Abingdon Atoms (1) 27 – 4 Abingdon Atoms (2), Abingdon Atoms (3) 8 – 15 Oxford City (3), Abingdon Atoms (1) 11 – 25 Southampton Uni (1) and Abingdon Atoms (3) 4 – 12 Oxford Isis (3)

Quick round up of recent Atomic action! What’s been happening in the world of bright-orange korf?

Last weekend saw the Abingdon local derby! 16 atoms on court at any one time is a joy to behold, and splendid we all looked. Well apart from Abingdon 1, we had to wear the Bolivia kit that visibly showed me for the sweaty little boy that I am within minutes of korf action. BOOOOOOO!!! Anyway, with my little sulk over, it was time to korf some ball! With the match day selectors wishing to keep people in their usual teams as much as possible, Lyndsey Atkins was parachuted all the way up to A1 to join Caroline, Alex F, Alex B, Bhairavi, Gorka, Andrew and myself. Donning the actual orange shirts for A2 were Chrissie, Rich, Frances, Jordan, Jelle, Tayebeh, Gary and Karina.

As you may expect it was a teeny bit one-sided, plenty of goals for Abingdon 1 all round the park. Abingdon 2 visibly improved over the 60 minutes though, and a number of shots went agonisingly close for them. Alas a scoreline of 27-4 to Abingdon 1 was the final result. Tallies for Abingdon 1 were Alex F 6, Caroline 5, Matt 5, Andrew 5, Alex B 3, Gorka 2 and Bhairavi 1. Abingdon 2: Karina 1, Rich 1, Frances 1 and Jordan 1. However there is one special mention from this match, and that is for Jelle Metsers (who Abingdon 1 gave MVP to on the match form). When presented with the choice of defending either Andrew “Giant Step” Rogers or Alex “Sneaky Shots” Beavan, which do you choose? Gees, rock and a hard place really… nevertheless he battled manfully against each of them for periods of the match, even switching defender at the right time when we haven’t even taught him that yet (how cool is that!), and did amazingly well generally given his korfball experience to date, well done Jelle!

After a sexy cheesy smiley club photo between matches, it was time for Abingdon 3 to take on Oxford City 3. A team of Tayebeh, Karina, Jelle, Gary, Damian T, Frances Pope, Lyndsey, Nigel and Kiri battled against both City 3, and a few “interesting” (yeah, let’s stick with that word) refereeing decisions throughout the match. A final scoreline 8 – 15 was the result. Special mention for the steely-eyed Karina Lang! Playing against her old club always seems to get the old competitive juices going just that little bit more, a two-goal haul for her. And a second special mention for Nigel Scott, finally able to return from elbow injury, it was good to see him on court again 🙂 Final goals: Tayebeh 3, Karina 2, Jelle 1, Frances 1 and Nigel 1.

So then onto this weekend just gone, and Abingdon 1 had the thankless task of trekking down to the south cost to take on Southampton Uni 1, division 1 destroyers from last year by a country mile, and looking like doing so again this year! On arrival it was depressing to see how many of dem pesky buggers hadn’t graduated, but after our cheeky pre-match outing to the Winchester Christmas market, we turned up at the sports hall in peak sporting condition with cold muscles and bellies full of burger, chocolate and mulled wine. You can’t say we don’t prepare well for matches… anyway, how much of a kicking did they dish out to the team of Alex F, Alex B, Gorka, Bhairavi, Jordan, Frances, Chrissie and myself do? Final score was a 11-25 loss, but we did pretty well all things considered, and managed to carve ourselves out plenty of shooting opportunities throughout the match, despite the dogged students pursuing us everywhere on court. With the half-time score 2-11, the second half of 9-14 was certainly not too shabby at all. Goals: Matt 3, Alex B 3, Gorka 2, Bhairavi 1, Jordan 1, Alex F 1. A BIG thank you to everyone who travelled to the south coast!

But double action for Abingdon it was yesterday, the rare occurrence of playing overlapping matches in different locations. With Damien’s calf not quite ready for A1 korf action yet, he kindly reffed our St. Greg’s commitment and then coached Abingdon 3 up against Isis 3 immediately afterwards. And quite a fresh team it was too with a full mix of experience throughout. The Clare and Steve newbie-duo were joined by Nirosha, Lyndsey, Jelle, Kiri, Nigel and Gary.

