20 I OXFORD UNIVERSITY I SPORTS REVIEW 2010 which is a great achievement for Gaelic games in Oxford. The Varsity Gaelic Football Match was won by Oxford and saw a great display of teamwork and skill, representative of the hard work the players have contributed this year. The Women's side continued to improve this year and has also had success in recruiting new members. A closely fought Varsity Match led to Oxford winning by a single point.The camogie team were able to complete the Varsity double for the Women this year. The Women's side competed in the Birmingham tournament held on 20th March and, boosted by committed new members, played in the John Mitchells tournament and got through to the final. For many this tournament was their first match and all played with skills and quality beyond their experience; a great achievement for beginners to the sport.In the Men's hurling side great dedication shown in training has enabled the team to enter tournaments, something that has not been possible in recent years. The hurlers took part in the seven-a-side Birmingham tournament on the 19th May, which allowed all players to gain more experience and match practice. This showed at the Varsity Match, where Cambridge was challenged significantly more than last year. Unfortunately the hurlers were not able to complete the grand slam, allowing Cambridge to take one of the four Gaelic Varsity Matches this year.Despite the successes of the Club it continues to run with minimal resources, with the hurlers short of hurleys and helmets, and all teams short of kit. Sponsorship remains a major target for the Club; investments would allow purchase of new equipment for all divisions, further improving the quality of Gaelic sports in Oxford.GLIDINGThe last year has been another successful one for the Gliding Club. Flying was mostly focused on the weekends, but there was also a lot of activity during midweek and additionally during expeditions (notably the expedition to Portmoak in Scotland in April 2009, when the Club gliders were airborne for almost 25 hours). Furthermore the Club members took part in the Bicester Regionals as well as in the Club and Junior Nationals. In those completions the Club pilots came repeatedly within the top ten of the daily scores.As an overall mark for the performance of the Club it is noteworthy that in the previous year there were two pilots going solo for the first time, and one gained the silver badge, as well as a diamond. This year looks promising and the Gliding Club will push the mark even higher in the coming year.GOLF WOMEN'SAnother challenging year for Oxford Ladies' golf! We started the season with only one new player, but have developed enthusiasm and momentum throughout the year, largely through changing the coaching structure for the Ladies. This year we had lessons with a local pro at the floodlit driving range in Oxford, which allowed a more flexible schedule in the depth of winter.Various new matches were set up this year, including fixtures at Royal Cinque Ports, Burnham and Berrow. The opportunity to play at more seaside-based clubs was a great bonus in our preparation for the Varsity Match, to be held at Royal Porthcawl at the end of Hilary term. As ever, we were well-matched against our hosting Ladies, and relished the regular battles on some of England's finest courses.At the Varsity Match, held at Royal Porthcawl in Wales on 16th March, Oxford fought hard against Cambridge, who were stronger on paper. The foursomes in the morning were won by Cambridge two points to one, with the Oxford point coming from the Captain and Secretary combination, Gillian Kinnear and Alex Walvis. The afternoon singles match play involved a great deal of tactics and determination from all the Oxford team. Gillian Kinnear and Min-Yee Tseu won their matches very convincingly, which helped to build Oxford's confidence. In the remaining four matches, only Alex Walvis managed to achieve a half point, with the other ladies losing in the final holes, making the overall score for the Ladies' Varsity Match 5.5-3.5 to the Light Blues. The Varsity Match showed the team that Cambridge is indeed beatable and has given us even more enthusiasm for next year.GOLF MEN'SOxford University Golf Club has enjoyed a very successful year. Under the guidance of a new coach the Blues side has gone from strength to strength, enjoying one of its most successful seasons in recent history. The Blues team does not compete in BUCS, as it receives invitations for matches from some of the top Golf Clubs around England and Wales. The Blues managed to record 17 wins, two halves, and six losses throughout the season. This is a fantastic record, mainly against experienced top amateurs around the country, and represents a massive improvement from the 30% win ratio the year before.The match that matters far more than any other took place against Cambridge University at Royal Porthcawl in late March. The result was a strong 9-6 victory for Oxford, looking in command throughout the match and unlucky not to win by more. The second team, the Divots, enjoyed a good year, though they were unlucky to lose their match against a very strong Cambridge second team. The Ladies significantly improved this year, pushing Cambridge all the way having been heavily beaten the year before.The Club has started a grass-roots initiative, which subsidizes and gets together those who wish to take up the game whilst at University. We are looking to publicise and expand the Golf Club much more next year to get more people involved, and set up a social golf section for those wishing to play together but not compete in one of our teams. Last year we also renovated our website (www.ougc.com).GYMNASTICSThe academic year 2009-10 didn't get off to the most auspicious of starts for the Gymnastics Club, as the decision of our newly instated President not to return to Oxford meant we had to quickly draft in a new committee member, and various financial complications caused setbacks. However, this was quickly turned around thanks to the hard work of an excellent committee and the aid of Old Members of the Club.
