The 2004 Varsity Match (17.6.2004)
Oxford had ambitious goals for the varsity match this year. Not only was the win expected but there was a desire to get the afternoons games wrapped up in time the hear England v Switzerland on the radio in the minibus home! Things failed to go to plan from the start - traffic meant that Oxford arrived 30mins late for the usual start time.
Kirby finished his match quickly as expected, opting only to do a triple. Gooding similarly finished his game by pulling off his first ever triple peel. Gray and Snow performed confidently against opponents whose preference for golf croquet showed in their ability to run hoops from amazing places. However Follows and Mooring struggled to get going. Mooring vs Elliston provided some excitement to the morning's games finishing level on time, after Mooring clawed back a few hoops in the last turn. Elliston suffered from the pressure, failing to get good position on his hoop, allowing Mooring to make the final hoop.
Lunch at the 8 Bells was as good as ever.
The depth of ability available for the Oxford team allowed us to hold trials for the places on the team. The decision was made to select 9 players rather than 6 to give varsity match experience to our newer players. The 3 new players for the afternoon were by no means weaker than the players that they substituted and had been selected as the better doubles players. Hope did what was necessary to allow Kirby to do a quintuple peel. Whilst Evseev showed his excellent break play to set Gooding up for another triple. Nobody is sure if this came to grief from incompetence or our sympathy for the Cambridge players.... Snow and Hansen finished the match to claim the 9-0 victory for Oxford for the second year running.
Sadly with games running to time in the morning, and an extend lunch break at the pub, only 15mins of play remained in the England match.
We are all grateful to The Hurlingham Club for once again kindly hosting the Varsity match on their excellent lawns.
Players are listed by team, with handicaps in brackets. An asterisk indicates the team captain.
Oxford 9-0 Cambridge
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