JCR Football At The Half-Way Mark

There’s been loads of football going on

It’s Hilary term, which means it’s time to start paying attention to JCR football again. With the JCR leagues in full swing, and the Cuppers quarter-finals approaching in the next couple of weeks, the Tab is here to bring you up to date on what you almost certainly missed in Michaelmas.

Premier Division

It’s been a brilliant season so far for Teddy Hall – having suffered relegation two years ago, and having to battle over tough competition to win promotion, they currently sit top of the JCR Premier Division.

They’ve not quite been as dominant as the goal differential suggests – much of that comes from a 10-0 mauling of St. Hugh’s at the end of last term – and Worcester remain very much in the hunt for the title, with the Week 4 matchup between the two shaping up to be huge.

Hall have been helped along by the prolific scoring of Jack Moran – in a season and a half of JCR football, he’s had 17 goals and 16 assists in just 22 games.

Elsewhere, a heavily-hyped Exeter side have fallen surprisingly flat, most notably being held to draws twice by St. Catz; the Blue-studded side were always going to be a Cuppers team though, and the usual talent level in their league lineups reflects that.

At the other end, three teams are involved in a relegation dogfight. St. Catz boast some Tab Talent™ in Ollie Troen and Tom Goulding, but seem unable to actually win a game, and St. Hugh’s just can’t find the net to save their life, with only 3 goals in 6 games so far.

Maybe ask Trup for advice on how to win, Tom.

Balliol are probably the strongest of the three on paper, and have made a game of it against some tough opposition, though they lack star talent bar the occasional presence of ex-Millwall goalkeeper Jamie Farmer.


First Division

In our preseason preview, we confidently predicted a lot of incorrect things about this league. We though Keble would fail to make the step up; that was wrong, and a career season from Hamish Birrell combined with good showings from Blue-bound Dan Ginger and fresher Adam Salisbury sees them sitting comfortably top at this point.

We suspected Lincoln and Magdalen would be top and bottom, but they appear to have averaged out so far to two mediocre teams instead, though that 5 games played figure for Magdalen is always a concern in JCR football.

We are living in a post-Pat Meniru world.

New have also stayed in contention; Michael Feeney is looking like the answer to the “after Sam Donald?” question with 6 goals in 5 games in the league. Samuel Firman’s been a little less prolific with 5 in 6, but his Merton/Mansfield side still look good, a natural result of combining two colleges into one super-cheaty team.

At the bottom, Trinity are back to their historic state of being rubbish (in the league at least), and it’ll probably be them and Brasenose who go down.

Second Division

Unlike every other league, the Second Division actually managed to play a full slate of fixtures in 1st week, so we’ve included their post-1st week table in recognition of that. Congratulations to you and your superior groundskeepers, Second Division.

LMH aren’t quite as comfortably on top as the table makes it appear due to their already having played nine games, but they’re still a very solid team, and could be an interesting one to watch going forward – the vast majority of their players are first- and second-years, and a star fresher playmaker to go alongside Callum Hopkins could see them as a dark horse for a run at the top flight next year.

St. Anne’s captain Alex Cavell may have been selling his team short when he slated them for a mid-table finish in his personal pre-season preview; they’re currently well in the promotion race, with the only hiccup a surprise loss to a Queen’s side who otherwise have alternated between beating up on bad sides and struggling against decent ones.

Queen’s don’t like it up ’em.

Pembroke are also competitive, as rising Blues star Alex Tsaptsinos looks to lead a surprisingly talent side to bigger things. At the other end of the table, the Third Division has excelled itself this year, as newly-promoted St. Peter’s and St. Hilda’s look set to go straight back down in horrific fashion.

Third Division

The Third Division continues to be as resolutely stupid as ever, with only three teams really taking it at all seriously. Jesus are firmly in control, and their 7 wins to date already ties their count from last year – which was in itself their most for over half a decade.

Corpus/Linacre have also made a massive turnaround after their university-worst finish last year, and it’ll come down to them and Somerville for the second promotion spot.

Somerville have been deprived of the talents of Boyer and Jowitt this year, but still they soldier on.

As for the rest? Hertford are garbage, Univ are garbage and have no defence, Oriel are garbage and got their only win via forfeit, and Christ Church are garbage and Peder Beck-Friis isn’t coming to save them.