Judging by the match form, Nirosha, the naughty little minx turned up.. oh how can we put this… “fashionably late”! AHEM!!! With 10 minutes on the clock, she must have eventually made it onto court. Fortunately she made up for her tardiness by scoring a goal! As did Gary! As did Kiri! As did Nigel! Yay 🙂 But how many did Isis 3 score? 12. Booo 😦 But they were 8 vs 7 for 10 minutes, so maybe they scored a lot then. Anyway, a 4-12 loss was the final result, but most importantly another vital 60 minutes of korf experience for many players, well played all!

Posted in Match Reports | Leave a comment

Abingdon Atoms (1) 20 – 16 Oxford City (1) and Abingdon Atoms (3) 7 – 15 Didcot Dragons (2)

And so, onto the Sunday just gone, and what a juicy encounter this first match promised to be! Yes A1 were up against the powerhouse that is City 1 these days, what with their Birmingham imports and other regional league experience, this is always a juicy little goal-littered encounter that goes to the wire, and it would prove no different this time round! After a high paced and dynamic first half, we were enjoying the 10-9 half time scoreline (or something like that, it was jolly close one way or the other…)

With half time water downed, the epic team of Alex F, Bhairavi, Chrissie, Frances, Alex B, Andrew, Gorka and Matt soldiered on. Bhairavi had been wonderful up to this point, turning up despite feeling under the weather and kept her City girl under wraps excellently. But with her runny nose having drained her battery down to zero, Shirlaine was deployed for the final 20 minutes to try and help us secure what would be an excellent win! Suddenly it was 15-15… then 16-15… then 16-16! Arse-cheeks on the sidelines were clenching even tighter, and Bhairavi was chewing nervously on the match form as the final minutes played out.

Fortunately a bit of Abingdon experience kept us calm, passing was good and accurate, and a penalty plus two lovely long shots put good daylight between us and City, and a final goal just before the end meant we had earned a fabulous 20-16 win (Gorka 5, Andrew 5, Alex F 4, Alex B 4, Matt 2), which is by far Abingdon’s best result of the season so far! 😀 Special mentions to Bhairavi for toughing it out for us, and also Frances, playing 60 minutes at a much higher pace than she is used to, she did very well indeed, well played Popey! Also thanks to Shirlaine’s last minute availability, we could replace Bhairavi and keep up the intensity on the City attack, all of which contributed to our overall win 🙂

So then, if you’ve made it this far through my ramblings, well done! You are rewarded with the details of the final match of last weekend, which was Abingdon 3 up against Didcot 2. And quite a fresh faced Abingdon 3 this was, with a number of new players mixing in with more seasoned campaigners, a team of Gary, Frances, Shirlaine, Steven VB, Kiri, Jelle, Steve R and Nirosha were our on-court representatives. And with Didcot 2 came a number of experienced players, so after a fine start where the scoreline was fairly even, Didcot 2 eventually eased into the comfort zone, themselves scoring 15 goals in total in the match.

How many could Abingdon muster? 7 in total. But what a fine 7 they were! In particular, 2 from Gary-Guinness, or Gary-Gazelle as he will now be known, bursting past his player with speed never seen before! We all looked on with amazement from the sidelines… Also starting with a bang was Frances, showing her class with 2 goals in about 5 minutes, she was off and running in no time at all!

But even better than all of this so far…. Nirosha Sithirapathy! It normally takes me most of the first half to write out her name on the match form, but once you’ve done that and recovered from writer’s cramp, it gave me great pleasure to write down not 1 but 2 GOALS next to her name, cheeky little short shots by the post when her defender wasn’t playing attention, lovely first goals for the club! 🙂 Also in this category, Steve Roberts! A lovely shot that sailed in, also notching up his first ever goal for the club, well played to you too, and everyone else, especially those playing down to ensure that the fixture went ahead with 8 players for maximum fun all round (Shirlaine, Frances, Steven VB), thank you! Final scoreline a 7-15 loss to Didcot 2.

