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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚

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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! πŸ™‚

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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! πŸ™‚

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

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Abingdon Atoms (2) 4 – 35 Southampton Uni (1) and Abingdon Atoms (1) 17 – 20 Southampton City (1)

Phew, what a busy week! Write-ups will be a little terser this week as I cobble one together over lunch time (no bad thing I hear you all say, oh hahaha…)

So then, Abingdon 2 up first against Southampton Uni 1. Bottom vs top! Now for those that don’t know, Southampton Uni 1 are pretty awesome, and have recently beaten the England Under 17 team. Mugs they are not. But with both Shirlaine “the competitor” and Gerard “the pace” playing up into the Abingdon 2 ranks today, along with the beaming and ultra up-beat cheesy grin of Damian T too, the attitude of A2 before kick-off was nothing short of exceptional, and thus A2 have their own dedicated korfball meme below to illustrate the feeling in camp. Gary also played up from A3 to join Rich, Tayeben and Chrissie in A2, and a bit of A1 help down from Bhairavi/Baerbel (half each).

Peep, and quite one-sided this match was, as you might expect. With Southampton Uni player all playing for their place before next week’s student nationals, there was no mercy from any of their players. But special mentions to every A2 player for giving it 100%, and instead of focusing on the 35 goals scored by Uni, let’s focus on the 4 goals scored by Abingdon 2! A lovely medium length shot nailed by Gerard, followed up later by a cool and calm penalty. Two also to Rich, both lovely long shots, well played to both, the final scoreline 4-35. Sounds loads doesn’t it, but let me tell you that just one hour before, Uni 1 also had a whopping 29-8 victory against Oxford City 1, who are certainly no mugs this season, so no shame at all in that final scoreline.

So then onto Abingdon 1 – up against Southampton City 1. Team news – usual suspects but no Ninja or Frenchman, so we welcomed the flowing locks of Dave to A1. Having beaten SC1 19-15 earlier in the season, this was surely going to be an arse-clencher all the way through. And so it turned out to be, with the score 9-11 at half time. We could have had more, but several medium to close-in chances were squandered all round, which got Flash a tad grumpy (not on the surface, ultra-positive as is always needed, but that competitive simmering furnace was burning hot deep within…)

We all vowed to do better second half… on we all pressed, but the irrepressible Andy Nye in the opposition ranks was having a blast this afternoon. Even our nimblest Catalan-Express at his exceptional best was struggling to pin him down, so what chance did the rest of us mere mortals have? I had a little go to give Gorka a break 10 minutes before half time, but alas I fared no better. He scored 10 in their final total of 20. How many did Abingdon 1 manage? An agonisingly close 17, much to our disappointment but to the entertainment of the onlookers from the side.

So more shooting practice required all round this week! But to cheer you all up, a few memes highlighting some of Sunday’s action…

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Abingdon Atoms (1) 19 – 4 Abingdon Atoms (2) and Abingdon Atoms (3) 9 – 9 Didcot Dragons (1)

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 πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚

I leave you with a few memes that describe this afternoon’s action…

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Abingdon Atoms (1) 21 – 8 Oxford Uni (1)

Just the one match this afternoon for Abingdon at the Oxfordshire korfball centre of excellence! And eight pairs of legs creaked and groaned as they entered the sports hall and saw an army of nippy students partaking in a medley of enthusiastic endeavours, such as “warming up” and “jogging”. Seriously?! If we did that our energy would be all gone before the ref blew the starting whistle…

Team news and a little switcheroo of divisions from the traditional line-ups. Alex Girl and I acquired a Catalan and a Geordie, meanwhile we tearfully said goodbye to Bhairavi as she crossed the half-way line and went to the Beavanshire-Flash end, who were also entrusted with our Ginger-Ninja (think of him as the Steve Davies of our club) to make up another quartet of awesomeness. Special mention to Flash too, actually turning up more than a nanosecond before the start of the match, top stuff Caroline – excelling even before we began πŸ˜‰

A final special mention to one of our beginners, Clare, who had come all the way to watch us play and cheer us on from the sidelines! So we were determined to do well and put on a show for her πŸ™‚

PEEP went referee Ian Lewis’s whistle, and we were off! And with Abingdon usually slow starters, ze leetle grey cells normally taking a few moments to ease into proceedings, I’m delighted to say that things were excellent during the first half today, everyone switched on and alert in defence. Well apart from me making a right boo-boo of one particular moment early on, a wrong-footing gifting a nice goal to Uni. Slap on wrist, sorry Coach…

But that moment aside defence was generally solid all round, and in attack we were whizzing the ball around like an over-active pinball machine and finishing with the accuracy of a trained sniper of twenty years aiming his cross-hair at a herd of grazing wildebeest. Yes goals were flying in like rain-drops during an Amazon downpour, a whopping 16 (yes that’s S-I-X-T-E-E-N) before the half time interval, wowzers! It’s all too much for my brain to remember, but let’s go with one for Ninja, four for Beavanshire, one for Flash, two for me, one for Indium, one for The Catalan Express, and five for Girlie. A medley all round of excellent long shooting, a few runners, some cheeky twisly-turny numbers that some of our rather experienced players seem to manage to get into the position for every so often, and a few penalties and free-passes in there too. A whopping 16-4 to us at half time, surely a first-half record at Abingdon in recent years? Clare please can you come and watch every match?!

