BADMINTON 2016 / 2017
Men’s Captain: Maxwell Greenwood
Women’s Captain: Xiaoli Huang
2015 / 2016
Officers: Men’s Captain Samih Inceer; Women’s Captain Srishti Suresh
This year the College Badminton Club suffered from having only a small intake of freshers and from difficulties in organising practices in various sports halls. Because of a fire at Magdalen College School, the usual courts were out of action and the sessions took place at Headington School in Michaelmas Term, Oxford High School in Hilary Term, and East Oxford Games Hall in Trinity Term. Apart from the inconvenience, this involved an increase in expenditure. The Club is very grateful to the Amalgamated Sports Clubs for its additional assistance this year.
The Club had a strong men’s team this year, including talented players such as Ashley Sim, HaoyuNiu and Do Dinh Cao Huan. The team had a lot of potential but was defeated in the first round of Cuppers against Brasenose in a game much closer than the 6-3 score might suggest. Special commendation goes to the team’s newest player, Max Greenwood, who played well throughout the year and attended almost every training session. The Queen’s women’s team reached the Cuppers semi-final, but timetable clashes for Queen’s players gave St Anne’s an easier route to the final against Lady Margaret Hall. It was some consolation that Queen’s won the 3rd/4th contest with a 6-0 win against St Johns/Mansfield.
2014 / 2015
Officers: Men’s Captain Ashley Sim; Women’s Captain Ruth Ng
This season Queen’s entered one men’s team, one mixed team and one women’s team in the league, and entered a men’s and a women’s team in Cuppers.
The men’s team came fourth in the top division with only three games separating the top five teams. In Cuppers the men managed to make it to the quarter finals, but were eliminated by a St Edmund Hall team awash with blues. Queen’s was unable to repeat last year’s success in the league. This can be attributed to the departure of many good players and the unavailability of some current players. However, the team was able to recruit two budding talents (Samih Inceer and Xuchen Yang) from this year’s freshers. The top pairing, Dominic Faulkner and Yuhao Zhang, appeared truly unbeatable when they played. However, due to many scheduling conflicts, they were only able to play two matches together. Special thanks are due to club veterans, including Haoyu Niu, who continue to find time to play for the Club despite busy schedules.
This year the women’s team came first in the second division, with just two points separating the top three teams, and will return to the first division next year. In Cuppers the women came third, losing narrowly to St Anne’s 4-2 in the semi-final and returning in style to beat St John’s/Mansfield 6-0 in the third-fourth play-offs.
The team consisted of both returning and new players, ensuring sufficient depth to field teams to play all the matches: Wenyu Chen, Emily Giles, Maria Holdcroft, Joanna Cousins, Natalie Ferris, Nicole Ng, Queenie Chan and Srishti Suresh all made contributions this year. Special commendation goes to Maria Holdcroft and Wenyu Chen for regularly attending training sessions and improving significantly during the year. Great thanks also go to Queenie Chan for consistently producing good performances and to Emily Giles who provided much needed firepower in the final stages of Cuppers. With Emily, Queenie and Wenyu leaving at the end of this year, and only one new player, Srishti Suresh, from this year’s intake, the Club is hoping to unearth new talent amongst the coming first-year that will ensure its continued success.
The mixed team also performed respectably and came fourth in the top mixed division. All of the Clubs mixed pairs this season had never played together previously and hence there were a number of occasions when simple miscommunication led to avoidable losses. Special mention has to go to the pairing of Queenie Chan and Samih Inceer who played extremely well as a team.
2013 / 2014
Officers: Men’s Captain Weiyang Tay; Women’s Captain Queenie Chan
This season Queen’s entered two men’s teams, one mixed team and one women’s team in the league, and in Cuppers one men’s and one women’s team.
In the men’s league, Queen’s did well this year. The first team finished unbeaten at the top of the first division. The second team was placed second in the second division and will be in the play-offs for promotion to the first division. The men’s Cuppers team was less successful, being eliminated in the second round, with a respectable 4-2 defeat by a blues-heavy Keble squad. The mixed league team recorded a varied performance, with several excellent matches but also facing occasional player shortages. It is placed third in the first division.
