Monday, March 23, 2009

Men’s team best in show

In today’s fixture Oxford Men’s team confirmed its status as top of the North in the BVA league. In a repeat performance of the local derby against Didcot and Newbury earlier this spring, Oxford again saw off the local competition. However, this time the team was made to work somewhat harder.

In the first match against Didcot, Oxford had to recover from being 6 - 14 down in the second set to secure a 25 - 17, 25 - 21 victory. The second match against Newbury was even more tense. After winning the first set comfortably to 19, the team slipped to a 25 - 14 defeat in the second set. When changing over at 4 - 8 down in the tie break, things looked pretty bleak. But thanks to a strong team effort against a Newbury team refusing to let anything drop, very vocal support from the bench, and a few well placed hits from Martijn in the waning minutes of the match, Oxford once again managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and clinch the tie break 15 - 12.

A job well done all but secures Oxford Men’s team finishing the season in fifth place out of twelve teams. What makes the performance even more impressive is the fact that both opposing teams were fielding two national league registered players, while Oxford made do with just one. Even with Neil banished to the bench for the entire first match, Jon still failed to secure a player of the match nomination.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Men’s team down to an open faced sandwich

Keeping with the food theme from last time, the Oxford Men’s team only managed one side of the deal in the fixture this Sunday. In the first match Oxford easily saw off a somewhat depleted Maidenhead team - that even had their coach playing, something yours truly has never experienced before - with a clear 2 - 0 victory. Without their usual guidance from the side, the Maidenhead team was clearly in disarray and at a loss against an Oxford team freshly drilled from beating the Oxford Uni students on Saturday evening.

Unfortunately, the Oxford team had to sit the next match out, watching Basingstoke warming up against Maidenhead while they were themselves getting cold. Still, in the first set Oxford recovered from 22 - 16 down to win a thrilling 30 - 28 victory. Unfortunately the team could not manage similar comebacks in neither the second set nor the tie break. In both sets Basingstoke pulled ahead about midways through the set with a 6 point run, and managed to hold on to the lead for 25 - 17 and 15 - 11 victories. However, Neil once again managed to impress enough to get yet another player of the match nomination. Jon’s dry spell continues.

Though not quite as victorious as has been the custom lately, the Oxford team can be quite satisfied with coming away from a fixture against the two top teams (at least until yesterday) of the BVA men’s league with 4 points. This all but secures a finish in the top half of the league, though chances for further advancement from fifth place are pretty slim.

Rune Lyngsoe, Men’s Team Selector