortunately Oxford lost both the Women's III's and Men's IV's mob matches, but nevertheless ran out 3-2 victors on the day with two races remaining.The historic Blues match followed at Wimbledon Common. The Women's match was up first and in one of the closest races for a long time it was the Dark Blues who ran out 17-21 victors, by the narrowest of margins. Despite an unassailable 4-2 lead in the overall Varsity race series with just one race to go, the atmosphere at the start of the Men's Blues was no less intense. In what followed the two teams displayed immense quality, from the start Franco and Bruce surged to the front with Cambridge veteran James Kelly, with Andy Heyes adopting the bold tactic of also keeping with their pace. Nearing the end of the race the Oxford front three broke from Kelly who, having done tremendously well to stick with them alone for so long, simply had no answer. Franco and Bruce pulled further away with Bruce winning. Heyes finished in third, his gamble of keeping with the more experienced frontrunners paying off fantastically well, and after Kelly came Luke and Jake, separated only by Cambridge's second runner. Cambridge's strength was indeed shown as it was their third and fourth finishers who occupied the next two positions, but with a solid run by Joe Mercer securing tenth place and being the sixth Oxford man home, the Dark Blue victory was assured. Oxford ran out 28-52 victors, edging into the lead in the overall Blues race standings 60-59, and securing a fantastic 5-2 win in the Varsity race series for the season. The prestigious BUCS Championships were held in February in Stirling. In the Women's race it was only an unfortunate mid-race injury to Michelle Sikes that prevented the team from scoring; the Men took a brilliant fourth place team finish out of 35. The following weekend saw the Hyde Park Relays, an annual event held around the park in London. Our Women's Team finished sixth out of 52 teams, our Men's B Team fifth out of 167 teams, and our Men's A team first - for the third consecutive year.The season was rounded off by the Teddy Hall Relays in Eighth Week - over 150 teams entered. In the men's race it was team OUCCC who finished first. OUCCC women battled hard in turn to secure a very commendable third place in their category. CYCLINGOxford Cycling continues to support as many avenues of cycling as it can, but we mostly engage in road and mountain bike cycling.MTB Varsity this year was held at Crowthorne Woods, Bracknell on 7th March. 18 men competed, with Oxford's Alister Mathie finishing third. In the Women's race Oxford won all three medals.Cycling Cuppers took place at the end of February, with over thirty participants racing. Jesse Elzinga won the race for the second year running, and the winning college was Balliol. Simon Janes was the only participating rider from Oxford University at the BUCS hill climb; he rode well in a strong field in his first BUCS cycling event, coming in eighth. Claire Galloway managed a sterling performance, achieving second place in the BUCS 10m TT; she received her first BUCS individual medal.The 25m TT was held at the Oxford home course this year; with 106 registered riders, this event is gearing up to be one of the best road cycle events of the BUCS calendar. After losing the Team Shield to Cambridge for two years, Oxford were hungry for victory. With the women off first, Claire Galloway rode an incredible time to win the individual Women's event outright, guiding Oxford to second place in the BUCS Women's competition.Though Oxford had BUCS victory, Cambridge's top two riders took the Women's Team Varsity. The top three fastest times from Oxford and Cambridge counted towards the winning team, with the deciding result coming down to one second's difference; the closest victory in many years. A late start by Sebastian Pancratz meant that he incurred a one-minute time penalty, still finishing in fourth place. Sebastian's time minus the penalty set a new course record, and would have seen him to a BUCS individual medal by 22 seconds over the eventual winner.The 2009-10 season was very successful, with OUCC claiming back many trophies that have not been home to Oxford for several years.DANCE2009-10 was a highly successful year for OUDC. The Club's competitive team won the Varsity match, the Varsity Challenge Match (B Team) and the Varsity Beginners' Team Match. We also won the national student dancesport championships, the Inter Varsity Dance Competition, winning the A, B, C and D Team competitions as well as the overall title.During the year we took part in five competitions against all the other universities with dance teams in the country; we won the overall title at all five of them, winning the A-Team title at four of the five.Across the Club we continue to have around 800 members who take part in the wide variety of classes and practice halls that we offer during the week. For the first time this year the Club offered the opportunity for members to take two sets of IDTA medals examinations. The results of these were absolutely first class, with over 95% of people gaining one of the top two grades.ETON FIVESThe atmosphere in the dressing room of the Oxford University Eton Fives Club is like no other team I have been a part of. All members share an insatiable passion and enthusiasm for the game, and under the guidance of honorary Club Captain Majid "king of Fives" Mostafavi this past season was immensely enjoyable.