Despite these successes, there has been a worrying depletion of good men’s players. The Club faces the loss of three first team players (Ben Morgan, Robert Siddaway, Fred Woodcock) and three second team players (Haoyu Niu, Thomas Nichols, Jun Wan Goh) with only two players of the appropriate standard (Dominic Faulkner, Ashley Sim) having joined. Energetic recruitment efforts are urgently needed if Queens’ dominant position is to be maintained next season.
This year’s women’s team improved upon last year’s performance. With an encouraging number of new players, including Ruth Ng, Minh Nguyen, Nicole Ng, Joanna Cousin, Stuti Johri and Chen Xu, the season began with a solid level of performance in the first division. However, the dwindling participation towards the end of the season, with many members of the team being unavailable for selection, meant that the team’s full potential was not realised and Queen’s finished the season at the bottom of the division. Conversely, the performance in Cuppers was the highlight of the season for the women’s team. By defeating strong teams, including Exeter, Queen’s successfully claimed third place. Players particularly deserving commendation are Ruth Ng for her enthusiasm and dedication, Nicole Ng who played despite injury and Minh Nguyen who provided optimism and encouragement.
Aside from competitions, the turnout for the Saturday early afternoon sessions on three courts at Magdalen College School continues to be a concern. Attendance this year was good in Michaelmas and up to mid-Hilary Term, but decreased at the end of Hilary, and dropped drastically in Trinity. One salient reason for this is the number of other College events that occur at the same time and draw members away from badminton. If this pattern is repeated next year, the Club will have to review the number of courts it is appropriate to rent. The Club would like to convey its gratitude to the Amalgamated Clubs for its generous support. A special mention is also warranted for long-time first-teamer Yuhao Zhang, for his skilled and reliable performance.
2011 / 2012
Officer: Captain Fred Woodcock
At the end of last season, the Badminton Club was at a high point. The women’s team had won the league and the men’s team had effortlessly gained promotion into the top division. There were even murmurs of the possibility of ‘The Double’, but by October things were beginning to look precarious. The elected captain did not return to Oxford and first team veteran, James Gan, decided to hang up his racket to pursue other sports. However, both men’s and women’s teams benefited from new players from among the freshers.
The newly-appointed captain found himself promoted to the first team, along with fellow second team veteran Rob Siddaway. Hardened from training with his local club, Rob has become a formidable force on the court, combining his natural reaching ability with solid tactical play and a clinical finishing ability. The rumour is that the university squad sends him a request to join several times a week, but his D.Phil. dedication prevents his acceptance.
The College’s top pair, Messrs Morgan and Zhang, continued to dominate opponents with dazzling flair and ruthless determination. Zhang’s ability to smash from pretty much anywhere is a daunting prospect for any opponent and his speed on court has led some to wonder whether he has in fact learned to fly. Morgan’s flawless footwork and positional insight has led observers to believe that he can read his opponents’ minds.
The first team were able to win all but one of their league matches, finally coming unstuck on the slippery floors of Ferry sports centre against a strong St Hugh’s team, which eventually went on to win the league, pushing Queen’s into second place. The Cuppers campaign was cut short by Wadham whose knowledge of their home court’s low ceiling was an advantage that could not be overcome.
The second team was bolstered by the arrival of Ryan Doran and Bertie O’Brien, who along with the seasoned Andrew Robertson formed a strong core to the team. Various talented players filled the fourth spot over the season, which went very well. The team finished third in their league with twenty-one points, five points behind the winners. With some new arrivals next year, the second team can aim to win their league next season.
The women’s team was fortunate to have three newcomers this year. Queenie Chan and Natalie Tillack have developed as players in leaps and bounds, and Emily Giles is a fantastic player who was very welcome when she could take time out from blues training. Together with the experienced Sakina Haider and Fuchsia Hart, they formed a very strong team which made it all the way to the final of Cuppers, only to be denied by a blues-filled Oriel team. The mixed doubles team played well all season, and will be looking to build upon this year’s performance with a league victory next year.
