So this was it then. As expected Basingstoke thrashed Didcot in the match just before, which meant that the final match of the season was winner-takes-all. A draw was no good for Abingdon, but a win would see us claim the Division 1 title. Could we do it?
Didcot-Pete blew the whistle, and we were off! And a very tasty start it was, with both sides moving well and creating chances. Alas the Basingstoke radar was sychronised quickest, and they were soon 2-0 up. Switch of ends, and Abingdon clawed one back… the capacity crowd of die-hard Abingdon away supporters were cheering us on from the sidelines (“A-lex Bea-van’s bar-my army *clap clap clap clap*”), but after keeping things even and then taking a slender the lead in the match, the excellent Basingstoke turned up the heat and applied a killer blow. Moving very well with slick passing, excellent long shooting, and pesky boys who were very good at combining to create drop-off opportunities, they scored a devastating 6 goals on the trot. Half time score was (I think) 8-4 to Basingstoke.
Into the second half and it would take something special for Abingdon 1 to claw this back and take the league title. Our own grumpy contingent were managing not to irritate the ref too much today, but a couple of Basingstoke players overheated on a couple of occasions meaning Didders-Pete had to call them over for a quick “shut the **** up” chat. That aside, the competitive korfball continued at pace. As the match wore on though, it was very much a case of Abingdon being very good, but Basingstoke being excellent. Basingstoke were more clinical with their finishing, in particular with their long shooting, and with some very speedy girls combining nicely with their tall and nimble boys, there was no way back for Abingdon despite a few nice goals shared around the team.
And so the final result of Abingdon 1’s season was a 20-11 loss, leaving us in second place in the league. Disappointed faces all round, but after the drive back a post-match drink in the Brewery Tap made things all better again.
So there we are, the curtain comes down on an excellent season for the whole Abingdon club. Well actually, not quite. Abingdon 2 of course now go into a three-way playoff with Farnborough (winners of Division 2 south), and 7th place in division 1 (probably Didcot) to decide which two teams will be in Division 1 next season. And then there’s the OKA cup and various summer tournaments, so keep your eyes on your inboxes…