Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Newbie Blog: Be Careful Out There

I can’t think of a sport where you want to find yourself nose down on the floor. But this is where I found myself 20 minutes into City 2’s match against Abingdon 2 on Sunday.

We were 2-1 down and attacking as the ball threatened to go out for a throw. Somewhere deep in my brain – let’s call it the Stupidity Centre – I decided that should not be allowed to happen. So I rushed after it, jumped, landed badly, and spend a minute on the floor doubled up in pain after hurting my ankle. That was the end of my match.

My ankle hurt as I hobbled off, and so did my pride. But, more than anything, I was angry that I’d hurt myself while doing something so bloody stupid. This is not something we practise in training. In my mind, the sympathetic clapping from everyone else only served highlight that stupidity.

So what can we (or, let's face it, I) learn here?

Mind the Gap: There isn’t much space between the edge of the court and the wall. You only realise this when you’re crossing the sideline at speed, and that lack of space makes it very difficult to slow down quickly. Trying to do so can lead to injuries.

Get Good Shoes: I have a dodgy left ankle anyway, so it doesn’t surprise me that I hurt it. However, I feel lucky that I was wearing basketball shoes with high sides that stopped my ankle from twisting even further. If you don’t have the right shoes then put a pair on your Christmas list.

Let It Go Out: You may want to keep the ball in for your next attack, but you’re not much use to your team sitting on the sidelines nursing your ankle with an ice pack.  It’s better to let the ball go out then spend the next few days hobbling around.

Korfball People Are Good People: Thanks to people from City, but also the people from Abingdon and Didcot Dragons who don’t have a clue who I am but still asked how I was. Getting an injury is horrible, but it did show me how supportive people are in the Oxfordshire league.

Thankfully, it's only swollen and bruised rather than broken, and should be fine if I sit out training for a week. I’ll be back in December, after I’ve given my Stupidity Centre a stern telling off.

Rich Heap

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Match Report - Oxford City I vs Reading Uni

Oxford City 1 vs Reading Uni 16.11.13

The match against Reading was on a Saturday, unusual, and in Reading... Even more unusual!

We started the match with only 7 players as our 8th player was driving back from doing a 10k obstacle course/actually lying in bed and fooled us all ;)Our division of 3 started in attack and actually took the game to Reading, scoring twice and then defending excellently. Our other division of four worked the ball well, Simon particularly as he was marking/being marked by a giant!

The game was close with only 2 goals in it as half way through the first half Dan arrived to make the game a more traditional 8 v 8 layout. Playing against our traditional rebound defence and with no numerical advantage Reading started to suffer. At half time we were roughly 4 goals ahead and playing well.

As the second half progressed we continued to pass, shoot and collect well and we started to edge further and further ahead of Reading. Dan got a fresh opponent, just in case he wasn't tired enough! But whilst Dan had tired legs he managed to make the most of his advantage in experience, being a able to run past his player at ease scoring a number of running in shots (Even though one of them has earned him a drinking fine!) provided by excellent feeds and collects from Taissa and Ruth.

Down the other end Alice and Jo were working tirelessly with some excellent collects and feeds, Gaz was running the legs of his poor opponent, Simon was keeping himself nicely free so that when his defender dropped off to cover Gaz he was free for a shot. And shot after shot went up, some excellent recycling of the ball and something reading just couldn't match.

Final score was 15-5 to Oxford City, lots of great goals but more importantly excellent team work in each division to allow those players to score. Special mentions to Taissa playing up and fitting in to the division like she had always been there. And to Simon for marking someone almost twice as tall as him.

Player of the match is a hard one to choose, so many great goals... Player of the match goes to Alice, who had an excellent game, feeding and collecting brilliantly and providing some great passes at the right time to allow both Gaz and Simon to score some excellent goals.

Goals - Dan (5), Dave E (3), Gaz (3), Jo (2), Ruth (1), Simon (1)
Official MVP - Dave E

Dave Everett Roving
OCKC Journalist

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Newbie Blog: The Only Way Is Up

I reached the pinnacle of my sporting career on Sunday. That's not as impressive as it sounds.

