2009 – 2010
Officers: Captain Chris Greenwood
After finishing third in the league in the 2009 season, Queen’s entered this season as one of the favourites for promotion. Despite the loss of last year’s captain James Kelly for many games due to exams, the team was bolstered by the arrival of several freshers, with Fred Johnson, Dave Phillips, Alex McDonald and Samarth Ghorpade all making significant contributions throughout the season. However, there were occasions when the team struggled to field a full side, and captain Chris Greenwood had to spend many hours searching for players on the mornings of matches. This, no doubt, had a massive effect upon results.
The first game of the season began with a strong Queen’s team restricting Lincoln to just 165 in their forty overs, Kelly and Chris Clube leading the way with 3-21 and 2-34 respectively. The team was able to win comfortably with five overs remaining, and Alex Broomsgrove top scoring with 50. Sadly, in doing so he picked up an injury that was to rule him out for the rest of the season. This performance was followed up with another win against St Hugh’s in Cuppers, Kelly (94) and McDonald (83) providing the platform for Queen’s to reach a total of 231-4, which proved to be well out of St Hugh’s reach.
Unfortunately, such performances were not repeated in the next two weeks, as a team of only eight players lost narrowly to St Anne’s, fresher Dave Phillips top scoring with 61 not out. This was followed by a crushing defeat by Balliol in Cuppers. After being forced to bat first because of a shortage of players, the team was only able to score 32 runs, with five of the team providing no score. The following week Queen’s hosted Hertford in the league and batting first scored a decent 192 with Johnson (56) and Fred Garrett (56 not out) leading the way. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of Johnson (2-39) and Ghorpade (3-20), Hertford went on to win by five wickets.
With Queen’s hopes of promotion fading away after three successive defeats, Queen’s travelled to University College knowing that a win was needed. Bowling first, Queen’s restricted University to just 145 with fresher and university player Sam Agarwal bowling an economical spell of 2-17 in seven overs. The performance was backed up with the bat, Agarwal scoring 74 as the team went on to win comfortably by five wickets. This game was followed by another victory over Wadham, Kelly top scoring with 91 to take his total runs for the College to over 1,000.
The first Old Members’ game on Saturday of Eights Week followed. Batting first the Old Members reached a total of 170, Johnson (3-36) and Greenwood (2-30) the pick of the bowlers. Unfortunately, heavy rain brought the game to an early conclusion. The next week saw the visit of Buxton Strugglers, who batting first reached a total of 229, but a strong batting performance led by Richard Phillips (51) and backed up by Garrett (40 not out) and Greenwood (27 not out) saw the team home. Two days later, this was followed by a disappointing defeat to the Jacobites.
In a shortened Twenty20 game against St Hugh’s in the league, the team posted a total of 133, Chris Eklund and Richard Bosworth leading the way with 47 and 33 respectively. This was followed up by a very good fielding display, Eklund (2-29) and Greenwood (1-18) the pick of the bowlers.
Queen’s entered the final week of the season in third place in the league, knowing that even two victories might not be enough for promotion. The first game was against Linacre, and batting first Queen’s reached a total of 193, Jonty Strachan leading the way with 100 not out, having been dropped on no less than five occasions. A strong bowling performance led to a comfortable victory, Strachan the pick of the bowlers with 3-10. This was followed by a comfortable win over St Catherine’s, the team scoring 189 off 30 overs, Agarwal top scoring with 40. St Catherine’s eventually finished on 151-8 with Strachan, Johnson and Greenwood all taking two wickets each. The next day Queen’s played a friendly game against Queens’ College Cambridge. Batting first the team was only able to reach 152, which proved to be too little, the Cambridge College going on to win by six wickets.
Despite only losing two league games all season, the College finished third in the league for the second consecutive season. Many of this year’s team remain with two notable exceptions, James Kelly and Alex Broomsgrove, whom the Club must thank for their significant contributions over the last few seasons. If next year’s captain can find a way to field a full team for every game, then a return to the top division seems a very realistic possibility.