Abingdon Atoms 15 – 16 MK Lakers (SMOKA), Abingdon Atoms (2) 10 – 9 Oxford Uni (2) and “Abingdon (4)” 6 – 7 Oxford City (3) (Friendly)

A medley of excitement this afternoon, 3 very different matches took place. First up…

A SMOKA outing! A trip north east to the jolly concrete grid that is Milton Keynes. Apparently blessed with more sporting venues than you can shake a korfball at, we arrived at yet another different sports venue and encountered a tough MK outfit. Teams: Boy, John, Matt, Dave, Girl, Anna, Bhairavi and Chrissie.

And of course, without a match form to refer back to my memory is as useful as a chocolate teapot. First half… even all the way, 1-0 up initially, then level, then every rotate seemed to start with Milton Keynes scoring very quickly, but solid defence allowed Abingdon to draw level again before the next switch. Good play at both ends though, chances being created, and excellent efforts in defence against some spritely and accurate MK players. 9-8 lead at half time.

Second half, more of the same and really not a lot in it. The ref was being a tad frustrating, and so we ended up playing against the inevitable red mist as well as the opposition, but nevertheless we soldiered on. Alas, at 15-15 a final MK was then sunk, 16-15 to them and the final whistle blown immediately afterwards. So near and yet so close.

So then, all bundled into various cars and a speedy trip down the A roads back to St. Greg’s… it was league match time!

Yes Abingdon 2 would finally bring down the curtain on the Abingdon league season, with a final swansong against Oxford Uni 2. Some Dutch awesomeness from the Uni sidelines was brought on, Uni 2 clearly wanted to finish the season with a win. Could Abingdon 2 cap off a fine season with a final win?

BOOM, and before you could say “Tremendous”, Tayebeh was polishing off a one-handed running-in shot, 1-0 to Abingdon in the blink of an eye. A dash postwards by Lethargic-Laurence at just the right time allowed a close finish to sail in nicely, and young Dave Plummer just can’t keep off the score sheet these days, a nice finish from The Timotei Express. Alas, during this time 5 Uni goals were conceded, 5-3 down…

Helen van-Boxy-Boxely-van-van-Boxel-Box was back in an Abingdon shirt this afternoon, and very nicely she was playing too, lovely arcing long shots, and bursts of pace at just the right moment giving several chances, alas no finishes today. Anna, after a tough SMOKA match and now up against the Dutch awesomeness battled hard too.

Now then, one more goal before half time… I think it was… actually, I have no idea, so let’s say golden arm Rich McGowan! But I do remember his goal, another of those now trademark majestic long shots if his, never touched the sides, and another leaked Uni goal meant 6-4 down at half time.

Refreshment on-boarded and re-hydration complete, Abingdon 2 were off once more with a bang. More Tayebeh, more tremendous, another to her. Delectable Dave, also exhibiting golden arm tendencies these days, a second to him. Her Geordiness! Battling severe man flu this afternoon and thus holding up excellently after much expelled energy in the earlier SMOKA game, cheered on by her pillow on the sidelines (don’t ask…), she sunk a ‘champion’ effort! Hudson sneaked onto the score sheet again with a nice penalty finish, just leaving McGowan for a final goal and John-the-Toes to sink a single effort during the afternoon. So 10 goals to us in the end… was it enough against the Dutch-inspired Uni machine? Yes! Only 9 conceded giving Abingdon 2 the slenderest of wins at 10-9, capping off a season that had them finish top of league 2 by a country mile, 13 wins and 1 loss. Very well played everyone 🙂

So league season finished, but JUST A MINUTE, what’s this? Another landmark moment in Abingdon Atoms’ colourful and illustrious history took place this afternoon as the first ever “Abingdon 4” match took place! Ok, so not quite a full team of beginners, but Oxford City 3 accepted the invite to play a friendly match against us to give our newbies a run out in a fun friendly match.

Team news: Lyndsey, Kiri, Frances and Chris M, with help provided by Helen, Matt, Gorka, Dave, Laurence and Rich at various stages of the afternoon. Alex Boy as ref (it was a friendly after all) how did everyone do?

Off we went, and it wasn’t long before Kiri gave me an excellent pass at just the right moment, and the reward for her killer basketball instincts was a close finish from me, 1-0 to us and thank you Kiri! Manful defence at the other end keeping the City chances down, but alas a goal conceded, 1-1 and switch of ends.

So then, Gorka and Helen helping out Frances and Chris M, and what a fine pair they are! Chris managed to make Gorka look a bit sluggish on occasions, zooming all over the place… meanwhile Frances (surname Pope, so hilariously given the nickname “Pope Frances” by work colleagues, it seems only fair that this should spill over into her korfball career), was also playing nicely, clearly paying attention during the running-in training sessions, skinning her girl nicely on more than one occasion.

Gorka, tut tut, you’re playing a friendly against City 3! A twizzle-under-the-feed goal was naughty, and then followed up by a second, 3-1 and switch of ends, I gave him a “we are not amused” eyebrow as we crossed each other 😉 So then, Kiri and Lyndsey were lively again in attack, some excellent drops into feed from Kiri, and Lyndsey also taking plenty of nice shots when possible. However deadly Chris Drew, not seen on a korfball pitch for some time now was de-rusting nicely, and a nice finish from him meant a half time score of 4-2 to Abingdon 4.

Second half and time for Dave, Rich and Laurence to all get in on the action whilst Gorka and I took a breather. Now then, who was this with a lovely running-in shot? Chris Martin! His Abingdon goal scoring account was well and truly open, skinning a nippy City boy as if he wasn’t there. Step aside Gorka, there’s a new Express in town!

Alas City and their season of experience over our new players started to show. 5-2 became 5-3, 5-4 and then 5-5. And then disaster, 6-5 down. But we manfully ploughed on, and special mention to Frances here in defence, limpet like to her girl, and several lovely low-risk intercepts kept the ball out of the City attack and back into the Abingdon half. Meanwhile, Kiri was now demonstrating her excellent collecting skills, helping the boys take shots and keeping our attacks going nicely. And it paid off too, a Chris Drew long shot sailed in nicely, 6-6. Could anyone nick a winner?

Alas a final City goal squeaked in before the end, 7-6 to them when Ref Beavan blew the full time whistle. Thanks to everyone who helped fill the Abingdon 4 team, and well done to Kiri, Frances, Lyndsey and Chris M, well played to you all 🙂

Anything left this season? You betcha, the ABINGDON 2 PLAYOFFS! Can Abingdon 2 make it into to Division 1 next season? Find out on Sunday May 10th at St. Greg’s…

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