In summary, the Club has had another strong season, if not the stellar one that might have been expected this time last year. With many players staying in Oxford next year, the outlook is good and every success is wished to the incoming men’s captains, Bertie O’Brien and Ryan Doran, and women’s captain Queenie Chan.
2010 / 2011
Officer: Captain Yuhao Zhang
The Club has had a very successful year, with all four teams being promoted or winning their league. The future looks very bright for Queen’s badminton, and it is to be hoped that next year’s captain, Fred Woodcock, will find the role as enjoyable as this year’s captain has done.
This year has seen the continued successes of both men’s teams. The 1st team has been strengthened by the arrival of Gavin “Giant-Slayer” Kirby as well as the experienced hands of Ben Morgan. This, combined with the return of former captain, James Gan, created one of the strongest Queen’s teams for many years. Gavin developed a lethal attacking game, insisting on hitting most shots with his feet a yard above the ground, spending more time in the air than on the court. It is said that Gavin carves notches in his racquet to keep count of all the university 2nd team players that he has destroyed over the years. Ben proved to be reliable all round the court but with exceptional play at the net. James continued to impress with his experience as well as with his powerful smashes. His passion for the game often left opponents quaking in their shoes.
The victory against Brasenose in the first league game of the season secured the team’s position in Division 2. In fact, the team was victorious in all its fixtures, gaining more league points than any other team in all divisions. Consequently, the 1st team will play in the first division next season. In Cuppers an emphatic victory by 6-0 against Somerville earned Queen’s a match against second seeds Christ Church in round two, the team’s victory in which caused one of the biggest surprises of the tournament. Having despatched a resilient Jesus team in the quarter-finals, the loss to a strong St John’s team on points difference was a great disappointment but in any event secured Queen’s fourth seeded position for next season. It is hoped that, with all of the current first team remaining in Oxford, Queen’s performance can only improve next season.
The 2nd team also had a successful run in the league, its only loss coming at the hands of a very strong Exeter team that went on to top the division. However, as runners-up, the team can still be promoted to Division 3 if it is able to fend off a challenge next year from the winners of Division 5, Somerville. This year’s team was centred around the experience of Robert Siddaway, Fred Woodcock, Andrew Robertson and Haoyu Niu. There was also an important contribution from fresher Dan Geer, who boldly stepped up when needed. The duo of Siddaway and Woodcock proved to be a force to be reckoned with, both players having a considerable reach advantage, and often able to play entire matches with their feet glued to the same spot. They also emerged as strong singles players, covering the court single-handedly with apparent ease. The left-handed pairing of Robertson and Niu caused a great deal of confusion amongst opponents’ weak sides. The 2nd team is confident of replicating its success in Division 3.
The women’s team started the year aiming to hold on to their place in the top flight of badminton. They not only achieved this, but also managed to win the entire league having only played a single match. Many have attributed this to the intimidating reputation of Queen’s women’s badminton, with several teams forfeiting in fear. This year’s team consisted of the experienced hands of returning former captain Samantha White, and of Sakina Haider, Fuchsia Hart and Leila Hill. In Cuppers finding four ladies who were available to play on the day proved to be a near-impossible feat. Because of a shortage of players some sets were forfeited, ultimately leading to defeat in the semi-finals by St Peter’s, the eventual champions. However, having reached that stage of the tournament, the women’s team will be seeded again next year. It is hoped that, with many of the women’s team leaving after this year, a new cohort of talented freshers will fill their shoes in the season to come to defend the league title and improve upon the performance in Cuppers.
Queen’s started the year in a three-team second division of the league which consisted of Jesus, St Edmund Hall and Queen’s. A win by 6-0 over the Hall was enough to secure a place in the first division for 2012-13.
