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.
I 19 www.sport.ox.ac.ukIn terms of fixtures, the results have been a mixed bag. We got off to a flyer with wins against Harrow and Eton (it seems the former have undergone a revival since the departure of James Batting) but faltered a little against the older players, suffering heavy defeats at the hands of the North Oxford Fives Club. The University Championships is the most important tournament aside from the Varsity Match, and I am frustrated to report that for the second year running Oxford lost in the final to a talented, albeit fortuitous, Cambridge pair. Rex Worth and Balrik Kailey fought to the end but were eventually undone by the monotonous, error-free opposition. Despite this setback, hopes were high for the Varsity Match. With the morale issues of the previous season firmly behind us, we felt confident about our side with debutant Conrad Ryan bolstering the 1st VI. The match was one of the closest in years and Oxford went down 2-1 in both the 1st and 2nd VI. The post-match dinner was a lovely evening; Eton College's hospitality was excellent and thanks must go to Mark Williams and Gareth Hoskins for helping organise the day.All in all last season was great fun, and looking at the strength and depth of next year's squad, I have high hopes for the Varsity Match 2011.FENCINGThe Oxford fencing beginners went to Cambridge to compete in the second ever novice Varsity Match, but sadly lacked the same aggression as Cambridge and so did not bring home the trophy. This occasion also marked the graduation of our excellent beginners' coach Chris Jones. Because of this, the Club ran a Level 1 coaching course for Club members and local fencers, with 12 people emerging as able beginners' coaches. The new academic year started strongly, with large numbers of new members attending these sessions (a record 90 turned up to the taster session!). This strength continues and we hope to win the novice Varsity Match for the first time in 2010-11.The Squad has continued to be in the capable hands of our coach Tomek Walicki and has finished the year strongly, with both teams making it to the BUCS semi-finals. At the BUCS Individual Championships the Club has also been successful, with Mathew Shearman winning the Men's Foil, Dominic Kerr coming second in the Men's Sabre with Alex Crutchett sixth, Boris Davis finishing seventh in Men's Epee, and Stephanie Pambakian coming seventh in Women's Sabre. The Men's seconds team is also going strong, and for the first time a Women's seconds team has been fencing in the BUCS league and is currently ranked as the third second team in the country, which is a fantastic result for a new team and their Captain Rachel Gregory. FOOTBALLThe 2009-10 season was another successful one for OUAFC, with the Men's Blues winning a dramatic 126th Varsity Match 5-3 on penalties against their Light Blue rivals. The Blues trailed for most of the match 1-0, after a penalty was awarded to Cambridge for a tug on Cambridge striker Matthew Stock. However, as the match drew to a close and entered its final minutes, up stepped mercurial Oxford midfielder James Kelly to curl a beautiful free kick around the Cambridge wall and into the bottom left corner of the net. With the teams deadlocked at 1-1 throughout extra time, a clinically executed set of penalty kicks from Oxford clinched the C B Fry trophy for Captain Leon Farr's team. Meanwhile, the Women's Blues were unfortunate to lose their Varsity Match 1-0 against a strong Cambridge outfit, but the Furies were victorious in a thrilling 3-2 encounter against the Cambridge Falcons. In BUCS the Women's Blues were relegated to the Midlands 2B League after a disappointing campaign. The Blues were often unable to recreate the form which led them to victory in the BUCS Knockout Cup, in which they beat many of the sides who had earlier thwarted them in league fixtures. In the Men's, the Blues were unlucky not to take the league title after drawing 0-0 in a final-day league-decider against Nottingham Trent, ensuring that the holy grail of BUCS Premier League action continues to remain out of reach. In the fiercely contested JCR Premier League, Christ Church became champions with a fine total of 11 wins from only 16 games, with only one defeat all season. Missing out by a single point were St Catz, who remain a strong force in College football. In the First Division, Worcester ran away with the League Title after winning 16 of their 18 matches, without drawing a single game. With promotion to the top tier of a new, four-league college structure, Worcester will believe they are back where they belong. Meanwhile, Second Division Lincoln were the shock winners of Cuppers, thrashing Premier-League heavyweights St. Catz 4-0. Time will tell whether the loss of Blues players Alex Biggs and Matthew Flood will have an adverse effect on the side this year as they move into the newly formed First Division. Finally, Hertford College will aim to improve on their tally of zero points last season - a run of 14 consecutive losses which saw them concede 68 goals! It is an unfortunate record which left Hertford rooted to the foot of the JCR basement division, languishing on goal difference behind OXILP, who pulled out of the league without having played a single fixture.GAELIC GAMESThis year has proved very successful in recruiting new members to Gaelic games in Oxford, seeing a large increase in the popularity of hurling, camogie and football. This has allowed the structuring of regular training sessions, resulting in much stronger performances by all teams in OUGAA.The Men's Football Team continues to be strong, building on their Varsity victory last year. The Gaelic footballers reached the semi-final of the British University Championship,