The dawn of a new korfball season was upon us this afternoon! The posts were in place and looking pristine, and the freshly painted lines at St. Greg’s had literally only just dried before Abingdon 2 participated in the season’s 3pm curtain raiser. England vs Fiji in the rugby world cup had nothing on us 😉
So then, what team news? Boys: Andrew, Laurence, Dave, Juan-Mi, and a debut Abingdon outing for Steven Van Boxel, starting off with bum warming the subs bench and looking very keen indeed. Girls: just Erica from A2 available, so step in the ringers! Susie played down from A1, with Helen and Lyndsey both playing up from A3 to take on a Southampton City 1 team who quite frankly looked excellent all round the park. The beginning of a challenging season for A2 was ready to begin…
Off we went, and A2 were very much getting their game heads back during the first half, the pace a touch frenetic at first, the ball pinging everywhere faster than a pinball machine, and life was difficult, with Southampton City players keeping everyone honest in all departments. City goals popped in regularly, but in between Susie found herself a yard of space, and finished off a lovely long shot with finesse. Meanwhile when the other division got to attack, Juan-Mi was working up a tremendous bout of Catalan rage against his opponent, but with the tap of his competitive juices fully open, he snuck in and finished a nice effort to give Abingdon two first half goals. This is where the scoring ended during the first 30 minutes, although there were some nice moments in attack just lacking the killer finish, in particular some nice one-two work between Laurence and Juan-Mi, and at the other end Andrew and Dave were reading each other well, but alas couldn’t convert several chances.
The scoreline of 11-2 at half time was slightly harsh, City were definitely better but not by quite that much.
So then, a quick half time team talk and off we were again! And Abingdon 2 were much improved this half, game heads were back in full flow and new people were starting to work well with each other once again. In particular defence was much improved, noticeably from Erica and Helen, doing excellent jobs and keeping their ladies quieter. With City half time substitutions quickly assessed, Steven van Boxel got his first competitive outing as an Abingdon player, replacing Laurence to inject some fresh legs into that division for the final 20 minutes. And very nicely he played too, along with every Abingdon player during the half. Andrew Rogers was kept quiet by the very good and experienced Andy Nye, but he still squeaked out one goal from close range, with a classy finish as always from our Ninja’s dependable hands. Talking of experience, Susie and Juan-Mi were both showing theirs in the second half, getting into great positions and both adding to their personal tallies to finish on 2 each for the afternoon. The final Abingdon goal out of a total of 6 was Dave Plummer, a delightful running in effort – more on him later… However as you might expect, Southampton City are a well drilled and experienced unit, and goals kept popping in for them regularly. In fact there was a 10 minute period in the second half where just about anything they shot long dropped in perfectly, sickening when it’s against you, but fair play to them, when it’s your day it’s your day. What was very impressive during this time however was the attitude of Abingdon 2, nobody stopped trying, and there was more spirit around than an Irish pub lock-in which was great to see! Plenty will be needed during this tough season, a final scoreline of 21-6 to Southampton City. A good effort from everyone, but two very special mentions to single out:
1) Dave Plummer was outstanding in my opinion, newly promoted to Abingdon 2 and Division 1, the man was everywhere in the right place at the right time, and deservedly winning the MVP award from Southampton City. But equally as impressive:
2) Lyndsey Atkins. With just 3 or 4 A3 matches in total from last season under her belt of experience, here she was playing in Division 1, and with Bingers occupied by an excellent City girl, Lyndsey had to mark another excellent girl who was extremely quick. And she clearly improved over the 60 minutes, skinned running in shots were soon transformed into close calls (a number of which I thought could have gone Lyndsey’s way) which then became defended calls, a fantastic effort, well done!
A3: Sun 27th September (3pm)
A2: Sun 27th September (4:15pm) and then AWAY IN SOUTHAMPTON on Sun 4th October (17:30)
A1: AWAY IN SOUTHAMPTON on Sun 4th October (15:30)