2010 / 2011
Officer: Men’s Captain James Gan; Women’s Captain Samantha White
This year saw the uprising of a new super power in the badminton world, not only in terms of quantity, with the number of Queen’s men’s teams literally doubling to two, but also in quality. The fresher contribution was led by the three musketeers Yuhao Zhang, Fred Wood“shuttle”cock and Haoyu Niu. Many have compared Yuhao to a young Lin Dan with his smash searing through the air and one time actually breaking an opponent’s racquet. Mr Woodcock’s play is eerily similar to the great Peter Gade and Haoyu quickly developed as a solid player, always ready to bury the shuttle into the floor at the feet of his dismayed rivals. These prodigies were combined with the experienced guiding hands of Andrew Robertson and David Phillips, both managing to adapt physically and mentally from tennis and squash respectively to apply their talents to the courts of the Iffley Coliseum.
With such star players joining the squad the captain’s job was made as easy as managing Barcelona, the only tactical advice necessary being “Go out and express yourselves on the court”. It is then no wonder that both the men’s teams were promoted, with the first team nearly going through the whole season unbeaten, the only blemish on a perfect record being a hard fought defeat by last year’s champions Hertford. The future looks glorious for Queen’s and with a sturdy foundation in place the only direction is up and the only foreseeable results victories.
The women’s badminton team began the year in the first division and, despite suffering from non-availability of players and talented opposition teams, avoided relegation. However, performances were promising and with the addition of some enthusiastic first-year players such as Sakina Haider and Michelle Van as well as the return of the incoming captain Fuchsia Hart in Trinity Term, there were high hopes for Cuppers. Unfortunately an extremely strong performance by St John’s resulted in a first round 4-0 defeat. This year has been slightly disappointing in terms of results, but has, in typical Queen’s fashion, been great fun. With both women’s and mixed badminton matches in the next season and a number of keen players returning, the women’s badminton team can look forward to a positive and potentially triumphant year.
This year saw the introduction into the league of an extremely able mixed badminton team for Queen’s. The team experienced varied success with equally strong opponents, including a triumphant 4-0 win against Somerville base upon the great skill of Fred Woodcock and Haoyu Niu, and a 4-0 loss to St Hugh’s, with two of the four games forfeited. Consequently, Queen’s finished with a respectable mid-table position in the second division. With the existing talent and, hopefully, the addition of enthusiastic freshers, Queen’s can look forward to a successful year ahead for its mixed doubles badminton team.
2009 / 2010
Officer: Captain David Storrs-Fox
Declining numbers at the end of the previous year forced a merger of the first and second men’s teams, but there should not be a shortage of players in the coming years. The 2009/2010 season saw the emergence of abundant badminton talent from the fresher ranks, notably James Gan, Nick Li and Dan Williams. Coupled with consistent good play from veterans such as David Sims and Kris Cawood, the team was able to stand its ground against resilient opponents to achieve a mid-table position in the third division (of seven). The Cuppers side, led capably by Kris Cawood, was so strong that it defeated third seeds Christ Church without a shot even being hit. Unfortunately, despite this momentum, St Hugh’s proved to be even better. Queen’s relatively young team learned a lot from this season’s experience, and its prospects look good for the year ahead.
Officers: Captains Olivia Orr and Elspeth Payne
The Queen’s women’s badminton team ended the previous season smashingly, moving up to the first division, albeit aided by a few forfeited games. With this new-found confidence, a lot of enthusiasm, and with two talented fresher recruits, Samantha White and Fuchsia Hart, the team was ready to serve up a storm. Spirits remained high, as players produced some good results, and with Trinity Term came (unrealistic) dreams of Cuppers success. Overcoming the obstacles of medics’ timetables and Prelims panic, Queen’s faced Brasenose in the first game. Unfortunately, the team was defeated convincingly, 4-0. However, it could take solace in the fact that Brasenose continued their winning streak and went on to the final. Although it has not been the most triumphant of years for badminton in Queen’s, in true college spirit, it has been a lot of fun.
