Merton-Mansfield Hockey Club experienced another enjoyable year of hockey. The year started with changes in personnel as some long-serving players left Oxford and an influx of first years joined from both Mansfield and Merton.
Success in the league and promotion to Division 1 last year came in contrast to a series of defeats in Michaelmas against Worcester, Teddy Hall and St Hilda’s, which unfortunately saw the M&Ms condemned to relegation.
The Men’s Cuppers tournament began in Hilary term, but the M&Ms involvement was short lived, and brought to a cruel end by Lincoln. In a tight affair the game was eventually lost 2-1 after a Jadon Buckeridge (Mansfield, 2016) equaliser had taken the game to a golden goal extra time.
The Mixed Cuppers tournament due to be played in Trinity failed to materialise with Men’s Cuppers fixtures overrunning. A friendly summer league was set up and it was testament to the dedication of the team that we continued to play hockey on Sunday afternoons in some sweltering Oxford weather while many had exams and various other commitments.
The highlight of the season came with an inaugural alumni hockey match at St Edward’s School in fifth week of Hilary term. The game was well attended by both alumni and current players with the alumni coming away with a 4-2 victory thanks to a Matthew Dodd (Mansfield, 2010) hattrick. It was an enjoyable afternoon, followed by a meal in Oxford, and it is hoped this fixture can be repeated next year.
Overall, it has been a great year of hockey, and it was especially pleasing to have large attendances at both training and matches – a reflection of the commitment and team spirit shown by all involved.
Looking to next year, the majority of players will remain in Oxford, so an established M&Ms team will be hoping to mount a promotion challenge and return to the heights of Division 1 college hockey.
Daniel Scotson (Mansfield, 2016)
Merton-Mansfield Hockey Captain 2017-18