This past Saturday the Oxford Lancers had their annual Old Boys Game; a chance for the crop of new rookies to get their feet wet against some of the best Lancers’ to have played the game. In a new twist this year, players were raising money for the MS Society, a cause close to legendary Lancer Jonny Brooks’ (or Priest as he is affectionately known) heart. Unfortunately, Priest’s girlfriend (also a former Oxford University student) was diagnosed with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) in June this year. This led her to raise almost £2000 for the MS society by arranging to do a charity walk with friends and family. With an aim to raise awareness of this "invisible" illness as well as money to help fund research into finding a cure, the current Lancers’ President, Josh Allen, made the decision to host the annual Old Boys game in aid of the MS Society.
Despite the Old Boys heading into the weekend having won the last 2 meetings, the match up was set to be a close one, after a strong influx of rookies. The Old Boys started shakily on offense, with their first 2 drives ending in a turnover on downs. Unfortunately the current Lancers’ were unable to capitalise on this initially as both teams appeared to be little rusty out of the gate. After a horrendous throw from the Old Boys was picked off, the Lancers eventually put points on the board in the form of a Connor Thompson rushing TD. The Lancer great Priest himself then responded with a long touchdown run of his own, breaking multiple tackles along the way. The two teams then traded long touchdown passes. The Old Boys’ headed into the half with a 22-20 lead. The current Lancers’ defense then stepped up in a big way in the second half, stifling the Old Boys offense. The Lancers’ new look offense scored on another 2 touchdown passes courtesy of veteran Will Szymanski, giving them a lead of 36-22 heading into the 2 minute warning. The Old Boys offense then had a chance to respond; the pressure was on. 4 plays later the Old Boys were facing a 4th and long, and replacement free safety Jimmy Blackwell picked off the visitors pass. The new Lancers’ team then let the clock expire to win the game 36-22.
Lancers’ president, Josh Allen, set a goal prior to the event of £300. The current and former Lancers were up to the task and they managed to raise a total of £330 for the MS Society. The MS Society is currently funding 13 new research projects in the hope to find a cure to this debilitating disease. If you are interested in learning more, or would like to lend your support, we encourage you to visit their website at https://www.mssociety.org.uk/. Together we can make a difference and find a cure.