Men's Blues - Saturday 27th March 2017 - SEMLA East 1 - Hillcroft Away

9.07am. A brilliant gold sliver of sunlight glowed through the slit in Matthew Jamshed’s Northern Soul curtains, stirring Mr Jamshed from his slumber. He grumbled to himself and congratulated himself for not feeling hungover on a Saturday morning and being able to remember all events of the Friday night.

“This would never happen if Wahoo was still open. RIP”

He turned to his left and greeted his long term girlfriend, who immediately popped the question.

“Is today the day I can meet your lacrosse friends?”

"One day you will meet the team. And it will be an hour of wolves when all my hard work at keeping my separate lives will come crashing down. But it shall not be this day!” he replied. He was running out of answers to this question, but knew he just had to hold on another few months and then he would be out of Oxford Uni and making big bucks in the oil industry.

He put on his BP dressing gown and wondered downstairs, where he relieved his appetite with cheesy chips and gravy, for you see, gentle reader, Matthew hailed from the North. He was also the OULC Men’s team resident match reporter and all round chopper. He picked up his tea and began to sip, before realising he had in fact picked it up in his right hand.

“Rules are rules. Come on then” he encouraged himself as he binned the mug of boiling liquid in one.

He glanced out of the window. It had been months since Matthew had seen sunshine like this. Excitement rose up from within him and this culminated in a stifled yelp of happiness. He placed his Keble mug back on the side.
“Big day. I’m almost as excited as I am for the 7th May, when everyone will undoubtedly congratulate me on how good Keble ball was”. Not only had Matthew spent the year as one of OULC’s most esteemed social secs, who had overseen countless nights of team bonding and camaraderie, he was also Keble Ball President 2017. It was going to be a night to remember, even if they didn’t have a promo video featuring OULC’s finest.

Matthew got ready and at 9.50am headed out the front door. This was plenty of time to make a 10am meet at Iffley.

Matthew was, however, not heading for Iffley. He was not playing in the match today. It is actions like this that won him “Snake of the Year 2017” at the Men’s AGM.


The team assembled in the car park. It was clearly 10th week - the midfielders looked round in apprehension at the low numbers knowing that there would be a lot of running today. Without further ado, the team boarded the minibus. Driven by Steve Hayes (English Unis Keeper and Canterbury’s #1 Tourist 2017), the boys knew they were in safe hands.

“We have 2 other keepers today. 25% of this team play in goal. Maybe if I drive really well they’ll let me play outfield” Steve thought. Despite impressive driving, as always, this was not the case.

The team began their warm up in the glorious sun. Stretching followed by line drills. Given the lateness of both the home and away teams, it was agreed the game would start after the agreed time. Matthew Jamshed would be gutted to hear that he missed out on his last opportunity to participate in the fast breaks drill as a current student at Oxford University.

The match began. Gabe Barrie promptly promptly won the faceoff and proceeded to slot the ball “right in the onion bag”. Nice one England Academy.

More dominance on the face resulted in an Oxford dominance. Hillcroft, rattled by the strong start from Oxford, began to concede penalties. Fast ball movement and a feed to crease by Rob Conway allowed Beau McCarver to slot the ball neatly past the keeper. Great defence from the Dark Blues, who forced turnovers meant Oxford continued the dominance throughout the first half. Tim “Dutch Henry” Sweere hoovered up GBs before using his enormous legs to outrun any pursuing midfielders. Charlie Kershaw made another appearance for the Oxford Blues, cementing his position as "unable to let go of OULC", despite strong efforts by Max Wintle, Nick Williams and Tom "Herr Sports" Carver. Notable mention must also be given to Alex Harbord, for an impressive first shift at wielding a pole (Matthew would also be gutted to miss this opportunity - ever since he was a second year he dreamed of being allowed to "wield the axe"). Oxford saw out the quarter 3-0.

After words of encouragement from injured co-captain elect Cameron Schmontgomery, Oxford continued to dominate the match. More goals from Gabe and new addition Charlie cemented Oxford's lead, combined with Steve Hayes' as-ever impressive saves, meant Oxford closed the half 5-0.

Determined to finish the season on a high, they entered the third quarter determined for victory. Keeper-turned-midfielder Alex Ruff showed great hustle and Dom Spencer Jolly kept the opposition on their toes. Toby "Dom Hewitt broke my hand" upped his game, proving that when you're 2X Varsity MVP it doesn't matter if you have broken bones by slotting the ball into the net not once, but twice. Dodges followed by quick movement saw the great opportunities for the Dark Blues, especially for Shamus Birch. Unfortunately, it was not a Wednesday and so he couldn't quite manage to "bin it".

On the final whistle, the victorious Blues congratulated each other on a strong 11-3 win and basked in the sun. It had indeed, just as Matthew had predicted for the last match of his (and Beau, Toby, Steve, Kershaw (maybe), Shamus and Alex's) OULC career, been a great day for a great day.