The problem is that it makes it sounds like my life has been packed with sporting successes, which it hasn’t. The previous pinnacle of my sporting career came when I got a rosette for coming third in a gruelling 50 metres sprint at a school sports day. My sporting pinnacle doesn’t tower like Mount Everest. It’s more like the minor undulation of a molehill on a well-manicured lawn.
But let’s ditch the self-deprecation and get onto the facts.
On Sunday, I played my second competitive korfball match, and only my third full-length match. In both previous matches I’ve played in my team has lost, which sets off dark thoughts in a newbie.
“They won their first two matches, but now we’re losing. Is it me?” “What else could I be doing?” “Am I letting my teammates down?” “Would we have won if I wasn’t playing?”
Yes, it's a team game and it's the team that loses but, as a new player, you can't help but think that a loss might be somehow your fault. That’s what I was thinking as I headed into Sunday’s match between City 2 and Oxford Uni 2, and probably why I spent the first half apologising to the other members of my division – Charlotte, Taissa and Dan – for most of the things I did.
But that changed at half time. We held a 3-2 lead against a combative and fit team, and I had been run around and shoved a lot, but I now felt like we could win. I just had to keep going.
For me, the second half continued just like the first, and I was knocked over a couple of times but I didn't care. I managed to keep doing my job until the end - just - and we ended up winning 9-2.
It's a great feeling. I’ve never been proud of anything I’ve done physically – except my supporting role in the creation of my daughter – and Sunday is definitely the new pinnacle of my sporting career.
And as long as I keep improving and stay confident, there should be plenty more pinnacles.
Rich Heap

Monday, 21 October 2013

Newbie Blog: City's New Number 12

I put on my Oxford City number 12 shirt yesterday afternoon with a mix of pride and apprehension, and with good reason. I was about to play my first full korfball match.

In fact, it goes deeper than that. During school sport lessons I languished among the dregs. My weekly exercise was against the kids with glasses and breathing problems, who would rather pick daisies than get muddy. It was fair enough: I was one of them.
This means that for 30 years I’ve never represented a team, I’ve never been in a team talk, and I’ve never felt the pressure of wanting to do well for my teammates. Sporty people may not understand this, but City 2 versus Didcot Dragons 2 was a big deal to me.
So that’s the apprehension but what about the pride? Well, the two are linked. I’ve never pulled on a team shirt before so it means a lot to me that I can. I feel proud that I can wear the number 12, which I chose because my daughter was born in 2012. That pride is the reason I drove through Friday afternoon traffic on a mercy mission to pick up the shirts for the whole team. I wanted my own, and getting everyone else’s was a bonus.
But it’s one thing to buy a shirt, it’s quite another to earn it. So how was the match?
Well, we lost but I was pretty happy with how I did. I felt I froze in attack and struggled to put into practise what we’d done in training; but I still managed to score a good long-range goal – a carbon copy of the one I mentioned in my first blog post – and nearly punched the wall in celebration. I then apologised for over-celebrating. It was most ungentlemanly.
In defence I made some good blocks, a few interceptions, and made sure to keep eye contact with my attacker. I also followed him everywhere, including when he went to get water and talk to their coach. If there wasn't a final whistle then I'd have probably jumped on the bus and followed him home. In the end he probably thought I was stalking him, but I don't care. I'd rather look stupid for following than not following.
So there were some positives but also plenty of room for improvement. I can’t wait to get back into training on Thursday.
Rich Heap

Match Report - City 1 vs Oxford Uni 1

City 1 vs Oxford Uni 1
Playing Uni this early on in the season is always a bit of a mystery and I think it’s fair to say that this year offered up a fairly inexperienced Uni 1. However they were (as ever) tall, young and well drilled by Martin. We had what could be generously described as a ‘slow’ start, failing to open the scoring for about 15 minutes – but on the plus side we didn’t let in any goals either. However once we got started the shots began dropping, and we went into half time a deserved 5-0 up – it could have been double that.
From then on the match was never really in doubt, even though Uni bought on a few more experienced players for the second half. We kept our discipline well in the face of the “enthusiastic”  fouls coming our way (even the girls were beating on Dave W!) but we didn’t give away a penalty all match. It’s easy to let things slide when you are a long way ahead but we kept our concentration and continued to score well in the second half, only allowing in one goal all match and ending on an extremely respectable 11-1, with a hat-trick from Becca leading the scorers (ahem).
Well played everyone, no match next week but most of the first team are off to Cardiff for a regional double header – wish us luck!!
Becca Brennan
1st Team Vice-Captain

