Abingdon 1 were on tour this Saturday, and the capacity crowd at the majestic QMC sports hall on the Hampshire border were treated to a real humdinger of a contest, with a narrow 13-12 loss the result against to last year’s league champions Basingstoke.
With some likely foes in the Basingstoke squad, the blood, sweat, tears, rattles and prams went something like this…
Stalemate early on, both defences winning and shooting arms not well oiled enough for fluid goal scoring just yet. A Boy goal, but two conceded meant a long stint with the score at 2-1. Tempers smouldering on both sides, the game cauldron was nicely warm.
Basingstoke must know a secret password to the game of korfball. Most of us mortals in life struggle to muster up one skill out of tall, quick and accurate, but several Bulls manage to (quite rudely) tick more than one box, if not all three. Which means it’s jolly difficult keeping them all quiet at the same time. A quintet of goals by them took their half time tally up to a healthy 7. However Abingdon were far from out of it, a Boy penalty, Monsieur Fraysse netting nicely and our Catalan Express giving Vlad a few things to think about, one of his canny bursts of speed at just the right time to net a running in shot made it 7-4 to Basingstoke at the interval.
Honestly, it was like being in kindergarten at half time! Tempers became frayed and tactics were disputed, but fortunately before any korfballs were inserted somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine, a soothing sip of water calmed everyone down. Dodgy-knee John came off, dodgy-calf Matt came on and we were ready to roll again.
And Abingdon soon upped their game. Boy-Wonder suddenly went a bit ballistic, using all of his trickery and cunning in conjunction with the nimble-limbed and nimble-minded Gorka to great effect, and Beavan’s goal tally was suddenly on the rise. Basingstoke goals were still popping in regularly, but Abingdon were now closing the gap. Une penaltie for Monsieur Fraysse, Gorka speeding in once again to net another lovely running-in shot. I had the joy of marking Viktor the 9-foot giant (Dave Plummer I know how you felt last week now!), and called his dropping-off bluff by sinking a long shot.
A bit more Beavan magic and goodness me before we knew it, it was 11-11! Tremendous excitement all round. Alex Girl pushed us up to 12, but of course Basingstoke levelled, and it truly was squeaky bum time all round.
Could we sneak a winner? Could we? No! 😦 Instead a Basingstoke goal was conceded, and Mr. Referee blew the final whistle. Well played everyone, so close but at least we made them work hard to earn their win!
Eye on tomorrow: Abingdon 3 take on Isis 2, good luck guys and girls!