After a solid 30 minutes of student-chasing, we guzzled our water with much gusto knowing that our pensioner-like legs would have to cope with the army of student substitutes that would be whizzing round the court in the second half faster than electrons around atoms (see what I did there?!) And maybe this was why things dropped down a level or two in the second half. Uni were acclimatising to our scoring ways, and with fitness on their side life was tougher for us. In particular our nuggety-Ninja loves a good “jump defend”, the basketball-ness in him just can’t be tamed. Which of course is just what a nippy young student likes, a quick pass to feed and running-in goals conceded. Naughty-Ninja, we’ll beat it out of you eventually πŸ™‚ But it wasn’t just Ninja, a few players were not quite at top-alertness, but the damage had been done in the first half so fortunately it had little effect on the overall result today.

Nevertheless during the second half we restricted uni to 4 goals in total again, and managed to eek out another 5 ourselves. One from me, one from Boy-Wonder, two from Girl-Wonder and one from Gorka. As usual, the accuracy of who-scored-what-and-when may not necessarily represent actual proceedings…

With Abingdon on their last legs near the end we could have flagged completely, but with Clare’s vociferous support on the sidelines, the usual calm and tranquil surroundings of St. Greg’s was more like a raucous amphitheatre! And at the final whistle we hoped we had done our spectator proud, finishing with a rather tremendous 21-8 win. WELL PLAYED EVERYONE! And to finish, I leave you with a couple of korfball memes that sum up today’s action against Uni…

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Abingdon Atoms (3) 6 – 12 Oxford City (2)

Just the one match at St. Greg’s korf-drome this afternoon, and the mighty Abingdon 3 were up against the cream of Division 2 so far this year in City 2. Unbeaten and with plenty of goals being sunk on a regular basis, this would be the sternest of tests for A3.

Team news, and goodness me, legal by the skin of our teeth! Desperate times but with Blistering-Bhairavi, Speedy-Steven and Running-Rich’s golden arm playing down to fill gaps, the rest was made up of Lightening-Lyndsey, Jumping-Juan-Mi, Sizzling-Shirlaine, Nimble-Nigel and Kwik-Karina. Talking of Karina, Abingdon seems to have acquired itself a serial baker, and the reward for a solid 60 minutes of good performance would be permission to scoff down a very yummy looking chocolate cup cake!

It’s safe to say that Abingdon are ruled by their bellies, an excellent first half by Abingdon 3! Well apart from the goal tally, but we all know it’s jolly difficult to get that blasted ball into the korf. More importantly chances were being created in attack, several long shots and a few nifty close efforts. But more impressively was the concentration in defence, with me doing my best Alex-Girl foghorn impression (no substitute for the real thing but it would have to do), defenders stuck to their guns and mostly feeds were cut out. At half time the City 2 goal machine had only scored 4, and Abingdon were hot on their coat-tails with 3 netted in the first half! A lovely long shot from Juan-Mi as usual came down with ice on it, but all that ice shattered as it passed through the korf. A more reasonably parabola’d shot from Rich stayed within the confines of the sports hall, but the end result was just as good. And finally, always a pleasure to describe in match reports, let’s all celebrate Karina’s first goal for the club! Using a feed at just the right moment, she skinned her lady before she could say “cup cake”, and bagged a clinically finished running-in shot.

Half time oranges were soon guzzled (touching the cup cakes was strictly banned at this point), and after a feeble offering of a few words of encouragement by me, it was onto the second half.

On we pushed, and some fine work all round the park. However as the half wore on, tired legs, arms and brains began to tell. Attacks went a little flat, and a few lost markers in defence meant City 2 started to eek out a healthier lead than the 1 goal margin at half time. But Abingdon weren’t going down without a fight, and a good final push to improve the goal tally was apparent. Juan-Mi was having a rather juicy ding-dong with his somewhat younger opponent, but fortunately he stayed on the right side of the law, instead channelling the raging passionate Catalan blood inside him into bagging himself a fine pair of long shots, to give him an excellent personal tally of 3 for the afternoon. And Rich’s golden arm can never be kept quiet for long, another long range effort for him was the end of the afternoon’s scoring amongst several other close opportunities. Other notable efforts were Shirlaine’s fine collecting (helped by that ultra competitive attitude), and Lyndsey’s alertness in defence, meaning at least two city goals were ruled out due to her teeny-tiny arm poking upwards and her teeny-tiny legs getting the teeny-tiny arm close enough to her defender.

One last bit of excitement to report. Purely accidental, but one quick pass and use of feed, two running girls and two stationary boys all going for the same spot meant an almighty pile-up occurred! You know, a bit like a multi-car incident on the M40 where there are cars everywhere and debris is strewn all across the carriageway. Alas the Abingdon debris from this incident was our own Bhairavi. Ankles of course rock solid and healthy thanks to her trusty supports, but her ribs told a different story as they received the full force of City Fiona’s head, leaving her crumpled on the floor in a heap. But tough as old nails is our Indium, with just a few minutes left to play she soldiered on until the final whistle before taking a well-earned sit down.

A final scoreline of 6-12, but pats on the back all round. Only one thing left to say really. CUPCAKES!!! Nomnomnomnomnomnom… *chocolate*… *everywhere*… πŸ™‚

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