2010 – 2011

Officers: Captain Patrick Wills; Vice-Captain Tom Sneddon; Secretary Max Tilley

Rugby this season has once again been the major social and sporting endeavour of many loyal Queensmen throughout the winter, and the Club finally appears to have overcome the problem of a consistent turn-out of only fourteen men that has plagued it for several years. Fresh with several new faces, including some of remarkable skill, and a sizeable bench of reserves each week, Queen’s approached the season ahead with firm resolve.

The first fixture of the year, a league match against Lincoln in the fourth division, was a tough-fought battle that resulted in a narrow loss for Queen’s. However, taking lessons in board, and even beginning the year with an enthusiastic bout of training, which surprised many seasoned veterans, Queen’s soared to easy victory through the next few matches, but tragically failed to secure promotion from the division, the narrow defeat by Lincoln earlier in the season proving to be the critical result. Thus Queen’s entered the second league season determined to win promotion. However, by this point the squad had begun to decline precipitously. Due to a dislocated shoulder, the captain was reduced to the position of orally abusive manager on the touch lines, and with a few other injuries and increasing university commitments for more skilful members of the team such as Fred Garrett and Jack Davidson the once-full substitutes bench was sadly depleted. Thus, in the second league season Queen’s found itself agonisingly close to promotion, even coming one point behind the winners and joint second on points with New College, but unfortunately the defeat at New earlier in the term meant that Queen’s were once again denied the promotion so fervently hoped for. Gaining little in the way of full blues for Cuppers, the elusive Alex Rowe proving continuously impossible to track down, Queen’s nonetheless fared fairly well to begin with, unseating St Edmund Hall 2nd XV and Lincoln before coming unstuck against a strong Worcester side in the third round.

Thus, although this year has failed to see any additions to the trophy cabinet, Queen’s finds itself in a strong position going forwards. Previous fringe players, the Matt Greens and Michael Johnsons of the second year, have become determined weekly regulars; the venerable Rich Smith, having left the College years ago, has returned to Oxford and, in spectacular style, to Queen’s rugby; there is considerable talent among the freshers, notably Joe Moxham (next year’s captain) and Chris Walters, although it is hoped that Garrett’s reckless introduction of them to the centre-weak university under-21s side does not see them snatched from the team like so many good rugby players who have gone before. Promotion next season, therefore, should be a certainty, even without Aaron Bull’s rousing American Football-style half-time talks. The Club is grateful to this year’s committee for its hard work and to its dedicated duo of fans, Rev. Southwell and Dr Edwards, for their unwavering support.