Posted in Match Reports | Leave a comment

Abingdon Atoms (3) 0 – 15 Buckingham Royals 1 (forfeit), Abingdon Atoms (1) 26 – 12 Oxford Uni (1), Abingdon Atoms (1) 15 – 9 Oxford City (2) and Abingdon Atoms (2) 8 – 24 Oxford Isis (1)

We start the round up with a rather dull 15-0 walkover for Abingdon 3 against Bucks Royals 1, as we were unable to field a legal team. Booooo! But with Alex B, Chrissie and Rich naughtily playing down, we could turn it into a fun 8 vs 8 friendly match. Although Bucks Royals are very handy, the final score was 21-6 to them. But of our 6, rumour has it that our very own Chrissie scored LOADS of goals! Like literally 5 out of our 6! One can only assume that the aroma of gravy wafting through from the school cafeteria next door had filled her nostrils with extra ions of northern energy, top scoring Geordie!

Anyway onto other league matches, and Abingdon 1 were next in action, and after a tough losing start to the season were in desperate need of a win. Up against them were an Oxford Uni 1 side depleted of a few stars from previous years (they got old or something, apparently students have to grow up eventually), so this would be a great chance to register a first win of the season.

Well rather emphatically, that’s exactly what happened! A squad of Bhairavi, Baerbel, Caroline, Alex F, Alex B, Matt, Gorka and Andrew ran riot for the first 30 minutes with all sorts of goaly-goodness sinking into the korf at regular intervals, Oxford Uni looking rather dazed. And with subs-a-plenty and a healthy half time lead, lots of rolling happened in the second half so that we could exercise the legs of Chrissie, Shirlaine, Frances and Gary (what luxury it was to have so many eager and willing subs on the sidelines!) A final bruising scoreline of 26-12 was registered (Andrew 7, Alex Girl 6, Gorka 5, Matt 3, Alex Boy 2, Caroline 2, Baerbel 1), although special mention goes to Uni’s young Elliot, a nippy young man who did well to bag 6 of their 12 goals. Anyway, congratulations Abingdon 1!

So then on to two weekends ago. First up were Abingdon 1 against Oxford City 2, not a side to be taken lightly these days, some rather useful skills littered through the opposition ranks. A slow start, and we were actually 2-1 down for a good chunk of the first half, passes and movement not quite clicking early for Abingdon 1, comprising of Alex B, Matt, Rich, Andrew, Alex F, Chrissie, Caroline and Baerbel. Fortunately things got better and goals started to drop, the scoreline quickly improving. Although City 2 were certainly on our coat tails at half time. What to do? Deploy the super-subs of Jordan and Shirlaine, that’s what! With Chrissie and Rich taking a well earned breather, on we soldiered, in the end carving out a reasonably comfortable 15-9 win (Alex B 4, Matt 3, Andrew 2, Baerbel 2, Caroline 2, Alex F 2). Well played all!

Next up were Abingdon 2 against a rather handy looking Isis 1, looking resplendent in their bright green kit (or radioactive kit, whichever adjective you prefer)… anyway, a starting line-up of Gary, Chrissie, Shirlaine, Karina, Rich, Kiri, Jordan and Steven blasted out of the starting blocks, and…. ah, conceded a number of goals, Isis do seem to have found some nippy talent these days. Goals were popping in regularly for them, but on soldiered Abingdon 2, carving out what opportunities they could against the tough opposition. The final scoreline of 8-24 was harsher than the reality of the match, so let’s just celebrate the goals scored instead (Shirlaine 3, Steven 2, Karina 1, Chrissie 1, Jordan 1). Good effort all!

Posted in Match Reports | Leave a comment

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 🙂

Posted in Match Reports | Leave a comment

Abingdon Atoms (1) 12 – 15 Farnborough Jets (1), Abingdon Atoms (2) 9 – 12 Farnborough Jets (2), Abingdon Atoms (1) 15 – 17 Basingstoke Bulls (1) and Abingdon Atoms (2) 3 – 30 Southampton Uni (1)

The time available to put match reporting quill to parchment has been scarce recently, what with a trip across the big pond and other things. So now I’m back and caught up, how has the start of the season gone for the Atoms so far?