Match Reports - City 1 vs Abingdon 1 & City 2 vs Isis 2

City 2 4-3 Isis 2
City 2 gave league debuts to 2 new boys ( well done Alex and Brendan who both supported well in attack and were solid as a rock in defence). We won 4-3 which probably doesn't really quite sum up the enormous effort we put in, both ourselves and Isis were clearly feeling the lack of full match practice towards the end. Charlotte put in another sterling display, following on from great performances last season, as did Maddy, who was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. Credit also to Taissa and Gemma - I didn't see a misplaced pass or a lost collect all day. Thanks also to Dan, Dave and Gaz for their role in our win. Catherine's emphasis at the beginning of the match was to do the basics well, which we did. This team will get better and can accomplish even more than last year.
2nd Team Vice-Captain
Abingdon I 11-7 City 1
City 1 went into the first match of the season pumped up having just seen City 2 secure an excellent victory against Isis. Unfortunately all the preseason excitement lead to a rush of blood to the head, and for the first twenty minutes we attempted to break world records for the fastest (and potentially scrappiest) korfball ever played. As a result we went into a much needed time out 3-1 down, and needed some stern words from the bench (thanks Jim and Ev!) to cool us down. The last 10 minutes of the first half were much better, showing that yes, we have been training over the summer and yes, we’ve been listening to Graham and Frank! However Abingdon continued their very physical assault (and sneaky free passes) and we went in 6-2 down at halftime.
The second half saw the glorious return of Steve Bray to the korfball pitch, and he put a quick goal on the board to show Abingdon we meant business. Overall we played much better in the second half, recycling the ball well and running many successful blocks which resulted in my goal of the game, a brilliant long shot from Dave W. The second half was a much better representation of City 1’s talents, and this half ended a very respectable 5-5, though sadly meant we didn’t overturn the deficit from the first half and so ended up 11-7 to Abingdon at full time.
I suggest some quiet meditation before KO this Sunday...
Becca Brennan
1st Team Vice-Captain

Match Report - Oxford City 2 vs Isis 2

Oxford City 2 vs Isis 2

Our 2nd team are riding high at the top of division 2 with a comprehensive 8-2 victory against Isis II.  Just to re-iterate, our 2nd team, with lots of new players, have beaten their closest rivals home and away already :-) Steve made his competitive debut for City, and had a great game, especially when up against a very experienced player in the form of Nick. 

A very tight first half ended with very little between the teams, despite a number of shots going very close, especially from Charlotte.  However, the floodgates opened in the second half, with Charlotte scoring the hatrick that her overall play deserved.  Despite the loss of Steve B, who had been playing majestically, halfway through the second half through injury, the goals continued to come, with Dave E not even needing to fully warm up! 

Great game from the second team, with Jen working her socks off (and scoring!) and great performances across the court.  One thing I noted was that our recycling of the ball was excellent, and much better than last week.

Dan Hibbs
OCKC Chairman

Match Report - Oxford City 1 vs Didcot 1

City 1 vs Didcot 1 13.10.13
We took an early 2-0 lead then contrived to give it straight back, evening the score up at 2-2. We went back and forth until 4-4, after which we sorted our defence out and began to dominate. We mixed up the attacks nicely, doing the new things we’ve been learning without relying on them, including things like some lovely drop off shots (Dave W) and punishing Didcot’s lack of discipline.
In the second half it was never really in doubt and we turned possession into a commanding lead, only allowing them to score once in the entire half. The final score was 13-5, which I think reflects our hard work and domination of the game. The scoring was spread nicely with everyone on the pitch scoring at least once, but extra kudos to Mr Everett who scored 5 times.
Well done all, and let’s try and carry through the discipline and calm we showed through to what is likely to be a fast paced game against Uni this Sunday.
Becca Brennan
1st Team Vice-Captain

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Newbie Blog: On The Korfball Terraces

My Dad first took me to watch korfball when I was five. We cheered from the terraces and, at the end of the game, I turned to him and said: “Dad, I want to be a korfballer.”