2007 / 2008
Men’s Captain: Jon Dowle
Women’s Captain: Alexandra Smith
The 2007/2008 season involved mixed fortunes for men’s badminton. The first team struggled to keep up with the high standards of many of the college first teams, despite regular strong performances from Jim Fouracre and Jonathan Dowle. The second team fared marginally better, finishing mid-table with wins against strong opposition. Cuppers saw a Queen’s team, strengthened by Caroline Lawrence, James Kelly and Andrew White, progress to the quarter-finals. Unfortunately, Hertford proved to be the better team in what was an extremely closely matched contest. Next year, under the captaincy of Matthew Williams, Queen’s can look forward to success, with the current team having improved greatly throughout the season.
2006 / 2007
Mens Captain: Jim Fouracre
Women’s Captain: Liz Salmon
Officers: Men’s Captain Jim Fouracre; Ladies Captain Liz Salmon
Queen’s badminton has enjoyed another successful season. During Michaelmas Term attendance at training was so high that some players were forced to resort to playing between courts, scenes unheard of at college level. In Hilary Term, despite practices having been moved to Jericho because of the shortage of courts, the Sunday afternoon sessions were still very well attended.
The men’s first pair of Derek Lau and Matt Williams was both tactically astute and technically gifted and proved to be a formidable force, enjoying much success. The men’s A team second pair changed depending on who was available, but mainly consisted of Jon Dowle of the crafty backhand and Jim Fouracre. William Wu and Matt Harland also featured regularly. While the A team finished a very respectable third in the second division, the B team secured promotion from the fifth division. Wu was strongly influential in this success and was well supported by a great squad of players. Andrew Bottomley, Nishan DeSilva, Vince Knowles, Tom Dobbs, Josh Eisenthal, Adam Brown, Mark Carpenter and Chris Harrison among others all played a role in securing promotion. Unfortunately, Queen’s went out in the first round of Cuppers to a very strong St Anne’s team. Jon Dowle returns as captain next season with the squad in a very strong state.
The ladies team also saw much success, finishing second in the top division, losing by only a single point to the eventual winners. This can mainly be accredited to the consistently strong performances of dedicated trainers, Justine Nolan and Tica Pichulik. The organisational skills of the captain also ensured that a full team was always fielded in league matches despite a shortage of players. The team did not enjoy the same success in Cuppers, going out in the second round. Hopefully, under the new captaincy of Alexandra Smith the ladies team will be able to regain the league title in the 2007-08 season.
2005 / 2006
Men’s Captain: Jon Dowle
Women’s Captain: Claire Harrop
The 2005/2006 season was disappointing for men’s badminton. The first team struggled to keep up with the high standards of the second division despite regular strong performances from Matthew Harland and Derek Lau. After four straight defeats, the team ended the season relegated for the second year in succession. The second team fared marginally better. Although also suffering relegation, it was unlucky to lose several of its matches by the narrowest of margins. Cuppers provided little respite as a vastly improved Queen’s team were knocked out in the first round after a close-fought match with St Catherine’s.
On a more positive note, encouragement for next season will come from the fact that the College has been strengthened this year by talented players, most notably Jim Fouracre who will be captaining the team for the 2006/7 season.
Congratulations must go to the ladies’ team for a considerably more successful season. Winning the first division can be attributed to both the strength in the squad and the organisational skills of the captain, Claire Harrop, who always managed to field a full team, quite a feat because of the limited number of players available. Unfortunately, Cuppers provided the same disappointment for the ladies as for the men with a first round defeat to Keble. Hopefully, next season Queen’s can build on the league success under the captaincy of Liz Salmon.
2004 / 2005
Men’s Captain: Nikhil Aggarwal
Women’s Captain: Ellen Milner
This year saw a revival of women’s badminton within Queen’s and for the first time in at least 4 years we were able to enter a team into the women’s league.
We were placed into the 2nd Division and in true Queen’s style took it by storm. We topped the division (jointly with the Hall but we won’t dwell on that!) and therefore have been promoted into the top division. Hopefully we can go on this year to have some more good matches and also participate in the Cuppers competition.