I 21 www.sport.ox.ac.ukThe Club maintained its popularity at the Oxford college balls, with several members of the Club performing a routine at Mansfield College's 'Circus of the Macabre' ball in Michaelmas 2009. Hilary term, however, was dominated by preparation for our Varsity competition, held in February, which we had the task of organising this year. The extra training sessions paid off, particularly in the case of the Women's A-team, who took the first five positions in their competition against Cambridge. In addition to this, we had several individual medallists.Our gregarious nature was also evidenced in the Club's crossover with several other sports: the Gymnastics Club's President and Secretary both competed in the Trampoling Club's Varsity, while many of the members also experimented with pole-vaulting in the hectic Trinity term, at the Athletics Club's behest.Overall, the Club's year was a varied and exciting one, though not without its challenges. Hopefully the coming year will prove just as interesting and positive!HANDBALLThis season has been one of the worst seasons for the Club since it was founded nine years ago. Unable to stay in the First Division due to the lack of committed players (and especially, the lack of a goalie in the first term for the Men's Team) meant that both Club teams had to play in the development league, struggling many times to get enough players, and having to cancel several games. The Club did not qualify for the British Cup, nor has it qualified to go back up to the First Division next season.At the University Championships, a tournament traditionally won by Oxford (three times in the past four years), neither team could pass the quarter-finals. We were lucky to have a professional coach this year, but his programme could not do much to improve a team where many players hardly came to training sessions and many would not come to play games. The team itself lacked cohesion, especially as many veteran players left last year, without the possibility of forming a new team during Michaelmas 2009.There has been a good outreach programme, and several members of the Club are involved in the promotion of handball in Oxfordshire. There is also an increased collaboration with other university teams in Southern England, such as Warwick and Southampton, which has resulted in several friendly games.HOCKEYOUHC has always been a good club to be part of: six teams offer a range of standards for both men and women.The Men's Blues started their first season in the top flight of the BUCS leagues, after climbing their way up from the bottom league, which they entered five years ago. Whilst the standard was high, the Blues showed that they were very capable of competing at the top level, finishing third in the league behind the very strong Exeter and Bath teams. In the knockouts they impressively managed to overcome Birmingham 5-3 in the quarter-finals, before losing to the eventual winners Exeter in the semi-finals. In South Premier their form was fairly mixed, however, showing much promise but often failing to put the goals away. With a strong finish to the season they ended in a respectable mid-table position.Varsity was much more convincing, with a 3-1 win thanks to an Ed Perry hat-trick of drag-flicks. With this result and an impressive BUCS campaign, it meant that overall it was an impressive season, ably captained by the well-organised and inspirational Richard Bond.The Women's Blues consolidated their position in BUCS Premier, despite an umpiring fiasco where UWIC were awarded a crucial goal that was scored after the final whistle had gone. However, this led to a tough first-round match against Bristol whom they were unable to overcome. With another safe mid-table finish in their Saturday league, Varsity was the big decider. Captain Iona Turnbull managed to rally her troops and lead the team to a nail-biting 3-2 win, capping off a successful Blues Varsity Day.The Men's 2s (Occasionals) started their first ever season in the BUCS league. The team had to start at the bottom, easily winning their league and scoring an incredible 110 goals in just eight matches, winning a promotion to the league above for 2010-11. Their Cup run was also strong, disappointingly losing to Coventry 1st in the semi-finals. The Occasionals also played in the strong London Hockey League. Varsity was once again a very competitive affair, culminating in a 1-1 draw thanks to an equaliser from old head and top scorer for the season Benji Portwin.The Women's 2s (Monkeys) were once again a strong outfit. Competing in tough leagues on both Saturdays and a Wednesday they acquitted themselves well, with a mid-table and third-place finish respectively. Varsity however was a very convincing 4-1 win, with the final goal being scored by Captain Suzie Chamberlain, who was probably the most excited girl in the world for the rest of the day.The Men's 3s (Infrequents) had a much improved season after several disappointing years, largely thanks to the strong captaincy of Ben White. In their Saturday league they finished third, despite amassing a points total that would have won the league in the previous year. The team managed to overcome a disappointing start, eventually amassing 43 points from their 20 games. In Varsity they unfortunately went down 3-1, despite a battling display from many.The Women's 3s (Hos), had the most successful season they have ever had. Emily Sayer ably led the girls to promotions in both Saturday and