Okay, that never happened. I never saw a korfball match as a child. In fact, I went through my first three decades without watching a korfball match or even looking at one of those stupidly tall posts. So why bother mentioning this? Because if you haven’t seen a sport played then it makes it a lot more difficult to play it yourself.
Take football. Even if you’ve got no interest in football, you’ve probably still got a basic idea of how a football match works. Run around, kick the ball in the goal, and join your teammates for a loving embrace. It’s the same idea with cricket, rugby and basketball, where even a novice should have a basic idea of how they work.
But it isn’t like that with korfball. There’s no TV coverage – unless it’s one of those “here’s a quirky sport from mainland Europe” news reports – and that makes it a tough sport to pick up. How do you know how to play a sport unless you’ve seen it played?
That’s why I went along to my first korfball match on Sunday, to watch Abingdon 1 and Oxford City 1 play out a hard-fought 11-7. I was a bad crowd member – rarely clapping or cheering – but I watched intently and a few things started to sink in.
The idea of changing ends after two goals makes far more sense when you can see one team attacking each basket per half. I’ve got a bit more of an idea of some of the theory, like why we throw the ball one handed; why we need to move quickly to find space; and why we need to keep concentrating. I don’t claim that watching one match makes me an expert, but I think it at least makes me less of a novice.
The challenge now is watching more and learning more, and putting some of it into practise. I expect to start doing that in proper matches in the next couple of weeks.
And my Dad might even be there to watch.
Rich Heap

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Korfball: A Newbie Writes

We’re on the cusp of a new season and three-quarters of people at the club are raring to go. The rest of us – the newbies – are still trying to work out what the hell’s going on.

When will I ever grasp this idea of changing ends? Why am I eyeballing my attacker like a boggle-eyed drunk? Is it vital to run sideways like the spaceship from Space Invaders? All these questions popped into my head at last Thursday’s training session.
Two months ago I started looking for a sport to learn, for a few reasons. I recently started working at home so I wanted to get out of the house and meet some real people; I wanted to get fitter to keep pace with the manic baby that’s been terrorising my house for the last 16 months; and I only moved to the city a couple of years ago so I'm on the lookout for opportunities for nights out.
But why korfball? Well, partly because I like the idea of a sport where men and women compete together; and partly because the club trains very close to my house. Equality is important, but so is a quick walk home.
So I came along to a training session and enjoyed it. I managed to score during my first session, with a shot that gets further out each time I think about it, and that helped to immediately boost my confidence. And I decided to stick with it because everybody I’ve met so far - both from City and deadly local rivals Isis - has been friendly and supportive of those of us who are total novices.
I’m still in the early stages where each week brings a couple of small breakthroughs. It could be a half-decent interception, finally scoring with a running in shot, or managing to get through a whole session without knocking somebody over like an over-enthusiastic Labrador. Yes, it's small progress, but at least it's progress. And if I keep it up then maybe I'll end up as one of those people who knows what's going on. 

I'd better keep practising my Space Invaders footwork.
Rich Heap

Monday, 2 September 2013

Didcot Tournament - As it happened...