2003 / 2004
Captain: Thomas Jarett
The 2003-04 season has very much proved to be an exercise in rebuilding for the Queen’s College badminton club, with three of the four first team players of the past two years having either left the university or been otherwise unavailable for selection. Nevertheless, in true Queen’s spirit all participants in this season’s efforts have shown the battling qualities and enthusiasm in the face of adversity which the College has come to expect, and all members of the team can be justifiably proud of their tireless efforts. As a result of the new shape of this year’s first four, the team more often than not found itself out of its depth in the top division of college badminton, and, although claiming hard-fought victories in a number of matches, succumbed to the inevitability of relegation by the last game of the league season. Notable contributions from M. Walker and N. Aggarwal, with impressive performances off the bench from A.W. Boyd, whose smash-forehand was the recurring highlight of the season, ensured that the College retained its pride despite the loss of top-flight status. The second four enjoyed more success, and were unfortunate to miss promotion. In the cup competition, the Queen’s four met an extremely impressive St. Catherine’s team in the second round and eventually lost a closely-fought contest in which all members of the squad competed admirably until the very end of a thrilling match.
2002 / 2003
Captain James Shoesmith
Last season, the Queen’s men’s team were frustratingly prevented from claiming the league title when Oriel failed to field a side against our main rival, St John’s. This walkover handed St John’s the league title by a mere point. This season the fixture computer scheduled the match between Queen’s and St John’s to be the final encounter of the season. Both teams had secured victories over University College and St Edmund Hall in the first two rounds of league matches so, as was hoped, the Queen’s versus St John’s match was expected to be decisive. Queen’s required only a draw to become champions. Nonetheless, it was thought that the presence of two Blues in St John’s side would make this difficult to secure. However, by the end of the allotted time for the match St John’s had failed to grace us with their presence. All were agreed that we ought to claim the points if there was no prospect of rescheduling. Unfortunately, from a sporting point of view, a re-arranged match proved impossible, and we were awarded a whitewash victory, sufficient, in fact, to relegate defending champions, St John’s, to the second division, and to restore Queen’s to its position at the summit of the badminton league pyramid. The circumstances were perhaps a little disappointing, but it was probably a just outcome, especially given last year’s misfortune. Providence chose not to favour us, however, when the time for our first Cuppers match came round. This time, it was Queen’s that failed to put out a full team. Since only three players were available, the match had to be defaulted. Congratulations go to Richard Blakeman, James Walton, James Levett, James Shoesmith, Andrew Boyd and Tom Jarrett who represented the team this season; thanks go to all those who have traipsed up to Marston Ferry sports centre every Sunday afternoon, often in rather inclement weather, to participate in hugely enjoyable club practices.
2001 / 2002
Captain Mark Diffey
After the success of last season, there was a certain amount of pressure on the team to retain its position as league and cuppers champions. With two of last year’s victorious team still available to play and an influx of several talented freshers, hopes were high that we would be able to repeat those achievements. The league season started with an impressive draw against a strong St. John’s side, our main challengers from last season, which was followed by another respectable draw against Oriel. Our next match resulted in a 4-2 victory over University College, which should have put us in a strong position to retain our title. However, on the same day Oriel failed to field a side against St. John’s, thus giving them an automatic 5-0 victory. In the final round of matches, the team produced a fine 5-1 victory over Pembroke. Unfortunately, St. John’s were able to achieve the draw they required against University College, and took the title by a single point. In spite of this, Queen’s can be proud of its performance and congratulations should go to those players who represented the College, James Levett, James Walton, James Shoesmith, Paul Summerscales and Thomas Jarrett.
Ill fortune again beset the College in cuppers. Queen’s B were given a tough first round match against New College A, and, despite a valiant effort, were unable to progress in the competition. Queen’s A met another difficult side in Jesus, and, although the match ended in a draw, the count-back rule resulted in its elimination by a mere five points. However, the promising standard of many of the performances gives cause for optimism for next year.
Throughout the year, practices were very well attended by players of all abilities, suggesting that the high standard of badminton within Queen’s will continue.