With Abingdon 2 out of the league starting blocks last weekend, up first this afternoon was Abingdon 3 blowing away the cobwebs of a summer and trotting out at St. Greg’s for a dash of korfball fun against Didcot 2!
Team news? A special mention to a couple of debutants, with Frances Pope and Kiri Stevens in league match action for the first time. Alongside them were Boxeys, van Boxelys, Geordies, Richies and Gerrrrdies. Alas Nigel was a last minute withdrawal, so I got a mini run-out for the start of the match before reinforcements arrived.
And a gentle run-out it was for me too, PEEP went the ref’s whistle, but Didcot only had 3 players at our end. Yours truly was the nominated non-shooter, and so I camped my Mr. Tickle arms under the post collecting and feeding for my A3 chums. During this time Boxey completed a lovely running in effort, and soon after, another running in effort was finished by… only Frances herself on debut! The match a mere 5 minutes old and already “Her Popeyness” had notched up a first for the season. Lovely stuff 🙂
Fortunately an earlier phone call meant that Dave Plummer had arrived early, so off I scuttled and he replaced me. On we went, and as with A2 last week, it was an afternoon of frustrated attacking in the first half for A3, things not quite working as players re-acclimatized to league action and to the changes in personnel at each end. Nevertheless, an explosion of action saw the winning of a penalty at the other end, cooly polished off by the ice hands of Rich. In the same division, Steven van Boxel is also blessed with Mr. Tickle arms, and he was putting them to good use all over the pitch, popping up with a lovely long shot, one to him. Alas some Didcot goals in between, the score 4-3.
Her Geordiness! A class lass (those two words rhyme by the way), in sailed a lovely effort. Change of ends, and hello what’s this? Her Popeyness, much like her orange hair, was on fire. Never mind this “easing into my debut match” nonsense, in popped another lovely effort, the half time scoreline 6-5 to A3, with Frances top scoring on 2 goals.
The second half was soon underway, and Abingdon 3 began to stretch their lead now, despite some frantic brain re-wiring going on at the 4 vs 3 end, as players tried to adapt to the best way of playing under these circumstances. One man battled valiantly all afternoon, shot after shot, they just wouldn’t drop, UNTIL NOW! And then again… AND THEN AGAIN! Gerard had pushed hard, and then suddenly the flood gates opened wide, 3 goals to him meaning he top scored this afternoon. Meanwhile our ladies were determined not to be out done by the boys, another to Her Geordiness and another to Her Boxeyness meant a final scoreline of 11-8 to A3, a fantastic effort against one of the top Division 2 teams from last season.
The scoresheet doesn’t say it, but there also needs to be a special mention for Kiri Stevens. Or “Piri-Piri-Kiri” as she will now be known, for there were moments where she was certainly too hot to handle! A steady first half finding her feet in her debut match, here she was in the second half collecting, feeding, but most importantly having the knack of veering at just the right moment to receive a pass and keep play flowing, and also finding space to take several nice shots at the korf. Top stuff Piri-Piri! 🙂
So then, next up was Abingdon 2 against Farnborough 1, with several play ups from A3 due to absences. With Caroline, Erica, Laurence and Dave playing from A2, Chrissie, Gerard, Helen, Rich, Steven and Frances all played up from A3. The same Frances who only debuted in A3 earlier this afternoon? That’s right, the same one…
And if Southampton City were excellent last week, Farborough 1 appear to have recruited well, looking excellent all round the park – infinite will power, a never-say-die attitude, and smiles on faces would be required in this match! With Abingdon 2 scoring 6 last week against Southampton City 1, the target was to go better than 6. Could they do it?
A tough first half, Farnborough are blessed with pace and quick ball handling skills everywhere it seems, and along with some lady luck on top of excellent skill, in went the F1 goals with the regularity of rain drops hitting the ground on a stormy afternoon in the heart of the Welsh valleys. Moments of inspiration were had, some unlucky shots, some tough rebounds off the korf, Abingdon 2 were giving it their all but lady luck said no during the first half. A time-out, a couple of offered sentences from me, and then some far more wise and inspirational prose from Caroline (she was born to teach that lady), and off A2 went again.
Now then – opening the scoring for Abingdon amongst all of this Farnborough chaos? Gerrrrrrrrrd Kerr! The unstoppable Irish man was bounding everywhere as usual like a labrador chasing a tennis ball inside a squash court, but a moment of class saw the ball sail through the korf, one to him! 15-1 to Farnborough at half time. The target of greater than 6 goals was looking a long way off, but more pearls of wisdom from Mrs. Scott, and Abingdon 2’s excellent attitude saw them burst out of the of the blocks in the second half!
A couple of subs, Steven van Boxel on for Gerard, and Frances on for Helen. And Steven van Boxel is quite the player these days, it was literally moments before the ball entered his hands, up went a long shot, didn’t even touch the sides! Abingdon with 2 goals to their name now.
Farnborough goals – yeah yeah, rain drops, Welsh valleys, whatever, I was getting hand ache keeping tally on the scoresheet… however in between Abingdon 2 dramatically improved! Her Geordiness was playing very nicely indeed, and in sailed a cheeky close number as she out-foxed her opponent, nice one Geordie! Suddenly 2 became 3, Laurence with an excellent one-handed effort – ironically with Caroline collecting for him at the post, she gritted her teeth and said well done 😉 From one tall boy to another, Steven van Boxel was yet again popping up in a useful location, another fine finish from Belgium’s finest korfball export! Suddenly Abingdon 2 had 5 goals… could we break the 6 goal barrier?! Crafty-Caroline had had an excellent match, but realised that Loose-Limbed-Laurence was looking very threatening with his nice long shot. Some fine post work from Scotty meant Laurence could bag two more excellent long shot efforts, a personal tally of 3 form him, and taking Abingdon 2 to the dizzying heights of 7 GOALS FOR THE AFTERNOON! Nice one Abingdon 2 🙂 Oh Farnborough and their rain drops? 29 rain drops fell through the korf in the end. Bloody show-offs 😉 Well played to them, they were excellent in a final scoreline of 7-29.
So Abingon 2, 7 goals scored. The target for your next match? Why 8 of course 🙂
A3: Sun 11th October (16:15 vs Isis 1)
A2: Sun 4th October AWAY IN SOUTHAMPTON (17:30 vs Southampton Uni 1)
A1: Sun 4th October AWAY IN SOUTHAMPTON (15:30 vs Southampton City 1)