Abingdon Atoms (1) 9 – 22 Southampton Uni (1), Abingdon Atoms (2) 13 – 10 Oxford Uni (1), Abingdon Atoms (3) 11 – 3 Oxford Uni (2), Abingdon Atoms (1) 6 – 17 Southampton City (1) and Abingdon Atoms (2) 10 – 15 Southampton City (2)

Well now, these are busy times so it’s a fortnightly summing up of matches at present! The hour is late, so for once I will be brief – so what’s been cracking off recently in our korf-world then?

The other weekend saw Abingdon 1 have their turn at taking on the might of Southampton Uni 1. And after Abingdon 2’s drubbing the previous week, Abingdon 1 gave it their all but were also no match for those 18-21 year old korfball demigods. A final scoreline of 9-22 was the result, and in between Southampton Uni goals flying into the korf as regularly as a beating heart fitted with a pace-maker, Abingdon eeked out 3 goals from Gorka, 2 from Caroline, 2 from Andrew, 1 from Damien and 1 from yours truly. Honourable mentions to Baerbel, Bhairavi, and particularly Shirlaine for stepping up to A1 once again this season.

So then, onto Abingdon 2, and up against an Oxford Uni 1 side that has lost a few stars since last year. They would certainly be a stiff challenge, but a good performance could see a first club win of the season! Team new and with timing an issue for some players on this Sunday, our starting line-up was Chrissie, Shirlaine, Frances, Kiri and Jordan, Matt, Rich and Damien. And I’m delighted to say that we were looking rather good, solid in defence and finding ourselves plenty of scoring opportunities in attack. In particular, side-feeds were the order of the day, putting into practise the training we had done that Thursday. Shirlaine and Chrissie both bagging a lovely side-feed each, and Jordan’s long shooting was a joy to behold, along with some proper pace enabling him to nip round his player on a number of occasions. Rich is a classy boy these days, and naughty Damien took a couple of penalties that he probably shouldn’t have in an A2 match. Oops…

Half time, and suddenly in the second half we were 11-10 ahead! Squeaky bum time, and several A2 players who had been slapped 3-30 by Southampton Uni the previous week really really reeeeeeeeeeeally wanted to win. With gritted teeth we pressed on… I had scored a goal earlier, but had apparently lost all bodily coordination by this point and was shooting with less accuracy than an unattended garden hose, so decided to man the post and feed ladies for a while. It worked, Shirlaine with another and Chrissie coming close on several occasions. Meanwhile Jordan continued to impress, more goals dropped in and a final tally of 4 excellent goals for him, Leeds Uni’s finest export has been a might fine acquisition for us so far this season! And with a sigh of relief, the final whistle blew and Abingdon had their first win of the season! 13-10 the final result (Jordan 4, Damien 3, Rich 2, Shirlaine 2, Chrissie 1, Matt 1).

So then, onto Abingdon 3 to play against an rather inexperienced Oxford Uni 2, full of keen nimble chaps and chapesses but lacking the experience to put it to good effect. But could we capitalise and score a fistful? Team news, and it was time for my annual meeting with Damian Tyler! Hello Mr. T, untll 2017 when we meet again then… anyway, alongside him were Lyndsey, Gary, Tayebeh, Frances, Kiri, Jordan and, making his debut for the club in his first ever match… Jelle Metsers! Acquiring skills at an astonishing rate in training, he was keen to give them a solid road test this evening at St. G’s…

