2003 – 2004

Men’s First XI

Captain Richard Hodges; Secretary/Treasurer: David Kinner

Following last year’s successes the 2004 season saw Queen’s return to the premier division of college league cricket. Unfortunately, the weather prevented games against Corpus and Worcester taking place and the side had to wait until third week before the first match could be played, a game away at the traditionally strong New College. Winning the toss saw Queen’s set about building a target they could defend, and a steady opening partnership between David Richardson and Duncan Knox laid the foundations for a healthy total. However, number three batsman Sam Cooke had other ideas and set the field on fire with a series of elegant shots to hit 134 not out, being supported by delightful cameos from Hodges and Cordle. This enabled Queen’s to reach a magnificent total of 279 for 3 at the halfway stage. Three quick wickets from Hodges and tidy bowling from Tunbridge, Campbell and Robinson ensured that New College never got close to the total, finishing their innings at 132 for 9.

The next match saw Queen’s play their first home game of the season. A much-vaunted Pembroke batting line-up was quickly run through due to accurate bowling once again from Tunbridge, in addition to Kinner and Richardson. Queen’s began the chase of 180 with some aplomb, opener Knox hitting a well-paced half century. However, a middle order collapse saw pressure transferred onto two new players shoulders, Stefan Sadnicki and John Chetwood. Both rose admirably to the challenge with Sadnicki hitting quick runs, and Chetwood laying anchor to secure a fantastic victory.

This success was followed by League and Cuppers matches against Keble. The Cuppers game proved to be an anti-climax as Queen’s batted very poorly with only Hodges score of 67 and Posgate’s fine resistance saving the blushes of an accomplished batting line up. A total of 164 was never going to be enough and Keble ran out winners by five wickets. However, the league match saw a complete reversal of fortunes. Queen’s won the toss and wisely chose to bowl. Baker, a man who has tirelessly served Queen’s cricket for four years, bowled inspirationally from one end taking three wickets, and he was matched at the other end first by Kinner and then by Richardson. Keble did well to recover from 12-5 to reach 120 but it was never going to be a challenge, with Queen’s victors by five wickets and more than twenty of the allotted forty overs to spare.

Seventh week saw a hiccup in the league as a flat fielding performance allowed Hertford to reach 200. A string of weak shots saw Queen’s humbled and resulted in the first defeat of the league season, by thirty runs. For Queen’s to have any chance of winning the league title the team had to bounce back quickly against Wadham. Losing the toss, Queen’s found themselves fielding on the hottest day of the summer. An injury to Hodges made a bad situation worse, with Queen’s fielding with ten men for more than twenty overs. However, the team rose to the challenge, led by Hudson who bowled tidily and Riddiford who fielded as if his life depended on it. This effort ensured that Wadham, who were playing in the Cuppers final the following week, were bowled out for a paltry 143. Unfortunately, the Queen’s top order played several rash shots, this forcing the Queen’s captain to come out and bat. He stood and watched while Hudson smashed the ball to all parts, but after Hudson’s dismissal the scorecard read 71 for 5. Last year’s captain, Posgate, another institution in Queen’s cricket, helped steady the ship and when Richardson came in to join Hodges less than fifty was required at the moderate rate of three runs per over. This pair duly saw the run chase home, with Richardson finishing on 19 not out and Hodges on 44 not out. Balliol conceded the last match of the season, which meant that Queen’s failed narrowly to secure the league title, losing it by a margin of three points out of 165.

Several friendlies were played throughout the year against Old Members’ sides. The season finished with an enjoyable tour to Bath, which was ably led by Mark Tindle, as Hodges was absent playing for Oxford against Cambridge. With one or two freshers next year Queen’s cricket should go one better in the league, under the captaincy of John Chetwood.

Women’s First XI

Captain Sarah Berman

After our outstanding victory in Cuppers last year, confidence was high about another summer of success for the Queen’s women’s cricketers. A couple of key players had departed or were abroad, but the addition of a number of keen and talented freshers produced a very strong team. Attendance at the first practice reached fifteen and the season started with an excellent victory in a friendly match against a good Pembroke team, which eventually reached the Cuppers final. Claire Coppel showed her potential by taking four wickets, and Nicola Blucher scored a quickfire 27.

The first Cuppers match against Merton was a close-fought game that was brought to a premature end by the weather, a misfortune that cost Queen’s a crucial point. The following week Queen’s heavily defeated Balliol, with Jo Ham starring with the bat scoring 30, Sarah Berman taking 5 for 5 and Claire Coppel scoring 27 runs and taking three wickets, leaving the team very confident of finishing in the top two to qualify for the semi-finals in the group of five. However, with many key players absent, Queen’s suffered defeat to University College, the first loss for Queen’s women in several years. University’s star bowler dismissed the team for just 32 runs, with only Fiona Guest offering any serious resistance, but the fact that halfway through the second innings Queen’s were favourites to win is a testament to how well Queen’s bowled and fielded. Unfortunately, it was not to be, and University ran out winners by two wickets. This, the rained off game against Merton and the fact that Merton had conceded a game to Wadham meant that, regardless of the final group match against Wadham, Queen’s were out of Cuppers. Having defeated Wadham convincingly twice the previous season, the team was determined to do so again, especially as it felt that they had robbed Queen’s of a place in the semi-finals. Another outstanding performance in the field saw Wadham dismissed for 42 and Queen’s knocked off the runs without the fall of a wicket.

With the exception of the batting against University College, the team played very well throughout the season, but was very disappointed about how and when it went out of Cuppers. Thanks must go to all the finalists who took time out to play this year, to Martin Cross for preparing the ground, to his wife for preparing the teas, to Mark Tindle and Nikhil Aggarwal for umpiring and to our scorers Liz Meehan and Jan Fallon. Thanks also to the men’s 2nd XI who provided the team with a very entertaining mixed friendly match at the end-of-term sports day. Congratulations to Annie Bowden for representing Oxford against Cambridge, and scoring 68 runs at the top of the order, and to Sarah Berman and Susan Lowrey who also represented the University.