A3 have sat on their podgy little backsides and twiddled their thumbs at present, leaving A1 and A2 to don the bright orange and kickstart our season. A double away brace to Farnborough 1 for A1 and Farnborough 2 for A2 was our first action of the year, and due to a late cock-up-par-excellence by the southern sports hall management, the matches were moved to the rather delicate time of Sunday morning, meaning lots of our players couldn’t get back from their Saturday night frolics in time for the matches. Nevertheless, off went 7 players… until at the very last minute, the wonderful Anne DuBock of greater than 4 years ago at the club signed up as an emergency girl, what a star she is! And so 8 set off for Farnborough, including young Jordan Thompson (our fresh and keen Leeds Uni student) making his debut for the club. And considering how many sub ins and step ups we had, it was an excellent showing against strong opposition! A narrow 12-15 loss earned us a first bonus point of the season, with Alex Boy in particular on fire with 6 goals. At one point he ran towards the post for a run-in so fast I thought someone had cunningly laid a king-sized cheeseburger and chips at the base of it… anyway, Ginger-Ninja Andrew was also in fine fettle at the other end, trying to keep the pesky and equally basketbally Ryan Ewing quiet, but also slotting in 4 fine goals himself. A goal by Alex Girl is always expected, and after coming on as a sub Jordan scored his very first competitive goal for the club, a lovely medium length effort, very nice sir! Honourable mentions for Rich McGowan, Steven VB, Shirlaine and Bhairavi who all played very well indeed. Oh and of course, one must not forget Tony DuBock with kiddie-entourage on the sidelines, who had several excellent pieces of pithy advice for the opposition and referee, it was quite entertaining to listen to! No playing for me, injured foot from the previous training meant just watching and match form completion duties. Booo 😦 😦

With refreshment downed, it was onto A2 vs F2, and this was another arse clenchingly close match! We were always on Farnborough’s coat tails, but could never close the gap. Which was quite incredible seeing as we only had 7 players – league rules meant Girlie couldn’t play down despite being present. Nevertheless on we soldiered, and Rich top scored with a hat trick of excellence, Ninja and Jordan with 2 each, one for Coach Beavanshire, and… wait for it… one for the furthest travelled Anne DuBock! Alas, a 9-12 loss but a first bonus point of the season for A2, and honourable mentions for pretty much everyone above who had just played the A1 match, thank you all for playing twice! A solid late lunch at a nearby pub re-fuelled us before our trip back up the motorway. Well, all that match form filling in is hungry work ya know, I was obviously ravenous 😉

So then, onto last weekend! A1 up first against Basingstoke 1 and their medley of nippy little ladies and giant basketbally gents, but rather sadly we were lacking our usual two-Alex goal machines. How would we fare without them and their korf-finding regularity? Very well in fact, with Rich and Chrissie filling in for 60 minutes for the missing Alexes with both looking quite at home in A1, and a last minute Bhairavi illness meant Shirlaine and Frances filled the vacant girl spot between them and certainly did not look out of place one bit, how nice to have such quality stepping up! And it was goals all around the park which is always pleasing to see, new-Daddy Gorka-the-Rageful is actually Gorka-the-Much-Calmer these days, on fire with 6 goals to his name and also keeping big Viktor quiet. 3 for Flashy-Caroline, 2 for yours truly, 2 for Monsieur-le-Damien, 1 for Baerbel and 1 for Chrissie meant a solid team total of 15. Alas Basingstoke eeked out 17 in a very close contest, so just a bonus point for A1, but a fine effort all round.

For some of us, our day wasn’t over though… 7 absolute legends then made the trip down the A34 to represent A2 playing against Southampton Uni 1. Yes that’s right, those where half the ruddy team have played for England Under 19s and thus they won Division 1 by a country mile last year. Morale was… “mixed” to be fair. At one end of the scale, some did not see the point of travelling simply to be handed such a large can of whoop-ass by the opposition, which one can sympathise with. At the other end of the scale, Shirlaine had downed a couple of raw steaks, spat out the bones, sharpened her talons and was raring to go!

Let’s not focus on the score, that’s simply not important here. Oh ok then, if you insist on knowing, it was 1-20 at half time. Damien, Chrissie, Gary and Shirlaine battled manfully at the 4 person end, but Southampton Uni/England Under 19s were on fire. Meanwhile Frances and Rich joined me at the 3 person end, and remarkably were having a peversely fun time trying to eek out what shots we could with fast passing, veering and fluid post movement, and trying to blunt their attack and pinch collects in defence wherever we could. And the three of us are extremely proud to report that our single first half goal came from our end, woohoo! With Rich and Frances both providing good post cover, one of my long shots just happened to nestle in.

Large quantities of chocolate and jelly babies were frantically stuffed into everyone’s mouths before anyone could say anything negative. With Damien offering wise words and helpful tactics at the 4 person end, Rich Frances and I discussed tweaks to our rather different battle plan and set out to do even better at the 3 person end second half.