Off we went, and Mr. T was soon showing his class, a solid piece of skill against his wet-eared defender earned him an early runner, followed by a couple of penalties he was on a hat-trick before you could say “fresher’s week”. Meanwhile the lesser-spotted Tayebeh was in action at the other end, those deadly basketball skills bagging her a couple to her name. And what’s good for one is good for another, Gary has in recent times gone close to scoring without reward, but a fine pair of goals were bagged on this occasion. However, the highlights of this match must be shared equally between two players. Firstly Kiri Stevens. Yet to get off the mark in Abingdon matches, but with glinty eyes and a steely determination, she whazoomped in past her wide-eyed defender, received the ball from feed, arms lofted to the skies, and SCORED HER FIRST EVER GOAL FOR THE CLUB! To say she was pleased as punch is an understatement, her jumping up and down, arms aloft and high pitched screaming was shattering neighbourhood windows everywhere in a 2 miles radius, and the high-five she gave me on the sidelines nearly snapped my wrist off! So well done her. Even better though, in his first ever match for the club, JELLE METSERS SCORED HIS FIRST EVER GOAL FOR THE CLUB too! A lovely long shot sailed in, well, this korfball malarky is easy right? 🙂 Well, with such breathtaking news now recorded into Abingdon Atoms history forever, it only remains to give honourable mentions to Frances, Jordan, and Lyndsey, who with decorating paint all down her arms put what little energy she had left after extensive house renovations into the match, and lasted 45 minutes before she needed a Frances replacement. Oh, and Damian T scored 2 more goals to leave his defender quivering and reach an impressive tally of 5 goals. Final scoreline? 11-3! So that would be a 100% win record for Abingdon 3 so far 🙂

So then, onto this weekend just gone. A double away whammy to Southampton City, and up first were Abingdon 1 against Southampton City 1. With our Alex heavyweights still away sunning themselves in Greece and Ninja and Flash also unavailable, we patched up our team with our more than capable A2 talents, so a team of Matt, Chrissie, Baerbel, Gorka, Shirlaine, Damien, Frances and Rich battled valiantly for 60 minutes. Alas, it was just one of those days when goals wouldn’t drop for certain people, and some rather stiff individual opponents for some meant life was hard – Baerbel in particular having to take on a recent England Under 21 player was jolly knackered after 60 minutes, whilst Gorka did an excellent attempt at keeping the irrepressible Andy Nye quiet and limit the damage as much as he could. Even the northern pace of nippy Jordan coming on at half time for Rich could not change our fortunes. Final scoreline, 6 – 17. Goals: 2 for Gorka, 2 for Matt, 1 for Damien, and special mention to Frances, scoring her first ever goal for Abingdon 1.

Up next, Abingdon 2 against Southampton City 2. And City 2 looked jolly useful, a number of their players certainly new what they were doing, and whilst they had subs-a-plenty, a number of us were into our second consecutive match of the day. Team line-up: Jordan, Matt, Rich, Gary, Chrissie, Shirlaine, Kiri and Frances. And it wasn’t too bad at all, passing was starting to get better compared to the earlier A1 match, shots were going up, but particularly pleasing was the nice collecting by a number of players, good positions first of all and strong by the post meant attacks could last longer, and more shots were thus put up as a result. The star of this match though was Rich McGowan, who just seems to get better and better every time he plays. Not content with 4 fine goals to his name, he had an experienced and very tall boy to contend with, and kept him quiet marvellously, and deserved many more defended calls than the Southampton Uni ref actually gave him, well played sir. And as Gary’s parents had come all the way to see him play, he was under immense pressure to score a goal, which he cooly polished off within the first 10 minutes, ice-cool by Our Guinness, and clapped most enthusiastically on the sidelines by Mummy and Daddy Guinness! Talking of drink and booze… our Geordie was having a fine day too, shaking off her week of illness and looking razor sharp in the first A1 match, she carried it into this one and was rewarded with 2 lovely goals. Jordan meanwhile had been chuntering away all afternoon, things not quite falling nicely for him, however he finally got onto the scoresheet with a nice effort. 1 for me before I made way at half time for Damien, however 10 minutes into the second half spelt disaster for him, and he unfortunately hobbled off with “mal-au-calf-muscle”, so back on I went, and slotted home a second goal before the end. Alas we were always just behind Southampton City 2, the final scoreline a credible effort, but alas a 10-15 loss. Goals: Rich 4, Chrissie 2, Matt 2, Gary 1, Jordan 1. Honourable mentions for Shirlaine, Frances and Kiri.

I said I’d be brief didn’t I… LOL, did you actually believe me?… well done for getting this far, see you all on Thursday 🙂

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