Abingdon 1 and 2 got to put their feet up this weekend, which meant the pride of Abingdon Korfball Club was down to our beginners, with two Abingdon 3 matches against the combo teams of Oxford Uni/Oxford Isis and Oxford City/Didcot. Could they do us proud?
First up was the Uni/Isis encounter, with an experienced hand at either end in the form of Bhairavi and Susie. And Abingdon 3 were out of the traps faster than you could say “beginners’ course”, lots of lovely movement, and the improvement from last week was immediately obvious. Early scorers included Tayebeh with a quick couple of goals, Arantxa with a lovely shot, and even veteran-Susie couldn’t resist a couple of cheeky goals to add to the tally. However the raw pace of the Uni/Isis team kept our defenders on the tips of their toes, and a few goals were conceded, meaning an uber-tight 5-4 half time scoreline.
Mike’s hamstring started to whinge at him, and suddenly an unexpected Andy R turned up out of the blue, so a sensible half time substitution took place and we were off again. Ramsey was springy and quick to the ball as always, and Gerard went close on a couple of occasions. Goal for goal was matched, with Dave getting in on the scoring act and Andy R offloaded a trademark basketball-esque lay-up. But the Uni/Isis continued to fight, and suddenly it was 8-8 with only minutes to go.
Penalty to Abingdon. Time to seize the moment, and the calmest customer in town was Arantxa! Cool as a cucumber, she put an earlier penalty miss right out of her mind and sent up a very classy shot, straight through the hoop! And crucial it turned out to be – final whistle, and a hard earned 9-8 victory for Abingdon 3, well played everyone!
With confidence high and a 45 minute recharge, the City/Didcot combo were the next opponents. Mike’s hamstring said no to a second match, but Andy R said yes, and Bhairavi, Erica and Baerbel provided experience at either end this time.
A far tighter match this one, with defenders on both sides doing very well. An ultra-long Baerbel shot went straight in to kick-start the Abingdon scoring, but this was soon cancelled out by a neat City/Didcot move. 1-1 it stayed for a while, with both attacks just not quite clicking. Fortunately excellent Abingdon defence kept us in the game, and Baerbel sneaked in another, and then Andy R slotted home another to give Abingdon 3 a 3-1 half-time lead.
Opportunities were again hard to come by in the second half, but the work rate never decreased. And Abingdon 3’s perseverance in attack was finally rewarded later on in the match. Gerard’s endless running was finally rewarded with a superb running-in shot, but special mention goes to Dave, who was definitely man-of-the-match in my opinion, endlessly managing to get himself into a good feed position, and at other times always getting into good collect positions, allowing others to get some great shooting opportunities. So it was only right that the korfball gods deemed him worth of scoring an ultra-smooth running in shot to move the score on to 5-1. A late goal by City/Didcot was not enough, and a final scoreline of 5-2 meant another double win afternoon for Abingdon 3. Well played everyone! 🙂