2005 – 2006
Men’s and Mixed Hockey
Captain Ian Ngai
As last year the Club faced the problem of having a small squad. Fortunately, this factor was more than balanced by the quality of the players. The main challenge was simply getting our strongest team out for every match. The potential for success was highlighted by the fact that many of our players were playing, or had played, for the University Infrequents side, including Jim Riddiford, Jonathan Dowle, Ian Ngai and fresher Edward Norman. The very successful season produced impressive league results and saw Queen’s comfortably top its division, winning twelve of its fourteen matches, drawing one and losing one, and scoring 45 goals but conceding only 12.
The team had very few changes to that which had performed in the previous season, and as a consequence was easily moulded into an aggressive attacking side which scored an average of three goals per match. This was only possible because of a sturdy defence in which Harris and Dowle formed a formidable partnership in the centre. They were ably aided by Riddiford, who as defensive midfield tirelessly acted as the link between attack and defence. Early on in the season the team developed an effective style of play, calmly playing the ball out of defence wide through the full backs, Duncan Knox, Neil Bowen or Christopher Harper. This enabled the team to make full use of the pitch and stretch the opposition.
To complement this sturdy defence, the aggressive midfield boasted four of the College’s university players and between Riddiford, Ngai, Tatham and Norman 32 goals were scored. Norman and Tatham, by far the two most skilful players in the league, waltzed past players with ease and every so often pulled off individual works of magic to get the team out of sticky situations. Nick Page played regularly for the team in midfield and put in strong performances. At the front, the team had 2nd University Women’s player, Susan Lowrey, who consistently humiliated many of the male opposition using her silky skills to get past them. Senior player, Philipp Schartau was also on fine form racking up a hat trick against St Catherine’s in the second round of Cuppers. Freshman Daniel Shepherd was also a resourceful player in the attack scoring a handful of goals.
Highlights in the league include the thrashing of Wadham/ Corpus Christi 9-1, Lincoln 5-1 and Magdalen 4-1. However, the most satisfying was victory over local rivals St Edmund Hall 2-0 in both home and away fixtures.
In Cuppers the College did well as underdogs to reach the semi-final losing to Worcester 4-1. The score did not reflect the match in which Queen’s were 1-0 up at half time, but a lack of concentration and perhaps nerves unsettled the team, and Worcester, winners of division one, took full advantage. Special mention must go to the keeper, Mark Gray, who in the first and third rounds of the tournament showed real agility and made superb saves from nerve-racking penalty flicks to take the team through to the next rounds.
In mixed Cuppers, Queen’s beat Magdalen 1-0, St Edmund Hall 2-0 in the quarter-final and University College 1-0 in the semi-final. It was a great effort by everyone, especially the girls, Lucy Eddowes, Sarah Blakey, Susan Lowrey, Mary Erskine and Katie Earys, to get so far in the competition. However, having had to play all three final games on the same day, some lack of fitness began to show and a lacklustre performance saw Queen’s lose to St Anne’s/Somerville 2-0 in the final.
Although disappointed not to have won the men’s and mixed Cuppers which were by no means out of the team’s reach, this season has been most enjoyable. Results have been good and the team spirit has never been better.
Congratulations are extended to Riddiford who has been elected to captain the Infrequents next year and to Norman who will captain Queen’s in the first division and no doubt continue this season’s success.
Captain Mary Erskine
Women’s hockey at Queen’s suffered slightly this year, despite having gained a handful of enthusiastic first years. Katie Earys and Sarah Blakey bolstered the front line, and Emma Whitehouse (incoming captain), Rachel Berry and Emma Kenny offered some sturdy defence. However, having been queens of the league last year, Queen’s came up against strong sides from Worcester and St Edmund Hall. On the positive side, Queen’s performed well in Cuppers, losing to Keble in the third round.
Another year has passed and sadly the team will be losing some key players. The Club is grateful to Susan Lowrey, Fiona Guest, Pip Stewart, Sarah Knowles and Rebecca Goldie for their support over previous years.