The Saturday East Leagues kicked off way back in late September, in what feels like a very long time ago now. Though some teams suffered from the inevitable CUHC slow start, all 6 teams can be proud of where they finished and have lots of positives to reflect on.
The Men’s Blues finished in 2nd place in East Premier A, again just missing out on promotion to the East Conference and to National League Hockey by a single place. Nevertheless, they can look back at a very successful season with 14 wins, including a thrilling away win against league champions West Herts 1s, beating them 4-3 and showing what this team is capable of. Next season they will be looking to assert themselves on this league again and looking for that elusive promotion to the National League. With only four players leaving from this year’s Varsity squad, next year’s side will be well placed to achieve this.
The Women’s Blues had a solid season and cemented their place in East Premier, having been promoted back into it last year, finishing 6th. After an initially slow start with only one win from seven games, the team then put together a very good run of performances on both sides of the Christmas break. An impressive seven wins and three draws came from the next 14 matches. Next season the team will be looking to build on this and push into the top half of the table.
The Wanderers also started in a higher league, East Premier B, and demonstrated that they belong there. Sitting in 4thplace at one stage, the team eventually finished 6th, with very tight losses to first place (Letchworth 1s) and second place (Old Southendian 1s) in the closing games of the season. The fact that these games were close, with the Wanderers unable to capitalise on early 2-0 leads (which finished 2-3 and 3-4 respectively), shows how far the team has come this year.
The Nomads finished in 7th place in East division 1N, putting in some very strong performances towards the end of the season with three wins from their last three matches, including one against third-placed Cambridge City 3s. With relegation looking like a possibility at times, this was no mean feat at the end of a tiring season, especially after the mental taxation of Varsity, and crucially ensured the Nomads cement their position in a league that the team has at times struggled to stay in over the last five years. They will be keen to go one better next year and push into the top half of the table.
The Squanderers had the best league season of CUHC’s six teams, finishing as champions of East division 3NW. The team was unbeaten before Christmas and only suffered two defeats over the whole campaign. Many highlights can be found within their 18 wins, including 10-0 and 11-0 wins! CUHC has to look back to the 2006/07 campaign to find the last league champions from the Men’s side of the club (the Women’s Blues were division 1N champions in 2018/19), when the men’s Blues were champions of East Premier A. Congratulations to the Squanderers on a stellar season!
The Bedouin found themselves in a higher league in 2019/20 following league restructuring, but showed their mettle, finishing in a solid seventh place. They were another team who had an excellent finish to the season with five wins from their last eight matches, including a dominant 4-1 away win over third-place Long Sutton 1s. With much of the squad made up of freshers, this was certainly a successful season for the Bedouin. The women’s side of the club is now in a great place with all three teams in consecutive leagues, ensuring a competitive level of hockey across the board.
|Men’s Blues (Prem A)||2nd |
(out of 12)
|Women’s Blues (Prem)||6th |
(out of 12)
|Wanderers (Prem B)||6th |
(out of 13)
|Nomads (Div 1N)||2nd |
(out of 12)
|Squanderers (Div 3NW)||1st|
(out of 12)
|Bedouin (Div 2NW)||7th|
(out of 12)
British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS)
The club continues to field four teams (both Blues sides, Wanderers and Nomads) in BUCS leagues. With university hockey matches often being played at a much higher intensity, playing in BUCS brings a wealth of benefits to CUHC. During 2019/20 the teams continued their impressive performances in recent seasons, all four of them now playing at a very competitive level, with many successes to look back on.
Men’s and Women’s Blues
Playing in Premier South, one league below the highest level of university hockey in the UK, both Blues teams were faced with a slightly different season to previous years due to league restructuring. At Premier level and above, teams now play each other either home or away, rather than both, meaning a reduced schedule of eight matches. The men’s Blues had long away trips to Cardiff (twice), Exeter and Swansea, but overall secured four wins and a draw from their eight matches, ensuring they finished in fourth place (out of nine teams). This included an extremely pleasing 4-1 win against the Oxford Blues two weeks before the varsity match.
The women’s Blues had an equally solid season, finishing in 6th place with three wins and two draws from their eight matches, also facing long away trips to Exeter, Cardiff and Bristol. Both teams, therefore, continue to ensure a very high level of university hockey is played by the club’s top sides, which cements hockey’s status as a sport for which a Blue is awarded at Cambridge.
Wanderers and Nomads
This was a landmark year for the Wanderers in the BUCS arena. Having first entered BUCS in 2015/16 at the bottom of the league structure, and steadily climbed the leagues year on year, the Wanderers are now in the highest possible BUCS league they can be, one below the Blues’, in Midlands Tier 1. Though facing some tough opposition, the team did well to stay up, with two wins and four draws coming from their 10 matches, meaning they finished on the same number of wins, draws and losses as their Oxford counterparts, the Occasionals. The team is very grateful to the previous generations of Wanderers and Squanderers who have played their way through the lower leagues to ensure that the Wanderers now have the opportunity to play at a high level of university hockey.
The Nomads also had a successful season in Midlands Tier 2 B, finishing with 5 wins and 2 draws from their nine matches and leaving them in an excellent second place. The team saw off third-placed Nottingham University 4s in a thriller of a match towards the end of the season, which saw the Nomads score the winner in the final seconds of the game, to ensure that they finished above Nottingham. The Nomads 10th match should have taken place just after the end of term, but has not been played due to the coronavirus disruption. Next year the team will be looking to go one better and achieve promotion into Midlands Tier 2 A, and join their Oxford counterparts the Radicals.
|Men’s Blues (Prem South)||4th |
(out of 9)
|Women’s Blues (Prem South)||6th |
(out of 9)
|Wanderers (Midlands Tier 1)||4th |
(out of 6)
|Nomads (Midlands Tier 2B)||2nd |
(out of 6)