With Abingdon 3 still on their winter break, Abingdon 1 and Abingdon 2 represented the atomic-orange brigade yesterday afternoon at St. Gregs.
And up first was Abingdon 1 against the excellent Southampton Uni 1, who have kept their experienced athletes from last year. Boy-Wonder was not feeling so wonderful, alas The Girly’s cold had been transferred, but he was still keen and eager to take on the challenge of keeping the giant goal-machine Alex Bell as quiet as is humanly possible.
Off we went, and an early Super-Susie high-arc-spectaculaire cancelled out a Southampton opener, 1-1 and a quick change of ends. Alas, the first half started to unravel from there. Southampton, another one of those whack-a-mole teams – you think you’ve got them mostly covered and then one pops up unexpectedly in a jolly dangerous position. The speed and accuracy was telling. Goals were popping in, but alas none at our end… scoreline mounting…
Gorka, absolutely apoplectic with rage after Barcelona losing to Real Madrid the previous day channeled his anger and fury productively into his korfball, a lovely shot from him doubled the Abingdon score. But alas the half-time score was a whopping 11-2 to Southampton.
Boy-Normal’s cold had now taken full grip. After a cunning switcheroo via the rolling sub rule, I subbed on for John “Toe-motani” and his reward for chasing a tall and fast boy around in the first half was to sub on for our Alex B and chase the Southampton Alex B around for 30 minutes. John, winner of the most distance covered during the match…
Second half, and Abingdon 1 really pulled their bright orange socks up, a much better display all round. Gorka clocked a Real Madrid shirt being worn on the sidelines, and “el-beasto” within was once again unleased. BOOM BOOM, two more from him, with a haul of 3 in total. A medium range shot was bagged by me, and last but by no means least, Bhairavi Patel and those cyber-ankles were clearly paying attention last year to Caroline’s trick-shot lesson. Her feed-defender caught napping, a quick twist under her arm, ball lofted high, goal, beautiful!
So a much improved half losing 4-5 within the 30 minutes, but alas the damage was done early-doors, and the final scoreline ended 16-6 to Southampton Uni.
Abingdon 2’s turn, and up this week were the Oxford Uni second tier. Mostly fresh-faced beginners, but of course the speed and excitement of 18 year olds meant we wouldn’t get a moment’s peace from them in either attack or defence.
And so it proved, our natural game was being dampened by ultra-tight marking. Different tactics tried, but alas the Abingdon 2 choir weren’t quite singing from the same hymn sheet first-up. At one end, Juan-Mi and I sulked, as one of us had to mark a chap who can only be described as “road-runner”, and two early goals from him kick started the uni scoring.
But wait a minute, one Abingdon 2 man wasn’t having any of this. Yes our very own “Ginger-Ninja” Andrew Rogers, was the only man who could match the students’ pace! Causing all sorts of havoc he was, and a couple of nice running-in shots kept us even. I bagged a penalty, but another Uni goal meant a 3-3 scoreline. Would youth win over experience?
Fortunately, Abingdon 2 gradually got their act together. Different options were tried, and slowly but surely we eased into far more profitable set-ups at both ends. Ginger-Ninja was still having a ding-dong afternoon, another couple bagged, and a bit of post trickery from yours truly out foxed pesky road-runner. 5-3 to us and finally the goals were coming. Lumbering-Laurence even out-ran a student to bag a running-in shot! He’ll be dining out on that for years…
Abingdon 2 then slipped up through the gears. Her-Geordiness and Anna-Amazing-Arms-Argemi decided to take advantage of the ultra-tight marking. Some good post switching by the boys, feeds and side-feeds gave them both the opportunity to exercise those upper-limbs. A lovely goal from Arms-Anna, and two sweet ones sunk by Her Geordiness!
Juan-Mi, perhaps old enough to be the grandad of the young man he was marking, decided it was time to show everyone who’s the boss! Two lovely goals from him, and there’s pace in them old legs yet – causing the Uni defence to switch on more than one occasion meant two more goals for me.
But the final word has to go to Ginger-Ninja! Whatever he had for breakfast should be bottled up and fed to us all, he was gobbling up opportunities left right and centre, finishing with a fantastic personal tally of 6 goals, well played Sir! And now stop it, you’re showing up the rest of us who have been playing for longer than you 😉
Well played everyone, after the early difficulties, the final scoreline was a whopping 16-4 win, with 6 out of the 8 players contributing to the final total. Apparently experience does (eventually) beat youth 🙂