2006 – 2007
Men’s Captain Edward Norman
Women’s Captain Emma Whitehouse
Men’s and Mixed Hockey
Although the Club enjoyed less success this year than in 2006-07, it continued to build on last year’s progress and has been able to establish a well-deserved reputation as one of the strongest sides in the University. The team did not progress very far in Cuppers, unfortunately meeting an extremely strong St Anne’s/Somerville side very early on in the competition. However, in the league the team played some high-class hockey and finished third and fourth in Michaelmas and Hilary Terms respectively. With the loss of Mark Gray in goal, there were fears that the defence might be left dangerously exposed, but the team was grateful to Adam Irwin, Simon Dewsbury and Richard Lewin who stepped willingly into the breach when called upon. Given their relative lack of experience each player acquitted himself remarkably well. Their task was made easier by some strong defensive play. John Dowle in the centre continued to make use of his height with some prolific jab-tackling, while Chris Harper on the left improved throughout the season to such an extent that he was frequently relied upon as an ‘outlet’ from which to begin attacks despite playing on the traditionally weaker side of the pitch. Fresher Jonty Strachan was a revelation on the right, not only putting in some crucial tackles, but also making a number of strong runs from the deep. His powerful strike has also proved to be useful from set-pieces and a dangerous option at short corners. In midfield special mention must go to two stalwarts of QCHC. At the top of the diamond Ian Ngai displayed his trademark tenacity combined with great ball control and skill. In the centre Jim Riddiford was a key play-maker, always showing good positional awareness. Defensively there were hardly any 50/50 challenges when he did not come out with the ball. In general the pair’s work ethic was superb and always provided a solid core off which the rest of the team could play. Elsewhere Nick Page proved a potent force with his attacking mindset and Fred Tatham’s stick skills were a constant threat. In attack, Dan Shepherd greatly improved his ability to hold up the ball in isolated positions on the pitch, which helped Queen’s retain possession and sustain pressure. Fresher Kieran O’Donnell was a useful addition to the attacking line-up and displayed phenomenal pace, allowing us to ‘weight’ a lot of passes in behind defensive lines for him to run on to.
In mixed Cuppers Queen’s were knocked out in the quarter-finals by a strong Worcester side. Despite this, Queen’s displayed a very good team spirit and some particularly notable contributions. Emma Whitehouse and Rachel Berry both made some important tackles in defence. Katie Earys and Georgie Haigh-Monk both played well in midfield against some strong players from the women’s University sides. Katie Wrigley put in a good performance up front and Caroline Lawrence caused her opposite number some considerable embarrassment every time she got the ball. Ian Ngai showed the depth of his commitment by playing in both games despite having exams the following day. Jonty Strachan in particular rose to the occasion and made several impressive attacking runs from deep and was unlucky not to be rewarded for his efforts. Everyone involved in QCHC has enjoyed another successful season, but will be sad to see some key players leave. Hopefully next year will bring some budding hockey players to supplement our squad so that it can continue to be a force to be reckoned with!
Women’s hockey at Queen’s was not as vibrant this year as had been hoped for, mainly due to a shortage of players. Unfortunately, the team was knocked out of Cuppers in the first round, losing to a very strong St Catherine’s side. On a more positive note, Queen’s managed to gain better results in the league, particularly against an experienced Trinity team. This encouraging performance was in large measure thanks to two very enthusiastic first years, Caroline Lawrence, and University player and next year’s captain Katie Wrigley. Thanks must also go to Katie Eayrs and Victoria Winter who worked tirelessly throughout the matches. Sadly, the team will be losing the wonderful winger Megan Howell and the determined sportswomen Justine Nolan and Claire Coppel next year. However, with the determination and enthusiasm of the existing players and the addition of fresh talent, it is hoped that Queen’s will return to winning ways next season and be a team to be reckoned with.