2001 – 2002

Men’s First XI

Captain Stefan Sadnicki; Secretary/Treasurer Peter Baker

The Football 1st XI had, yet again, a very enjoyable year. The season can be viewed as a year of consolidation with the knowledge that we can do better. Having lost the spine of the team that saw us win the 1st division title the previous year, the main problem throughout the season was establishing a settled team to face the higher standard of opposition in the premier division.

Pre-season training unearthed a no-nonsense centre-back in Mancunian Oliver Leyland, a pacy centre-forward in Duncan McRacy (who would sadly spend much of his time rowing) and a committed linesman in returning linguist Jaime Rowbotham.

The league started badly with four consecutive defeats but we followed this with an important victory away to fellow strugglers Somerville and two hard fought draws on our visits to Wadham and Balliol. The performances of goal keeper Mark Rogers (who needed to be woken up with a telephone call 5 minutes before every game) and the partnership of Peter Baker and Adam Pilling up front were of particular importance. Less helpful were the two own goals: Hunter claimed one (probably in protest to playing sweeper) and Mark Lee chipped in (quite literally) with a stunning one himself.

We kept our finest display for the second round Cuppers match with Balliol and a great travelling support witnessed an extraordinary match. Having progressed by winning 7-1 against a poor Univ team, we knew Balliol would present us with a much tougher challenge. The spirit amongst the players was exemplary and after being behind on four separate occasions, thanks to two late goals we eventually triumphed 7-6! The Ox-Stu reporter was particularly impressed by hat-trick hero Neil Condron but for some strange reason managed to credit the goals to Adam Pilling who had actually spent the day eating cakes in Blackpool.

Off the pitch we were rewarded with a barrel of beer generously given to us by the Dean for our championship winning heroics of the previous season. The drinking games proved a bit strenuous for Dunc who shouted out eins, zwei, drei when trying to start 21’s in French. After a bit to drink another player took it upon himself to completely redecorate the interior of the toilet. The new design proved unpopular with the ladies but a few bits of chewing gum kept the player’s identity concealed. Later on, in The Bridge, it was Dunc again providing the entertainment as he worked his magic with Chelsea Clinton. Unfortunately her body guards stepped in and told him to take his dancing somewhere else.

After Christmas we continued our habit of throwing away games we deserved to win. We leaked a lot of silly goals but often seemed to salvage a point with a late equaliser. Rowbotham continued in great form as linesman and was rewarded with a second half appearance… as referee! We were very pleased to take 4 points from neighbours Teddy Hall. In the home match they attempted to disallow a superb lob from Pedro Bakero as they claimed it had hit a bag on the goal-line and bounced out. Consequently, when they failed to turn up return fixture we ignored their pleas to rearrange and claimed a vital three points and a 6-0 walkover victory!

The relegation decider came against a joint Merton/Mansfield side in sixth week. The team finally played to its potential and won convincingly 6-1. (view leaugue results) Gaz March started the rout with a speculative effort from 30 yards, Si Guest made up for a howling penalty miss at Hertford to make it 2-0 and top-goalscorer Stefan Sadnicki ensured Queens led 3-0 at half time. Towards the end, with safety in the top flight assured and with a great crowd cheering every audacious flick we could even afford to showboat! The highlights of which were Hunter and Judas dribbling out from the back prompting one of the opposition forwards to leave in disgust and Rowbotham turning their defence inside out down the left wing.

The captain would like to thank all players who turned up to play, both those who were there week in week out and those who came to his rescue in times of need.

Second XI

Captain: Thomas Brown

The second XI sadly had a disappointing season, the team consistently failing to produce a sequence of convincing results. Much work and an injection of keen freshers will be needed to improve the team’s performance next year. The captain was in no way to blame, but was let down by apathy among a small pool of players.

Third XI

Captain: Greame Tunbridge

In contrast, the third XI, fondly known as ‘The Animals’, enjoyed a season of unexpected success under their inspirational captain Graeme Tunbridge and his right hand man Douglas Watson. The players gelled extremely well, and team spirit, rather than skill, took them through most of their matches. Highlights of the season included a shock cuppers second round win against a strong Oriel side and, in particular, the last game of the season where the team started with the ‘Animals Roar’ before thrashing St. John’s 18-2.

Women’s XI

Captain: Gemma Gulliford

The team was fortunate this season in having lost relatively few of last season’s players, and was strengthened by the arrival of new first years, most notably Christina Levick. The cuppers campaign got off to a promising start with a 6-1 away victory at University College. Following a couple of solid league performances, progression to the cuppers quarter final was assured in style with a 5-0 home win against St. Anne’s.

Hilary Term saw Queen’s maintain its usual high position in the first division, despite suffering its equally customary heavy defeat to Mansfield Road F.C. The next challenge came from a combined Corpus Christi/Lady Margaret Hall team which had performed strongly in previous rounds of the cup. However, it proved no match for Queen’s superior firepower, and a Kelly Furber hat-trick helped seal a 6-0 victory. Sadly, however, Queen’s met its match in the defending champions Worcester, who were the opposition for the semi-final. Despite a brave and determined performance from all eleven players, the team was unable to defend an early lead. The final score of 3-1 was a disappointing, but not unfair, result. The summer five-a-side season saw another impressive performance from Queen’s as our very strong ‘Dream Team’ reached the final, only to lose a very close match to Jesus. The season was on the whole successful and one upon which to build for 2002-03.