And actually, we all improved second half! Suddenly the passing at the 4 person end was sharper and faster, people were just that bit more alert and in the right place at the right time, and suddenly with some new tactics in play, shots started going up, and going close! Alas none would drop, but it was much better to watch. And as for Rich and Frances, well, they were simply my heroes of the whole day, and between us we actually enjoyed ourselves – no, seriously, we did! I was messing with their heads by using some irritating tall boy dropping tactics, but Rich was also popping up in useful places to retrieve rebounds as well. As for Frances up against two girls all match, she lept many times like a salmon out of water, pinching more balls than she had any right to get near, a fine effort all round. In attack, we were also rotating around and working for each other much better too, so much so that we scored two more goals! A lovely long shot from Rich, and a second long shot from me.

Final score? 3-30. To be honest, even with 8 players it might have been a similar scoreline. So a MASSIVE thank you to all 7 players for turning up to honour A2’s toughest fixture of the season by far! Remember we only have to play them once, so that’s done and dusted now 🙂

Posted in Match Reports | Leave a comment

Abingdon Atoms (1) 8 – 12 Farnborough Jets (1)

Abingdon 1 in action this afternoon. At St. Greg’s? Nope, ROAD TRIP!!! To sunny Farnborough (which unlike in previous match reports, it was actually sunny in Farnborough).

Who came on the road trip? Boyz were Alex B, Andrew, Matt and Damien. Laydeez were Alex F, Baerbel (including her family entourage consisting of Mother-Baerbel and Annie), Chrissie stepping up from A2 and…. Karina Lang! Filling the final girlie gap she was, ready to take on a Farnborough lady with much gusto and enthusiasm in her first ever A1 match.

But most importantly today – England were playing in the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup Final against the West Indies! And so with Alex Boy and I keeping a sharp eye on our mobile phones during any interval throughout the match, the game described to you in cricketing terms on such a special day went something like this…

A quiet start to proceedings, a bit like the first morning of a Test match. Both teams assessing the pitch and overhead conditions with due diligence, not wishing to hand early advantage to their opponents or nick a swinging delivery to third slip. However early breakthrough was made, and as has been the case all season Alex Girl was seeing it like a beach ball, and an early shot was timed beautifully off the middle of her bat, 1-0 to us! Farnborough regrouped for a period, not wanting to lose further wickets…

Farnborough goal, 1-1. Time for the luncheon interval (cricket is the most civilized of sports you see). Once play resumed the early deadlock was broken, goals started to flow for both sides. Through the middle overs, Alex Girl had got herself in and continued to motor nicely, playing more expansive shots and a couple more goals from her. But cricket is all about building good partnerships, so how were the other end doing? Bedded in nicely, and a goal from our ninja was surrounded by two lovely goals from Baerbel (mother-Baerbel on the sidelines must have been tickled pink with pride), including one delicious long shot that sailed in with a trajectory akin to a six sailing over the boundary ropes in T20 cricket!

Chrissie and Alex Boy were playing nicely, but unfortunately after a number of carved out opportunities just missed the korf, they both received good deliveries and were out for ducks. At the other end, Damien and Karina came close on occasions, in particular Karina adjusting well to the speed of her array of nippy ladies in defence, but alas couldn’t quite get off the goal scoring tally, both out LBW without troubling the scorers.

After the tea interval (yes cricket is indeed that civilized), the end of the Abingdon innings was in sight, and it was time for the final partnership to add what they could to our total. Alex Girl, Abingdon’s power hitter carrying her bat throughout the innings was there at the end with a final delicious long shot to finish on 4 for the afternoon, and a cheeky dug out yorker from yours truly off the final ball of the innings resulted in a scratchy single added to the total, a shoot-then-run-in-and-shoot-a-close-one closed the Abingdon batting innings on 8 goals in total. So 9 for Farnborough to win, could they chase it down within the 60 minutes? Alas yes they could, hitting a boundary off the final delivery to close their innings on 12 goals and therefore win by the margin of 4 goals. Well played Farnborough, and well battled to all Abingdon 1 players. Alas in the cricket, England lost against the West Indies in the final over, so I write this report with much sadness and tears rolling down my cheeks into my keyboard 😦 Maybe training on Thursday will cheer me up!

