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Oxford Fixtures Wk 2 (MT) 2018

Week two of fixtures for Michaelmas happened last Wednesday and Oxford found itself yet again, with some great results. Our Women’s Blues, Men’s Squirrels and Women’s Ferrets all had matches. Thanks to our captains, the reports are found below.

Women’s Blue vs.  Nottingham Trent 1sts (Home): Win on points! (2-2 matches, 6-6 games, 103-86 points)

Wednesday saw Oxford Women’s Blues facing Nottingham Trent 1sts at home on Iffley Road. There was a great turn out of supporters, both from within the team and from friends of players, which always makes for a better atmosphere on court. Cabbage was back on court playing for Oxford after a year’s break, and you could tell she was loving the opportunity to represent the uni again. She got off to a speedy start, and took the first game easily before anyone even knew she was playing! She continued this great form over her much less experienced opponent, and took the match 3-0 with very little competition. Meanwhile, Laura got off to a slower but no less impressive start on the next court over, with similar results. She was on great form, hitting some beautiful crosscourts – she took the first game with an absolute stunner – and lovely boasts, using holds and making the most of all the time she had to misdirect her opponent. She also took her match 3-0, a very impressive show.
Next up were our 1 and 3 seeds, Hayley and Alethea. Hayley had it tough, playing Nottingham Trent’s star player (intel says she is ex-England squad, so…). She put up an amazing fight, and never showed any signs of defeatism, playing some gorgeous smash volley return of serves, but some of the opposition’s drop shots were just too perfect and she lost 3-0. Over on the other court Alethea was working hard against her own opponent in a tight game. She lost the 1st, and looked very much as though she might take the second, but ultimately Trent took it 13-11. The third game was one of halves, with Alethea going 6-0 up, then 8-6 down, but in the end her opponent made that the final game, taking it 11-8.
This left us in a very tense situation – 2 matches all, 6 games all. After checking the BUCS regulations (never a fun job), we worked out the point score, which came out as 103-86 in our favour. Winning on points is never the most glorious way to win, but it was pretty euphoric after such a tight day of squash, and I’d like to give shout-outs in particular to Laura for winning so comprehensively and to Alethea for losing so tightly! All in all it was a very exciting day, and one which has given me hope for a potential clean sweep this season.

Men’s Squirrels vs.  Loughborough 3rd (Away): Win (5-0)

Week 2 saw the Squirrels head up North to play a rather passionate, yet friendly, Loughborough 3rd teamThe boys rocked up to the squash courts on time, and in full spirit, thanks to Caspar’s impeccable driving (and DJ’ing) skills. We were disappointed that their single glass-backed court was not for our use – none-the-less apart from a rather short ceiling, there wasn’t much to complain about their other courts. Matches began with 2nd and 3rd strings, Kharthik and Aaron, finishing strongly with 3-0 wins. Caspar similarly triumphed over the opposition captain, securing the overall win for the Squirrels. 1st string Faraaz struggled initially in his first set, failing to realise that his opponent was left-handed, but after a quick strategy breakdown between sets, found himself easily gaining control of the court and winning his match 3-1. The highlight of the day had to be Steve’s ferocious battle against Lougborough’s 5th string. Steve had problems with his contact lenses causing him blurry vision and general soreness, right from the warm-up session. Coupled to that was a very attacking opponent, who’s most common shot was a deadly volley drop right after receiving the serve. Steve battled his way through each set, remaining calm and composed to eventually secure the full 20 BUCS points for the Squirrels (while his opponent developed trust issues over his referee-teammate’s ‘let’ and ‘stroke’ calls). This week’s fixture placed the Squirrels at the top of the Midlands 2A league in a tied position with Nottingham 3rds!

Women’s Ferrets vs.  De Montford (Home): Loss (3-1)

The first home match at Iffley saw the Ferrets up against De Montford University, with Lisa, Intie, Jess and Sarah in dark blue. There were some very hard fought games, and energy was high. Lisa, as seed one, came up against a very strong first seed with a solid back court game, but countered this consistently with outrageous cross court boasts. In a show of incredible endurance, Lisa pulled up the score in the final set, but ultimately conceded 3-0 to De Montford. Intie played a solid game with deep drives and as ever some very energetic runs to the front court, playing a very nippy second seed. After a good three set tussle, the score comes out 3-0 in favour of De Montford but only after some racy rallies. Jess playing seed three won 3-0 against her De Montford counterpart, with thanks to some cannonball overhead serves and a lot of cross-court runs. Sarah, playing her debut match for the Ferrets, put up an incredible show with an absolute mastery of space thanks to her forte in badminton, fighting hard for each point in a 0-3 game that ultimately the De Montford fourth seed took home. Despite a 3-1 loss, it was a cracking set of games with a very friendly atmosphere on and off the court – a passing weightlifter very kindly took a whole-team photo and we snuck in some very sweaty selfies. The Ferrets return to the drawing board to cook up a plan for the next home match in three weeks time.

The Ferret team week 2 The Ferret team week 2 (From left: Jess, Sarah, Intie and Lisa) Ferrets MT Wk2 2018 De Montford & Oxford (Ferrets), MT Week 2 2018