|June 30, 2010|
|University of Cambridge Men’s 2nd||18||Win|
|Oxford University Men’s 2nd||3||Loss|
The Grasshoppers Varsity Squad was:
Michael Sharp (Magdalene) [Captain]
Sam Ashcroft (Magdalene)
Josh Phillips (Jesus)
Fred Floether (Homerton)
Michael Gwinner (Trinity)
Jonas Tinius (Churchill)
Alex Moxnihan (Christs)
Henry Delacave (St Cats.)
Harry Brunton (Robinson)
Cambridge Grasshoppers 18: Oxford Penguins 3
By Alex Moynihan
Well the score line speaks for itself! The standard of play on show this year was incredibly high, and Oxford thought they came to Cambridge with one of their strongest squads in recent years. That just goes to show the strength of our team this year to pull out such a comprehensive victory.
The match started with doubles on the hard courts as heavy rain the night before had made the grass off limits for the morning. This seemed to work in our favour as some very strong doubles play ensured that we established a 3-0 lead after the first round. Special mention must go to what must be the ‘worst shot in history’ by Henry on match point as the ball sat on top of the net to be put away only for Henry to hit the net with his racket! Thankfully Oxford failed to punish him for it and they secured the match on the next point.
The singles followed on the grass. The first round saw a repeat of last year’s match up between Jonas and Josh Chapkin; unfortunately for Cambridge the result was the reverse of last year’s. Alex also lost to a strong Oxford number 5 with a massive serve, but Fred managed to grind out a comfortable win against the number 3 (and Blues No 6) to maintain our lead.
The second round of singles saw our three people making their Varsity debuts take to the court. Some great tennis followed and Michael Gwinner and Sam were both able to destroy their respective opponents. Josh, facing their number 1, produced serving of the very top level and despite having to be moved onto the astro to finish off the match held his nerve to close out a 7-6 7-5 victory. These 3 wins gave us an overnight lead of 7-2.
We came to the second day knowing that we needed only 4 more rubbers to claim overall victory; and we got the perfect start as we maintained our 100% record in doubles with 3 victories to take us to 10-2 and one away from the magic ‘11’. It was then a race between Jonas, Fred and Alex to see who could close out a Cambridge victory. After Jonas lost in a close battle and Fred’s match headed into a 3rd set, it was left to last year’s captain Alex to seal the Cambridge victory. Arms aloft to celebrate the victory- a fitting way to end his Cambridge tennis career!
We then continued our dominating form and did not lose another match: Sam, Michael Gwinner, Josh and Fred all recording comfortable singles victories. The Michaels, and Sam and Josh took their doubles tally to 3 from 3. And Harry stepped up to replace the injured Alex to play with Henry in the final doubles- cheered on by a huge crowd the match entered a 3rd set- but Henry and Harry held their nerve to close it out and complete the 18-3 victory!
A special mention must go to the 2 members of the team who are leaving this year. Michael Gwinner stepped up and recorded a 5-0 scorecard. No one can argue with that and he played some superb tennis in the process. Alex Moynihan has served Cambridge tennis well over his years at Cambridge. He brought home the cup as captain last year in an 11-10 victory and has been a great help to the freshers and me as captain this year, as well as securing 3 wins this time around. He will be missed next year!
But looking to the future, it was great to see that all the Freshers raised their games for the weekend. Sam and Josh were clinical all weekend securing 5-0 records. Henry played some great doubles and was able to hold his nerve on the key points and thoroughly deserved his 3-0 record. And Harry remained unbeaten for the 3rds all weekend and then stepped up to secure a doubles victory for the Grasshoppers.
All that can be left now, if to dedicate the several awards for the weekend:
MVP: It could have been anyone from Sam, Josh, Gwinner- you can’t argue with 5-0! But I think there emerged a clear winner- Superdrug Ibuprofen- it probably had a hand in over half of our victories.
Marian Bocek Thanks for Coming award: Jonas Tinius- after 5-0 result last year, this year’s 0-2 were not quite as good. But like Marian he was an integral part of the team and played some great tennis
Shot of the Weekend: Henry’s smash and hitting his racket on the net. The silence in disbelief from all those watching was priceless!
Cheat of the weekend: Gwinner- “Did you see that out?” “No, it was just a big point”
Worst Dress Sense: Michael- but clearly the lucky socks worked!
Flirt of the Weekend: Henry- he was even flirting with Sue Meadows
The Chunder Award (sponsored by Dettol): Sam Ashcroft- text from Sana: ‘he’s being sick in my room’
Overall, a phenomenal effort from all the boys involved. No-one could have asked for anything more.