Firstly, I make no apologies for how much this week’s roundup is biased towards football, or how long it is.
Before we get to that, there’s been some whinging that cricket is never covered in the sports round up, so here goes. Some cricket was played last year, Jesus won some games and lost some games, didn’t end up getting promoted, and captain Steele scored some runs (that last part is the main reason he wanted a cricket bit).
Back to more current sport, the rugby boys had a game this week. Following the elation of last week, they were brought back down to earth with a bang against Keble. Leaking four tries in a 20-minute period of the first half, you’re never going to make the game easy against a college which supplies a disproportionate amount of the Blues squads. Jesus rallied in the second-half however, with Drane continuing his prolific try-scoring form by grabbing another two, to only lose the game 38-24. This result was made sweeter with the scoring of the bonus-point fourth try in the very last play. Early indications are suggesting that the boys may even be able to bring along some subs to the next game, so maybe this game was just a blip.
Hockey had a simultaneously pleasing and disappointing week. 5-0 victories for both teams make the disappointment seem unjustified, but since these victories are down to both sets of opposition being unable to field teams, captains Page and Lester were not happy. Page is again claiming all of the goals and, in her post-match analysis, awarded woman of the match to King for “cycling all the way there and back”. Rumour has it the women played a 5-a-side game instead, although I’ve been totally unable to find out the score in this one… The men’s team were going to have a training session instead, but they sacked it off in favour of welfare tea.
Lacrosse hasn’t had the best of starts this term, and a lack of players meant a joint team with Christ Church was necessary to face New College, with even ex-captain Khanijau absent from the side. Despite this, Jesus-Christ (has a certain ring to it, I think) managed a 2-1 win.
The first Jesus sports fixture of the year to fall victim to rain was netball this week. Captain Phillips wasn’t even going to play the game, so it didn’t affect her, but hopefully the same won’t happen next week.
Rowing deserves a mention this week too. The women’s four managed to finish as runners-up in the Autumn Fours even this weekend, making their way through the knockout competition of around 20 crews to ultimately lose to Hertford in the final by just half a length. As captain Huttner insisted, not bad at all for a scratch crew.
Finally, football. The women had their first game of the season this week and, in the absence of new captain Parker-Humphreys, Maguire was allowed to step in for one last hurrah as captain. She couldn’t quite bow out in style as she might have liked, with a 6-0 defeat against a reportedly difficult Wolfson/St Antony’s side, who were insistent on playing the full 40 minute halves despite their dominance and the struggling of the Jesus girls.
The boys had a topsy-turvy week. Starting off with a cancelled seconds game on Tuesday, the mood was high with JCFC seconds sitting top of the table. Thursday rolled round and the game against Queen’s came. After some scintillating play in the first half, Jesus went in to the break in the lead. The tide turned, however, and a combination of illness and injury meant Jesus ended the game with a completely different back four to those who started, and the final result was a 5-3 defeat. Following this, Saturday saw the first round of Cuppers against last year’s Premier Division whipping boys St Hugh’s. Riding on the support of the fans, Jesus stormed into a 1-0 half-time lead and optimism reigned. Some questionable (at best) decisions in the second half led to two disallowed goals for Jesus, and a speculative St Hugh’s effort saw them equalize to take the game to extra time. Feeling like dead men walking, both teams played out the 30 minutes to take it into the dreaded shootout. All square after four penalties each, Skillcorn was entrusted with the all-important fifth kick, went for the headlines and missed the top corner by millimetres (although, as I’ve been reminded plenty of times since, it doesn’t matter how close it is, it still missed). The St Hugh’s man stepped up and scored to secure progression into the next round for his team. The final score, 1-1 with St Hugh’s winning 4-3 on penalties. Disappointment and despair permeated the Jesus camp in the aftermath as many of the third-years realized that they would never play beyond the first round of Cuppers at Oxford. One thing which was unanimous at the end was that it was one of the best games we’ve ever played in, and that no one really deserved to lose. Hopefully the seconds can do better next week.
A quick mention should also go to everyone who competed in cross-country cuppers this week, especially the girls who won the team event! Applause to Hannah Plaschkes and Bethanie Murray for their individual 4th and 9th place finishes. Congrats!