Two matches at St. Greg’s today to inform you about this fine Sunday evening. And what contrasting emotions between the matches there were…
First up and the rather jolly prospect of A1 vs A2! But with most of A1 available and large chunks in A2, things were looking very one-sided indeed. So a crafty infiltration into the gaps. Gerard skipped a generation and was parachuted up from A3 straight to A1 to join Gorka, Baerbel, Bhairavi at one end. Meanwhile with a girl short, that left myself, Andrew and Alex Girl to play as a 3 at the other end.
But where’s Coach Beavanshire I hear you ask?! Bolstering the ability levels of A2 this afternoon and giving them some solid coaching, that’s what! He teamed up with Rich, Steven Van Boxel, Shirlaine, Erica, Dave, Lyndsey, and… special mention for Sophie-Marie! Good to see you back and looking resplendent in orange 🙂
PLAY! And despite A1 having 7 players, this was quite a one-sided match. The quartet at the other end were moving the ball around very nicely indeed, eeking out nice goals along the way. Meanwhile me, Girlie and Ninja were huffing and puffing trying to put together a few moves at the other end despite a pesky non-shooter always being near the post. Hard work, but success was found on a number of occasions. Unfortunately yours truly had left his shooting hands at home in Abingdon this afternoon, but fortunately the rest of A1 had brought theirs along with them – Gorka 3, Bhaivai 2, Baerbel 3, Gerard 2, Andrew 3 and Alex Girl 6, making a solid total of 19. Well done chaps and chapesses!
How about A2 though? Working like soldiers they were, certainly nothing to be ashamed about in their performance, but alas those goals just weren’t dropping, and solid A1 defending kept down their chances to a minimum. Coach Beavan let me tell you is one slippery customer of a korfballer. Like a jellied eel wrapped in a banana skin, he was a right pain in the arse to try and keep quiet, but after 60 minutes his goal tally was just the one, a cheeky feint followed by a step back shot that I wasn’t quick enough on, CURSE YOU COACH! Other scorers? Dastardly-Dave, always pops up with a goal, and today was no different, a fine shot from him. Rich and that golden arm are always hard to keep down, one to him. And to round things off, who was this? Only Light-Footed Lyndsey! Did her defender good and proper off the back of the post, she sunk a delicious dropped-off shot to bring the final A2 tally to a majestic 4, well played all of you, the final result a 19-4 win to A1.
So step aside damp squib of a match, bring on A3 vs D1, this was a real firecracker!
Team news: a solid quartet of boys in Damian T, Gerard, Laurence and Juan-Mi. Ladies: Lyndsey and Shirlaine were accompanied by two other ladies. The first was Sophie-Marie, and SMC is like London buses with Abingdon matches – none for ages and then two come along at once! The fourth lady? Special debut mention for Clare Roberts, what a time to play your first match against the 1st team of another club! But well up for it she looked, wild horses couldn’t have held back her determination to do her best and gain another valuable 60 minutes of korfball experience.
Throw off time, and Abingdon 3 radars were still being tuned at first. Fortunately so were Didcot’s, and 2-1 to them it remained for a period of time, a Juan-Mi long shot spectaculaire knocking another divot off the sports hall roof before it sailed down and nestled into the bosom of the korf.
Now then, a chap not seen for a while, but here was the Lesser-Spotted-Laurence getting in on the act. With the Didcot scoreline advancing, we needed to hang on to their coat tails, and a tremendous long effort (apart from the usual 50% of available hands being used) sailed into the korf. And what’s good for one Tessella boy is good for another – Gerrrrrrd! Sweat pouring down his dark bushy beard, this young man meant business this afternoon, and a fine long effort kicked off his personal tally for the afternoon. 6-3 to Didcot 1 at half time.
Oranges guzzled, Wise Beavanshire words of wisdom imparted, and an extra mini-speech from Gerrard send A3 haring out of the traps at the start of the second half! Juan-Mi may have Catalan passion coursing through his veins, but put him in a fight with Shirlaine “competitive” Fasanya and my money is on the lady every time! As well as solid defending she was well nippy in attack, making her lady look like a snail trying to slide through sticky treacle at times. No goals from her but an immense performance. Lyndsey had an admirable afternoon too – like a hawk in defence she is, several times her Didcot lady shot only to find “The Arm of Atkins” stubbornly in the right place thus dis-allowing any goals, top stuff Lyndsey! And special mentions to our other ladies too. Sophie-Marie was still reminding herself what korfball is, but kept her lady at bay, and Clare with all 6 hours of korfball training under her belt used every minute of it to try and put to work all the good stuff we’ve shown her so far. Nice work ladies.
However it was the boys this afternoon who had their shooting arms on! And Damian T may only play once every 27 years, but he still knows a thing or two about long shooting. BOOM! One to him. Laurence and Gerard then took on the scoring mantle as the gap between Abingdon 3 and Didcot 1 narrowed almost to convergence… Suddenly it was 6-6, then 7-7… then it was 8-8!!! Could A3 nick an unlikely victory? Keeping us in the match was Laurence’s golden basketball arm, two more fine efforts giving him a personal tally of 3. Meanwhile Gerard was bounding around the court like an excitable spaniel as if the korf ball was a tennis ball being thrown around by his masterful owner. Everywhere he was putting his pace to devastating effect. One long shot, and then a fine move earned himself a free pass. Now free passes are well tricky, even Alex Girl struggles with them. Well everybody, let me tell you there’s a new free pass kid in town! Our very own Irish Express will now be known as “The Free-Pass Finisher”, it sailed in beautifully giving Gerard a personal tally of 3 for the afternoon, good stuff sir!
Then disaster! 9-8 to Didcot, despite two shots in the attack that should have been defended. Oh well, c’est la vie… but on Abingdon 3 soldiered whilst the pant-wetting and arse-clenching excitement of the situation was rippling around the crowd along the sidelines at St. Greg’s… I dropped my match form pen mid-frenzy at least twice amidst the utter breathless excitement!
Cometh the hour, cometh the men. Gerard and that pace got himself a lovely running in effort, which in turn got his gentleman defender into a right contact-y tangle. PEEP, penalty. Up stepped Damian T… can he even remember how to take a penalty? HE SURE CAN! Sunk with distinction, and shortly afterwards the final whistle was blown on an epic encounter, the match finishing 9-9 and a thoroughly well-earned draw for Abingdon 3 against Didcot 1. WELL DONE EVERYONE! 🙂
I leave you with a few memes that describe this afternoon’s action…