So that concludes Abingdon 1’s season, and a mixture of varied performances has been the pattern this year, with us most likely finishing “best of the rest” behind the power trio of Southampton Uni 1, Farnborough 1 and Oxford City 1 in Division 1. Well done to all who have donned an A1 shirt this season and contributed to our results! 🙂

Posted in Match Reports | Leave a comment

Abingdon Atoms (3) 2 – 15 Didcot Dragons (2)

Just the single match for Abingdon at St. G’s yesterday afternoon. But it’s quality not quantity right? Of course, and that was exactly the motivation shown by the Abingdon 3 players who were ready to give Didcot 2 a fine battle!

Team news: the four ladies were Chrissie, Frances, Shirlaine and Clare (playing in her second ever match). Now then for the chaps – seemingly swimming in them earlier in the week, a variety of illness, injury and a change in availability meant just Juan-Mi, Gary and Steve were available. So my anticipated restful afternoon peacefully looking after the match form and offering what advice I could from the sidelines turned into a rather more energetic 60 minute match against a nippy Didcot chap. And special mention to Steve playing in his first ever match for the club, however a gentle “15-20 minutes introduction at the end” was thus transformed into a full 60 minute battle!

So then, blowy-reffy-whistle and off we went, and it was all rather fun and jolly at first, Didcot managing to sneak in a couple of goals, but a feed at just the right moment meant that Shirlaine could nip round her lady and tear towards the post away from her defender faster than Jack Bauer running away from a ticking bomb just about to go off! She’s well nippy is that one… and with lovely arms, she finished a running in shot perfectly. Another Didcot goal, and 3-1 to them… however Juan-Mi then signalled “time-out” to me urgently…

… because after 10 minutes, Juan-Mi was injured! Sad faces all round, alas those springy Catalan muscles had unfortunately overstretched in a particular direction, and his left leg said “NON!” to being able to continue. Much to his disappointment there were no attractive nurses around to massage his leg muscle and make things all better, so the best we could do was put a bottle of water in one hand and dump the match form in the other and ask him to keep score for us.

Which meant the rest of us were down to 7 vs 8, with Chrissie, Clare and Gary now missing their fourth team mate. Which we all know is jolly difficult and not the greatest of fun, but with enthusiasm and determination, on we all pressed!

At the Matt/Steve/Frances/Shirlaine end, I was trying to set up Frances and Shirlaine for various long shots and running-in shots. A good number were created, and oh-so-close from both of them on a number of occasions, alas none would quite drop for us. Meanwhile at the 3-person end, Clare, Chrissie and Gary were trying their hardest to create space, but with keen and nippy Didcotians in pursuit of them, coupled with a rather tall boy providing permanent collect under the post, it was hard to get away more than a single shot on each attack. A number of such shots were created, but alas none dropped.

A second A3 goal was scored before half-time. With Didcot trying to pass the ball out of defence, I extended my rather long “Mr. Tickle Arms” levers at the right moment to intercept a pass. With my defender not in frame, a quick under-arm finish meant a scoreline of 6-2 to Didcot at half time.

A positive group team talk at half time kept us all gee’d up, and fortunately that drowned out Juan-Mi’s injured wailing on the sidelines, his quick google for “rent-a-nurse” on his phone had not proven fruitful during the first half, much to his immense disappointment.

Second half and on we all battled, but unfortunately no more goals dropped in for us. Didcot also got much smarter at the 4 vs 3 end and realised that they always had a collect and feed by the post, and thus a total of 9 goals were conceded altogether. I can’t fault everyone’s determination though, both the 7 of us working hard on the pitch, and also Juan-Mi on the sidelines, who had by now resorted to asking female Didcot subs if any of them would rub his leg and make things all better for him…

The final result a 15-2 scoreline to Didcot 2. But well played all – in particular a very special mention for Steve. Playing his first match after a handful of training sessions, things were understandably difficult for him at first, and of course a few fouls and goals were conceded against quite an experienced Didcot player. But the difference after 60 minutes was incredible, much better positioning and alertness in defence, and also getting away a few nice shots in attack, so very well played Steve!

So then, that was that. The final act of the evening was guiding the reversing ambulance up towards the sports hall door to transport Juan-Mi back to his “Catalan Castle” in Abingdon, where he could have one final crack at getting that desired leg massage before the night was out – hope you recover soon Juan-Mi! 🙂

As always, a couple of pictures from the day to finish…

shirlaine_skins_defender

juan-mi-leg-injury

Posted in Match Reports | Leave a comment