Saturday was the last summer tournament before the new season starts, so we wanted to finish the tournament season on a high, and boy we did.
The bright sunshine set the tone for what would be a great day, and credit to Didcot for arranging a great venue.  Special mention to all the players that came along for their first tournaments – I thought Francis, Brendan, Alex & Chris did brilliantly against some excellent opposition, and it was great to see Gary back.  Charlotte had clearly been practising at a mystic korfball monastery in Cambodia as well during the summer!  Thanks for coming down to watch Jo and Steve, it was great to have the extra support on the sidelines.
City 1 began the day slowly, conceding two early goals against a pumped up Didcot team.  However, with a resilience that set the tone for the day, we pulled back on level terms through a running in shot from Ev, and a long shot from Dan, before another long shot from Dave sealed a deserved victory.  Next up was a strong Old Badgers side.  Déjà vu set in with another early 2 nil down scoreline, but a double whammy of long shots from Dave, Ev brought us level before a great late in the day long shot from Simon put another 3 points in the bag.  The final morning game for City 1 was against one of the four Highbury teams, and it was a high scoring match.  In the spirit of generosity, we gave our opponents another 2 nil lead, to make a game of it.  Straight after the restart, a quick fire running in shot from Dan started the comeback, before another Highbury long shot delayed it!  A 3-1 deficit against a motivated Highbury side was daunting, but we’d already shown twice that we could turn things around.  Another long shot from Ev began the comeback, before we then equalized through some quick thinking from Ruth.  From that point there was only going to be one winner, with great defence from Dave, Ev, Francis & Ruth while the rest of us peppered the Highbury basket.  A penalty from Becca finally made the breakthrough, before another running in shot from Dan sealed the victory – it must have been the practise on Thursday Gaz!  City 1 group winners!
City 2 had a great morning, with almost half the team playing their first ever competitive matches!  First up was Abingdon, and while the scoreline was a 6-2 defeat, with goals from Dan and (I think) Charlotte, there was some great defending, with Brendan tracking runners like a shadow, and Alex getting stuck in!  (I'm sure the Highbury player will remember you Alex!)  In the next game, there were lots of goals against City, and no goals for, versus Hghbury (without an I), but considering they went on to be group winners, there was no shame in that.  The final morning game was against another London side, Harrow.  Dan decided this was a good opportunity to demonstrate to our newer players the kind of things not to do, by conceding a penalty, and three free passes for contact.  Good times.  Harrow went 4 nil up, before Chris setup Jo for a long shot that dropped nicely into the basket.  Final score, 4-1.
In the afternoon, City 1 were placed in the top pool  and first up were Hghbury without an I.  Sensing an opportunity for club revenge, we got stuck in.  Special mention here to Francis for great defending against a very wily opponent.  In fact, defending was the order of the day, with the division of Ev, Ruth, Dave & Francis repulsing wave after wave of attacks.  With Hghbury frustrating our attack, the game was heading to a nil nil stalemate before a late running in shot from Dan gave us the win that our overall workrate deserved.  It’s always great to hear the opposition getting angry!  Next up was Abingdon, who unfortunately completed a double over City, completing a 5-3 victory over us, with consolation goals coming from a penalty queen Becca, another running in shot from Dan, and a running in shot from Ruth.  A repeat fixture against Old Badgers was next, and they gained revenge for the morning with a narrow 4-3 defeat – there was great attacking from Dave (one goal) and Ev (two goals), but some wily defending and good use of height advantage frustrated the rest of our attack.  A slightly heatstruck and dispirited City 1 went on to then lose 2 nil to an excellent Mauritians side, who went on be crowned overall winners.  The final game of the day was against Farnborough, and City 1 were determined to finish in the same spirit they started the day.  And what a game it was.  A goal from Dan opened the scoring, and then the floodgates opened.  In the best move of the day (in my opinion anyway!), Dan stood in feed, dropping the ball off to Becca as she sprinted past having completely lost her player.  As the other Farnborough defender came out to switch defend, Becca casually threw the ball to Jo, who had moved to the perfect position to execute a textbook drop off shot.  Lovely.  As someone said, “That was almost like a move we’d practised!”.  Dave then got in the action with two typically good long shots, followed by Dan scoring from close in.  A consolation goal from Farnborough was the signal for Francis to emonstrate his long shot prowess, sinking two great goals from either side of the korf.  Boom!  At some point in all that Ruth also scored, with the final score a massive 8-1 to City, which was the most goals scored by any side on the day, and the largest goal difference in the tournament.  Great way to finish!
City 2 started the afternoon with a narrow 2-1 defeat against Highbury, with Charlotte scoring our goal.  The result was a fair reflection of how well we competed against an experienced side, and massive kudos to our new players for stepping up.  At this point, the heat had started to get to me, so my recollection of games was less clear as I regularly retreated to the shade of our gazebo, but there was a 3 nil loss to a skilful Bearsted team, and an impressive 2 nil defeat to an Isis team containing many of their first team players, followed by a defeat with the same scoreline against home favourites Didcot.  One of things that struck me during the day was how well our new players were picking up the subtleties of play during the matches.  Training’s great, but there’s no substitute for learning by trying to attack and defend against experienced players in a match environment.  It was clear so see how well the team had developed in the final game, with a penalty from Charlotte and a goal from Jo giving City 2 a deserved 2-1 victory against Harrow – get in!! 
Overall results were 5th for City 1 (2nd highest Oxfordshire side after Abingdon) and 12th for City 2.
Overall scorers for the day:
Dan (7), Ev (5), Dave (5), Ruth (3), Charlotte (3), Jo (3), Becca (2), Francis (2), Simon (1), Taissa (1)
Thanks to everyone that came along on the day to both play and spectate – it was an awesome way to end the summer tournament season, and the level of skill on display across both teams bodes really well for our upcoming league season.
The party in the evening was excellent, with past, present and honoury City players celebrating in their customary style!  I have no worries about the stamina levels of our club!  Mid season liver transplants may be required though…  The non-existent prize for best costume went to Arge’s wife, who came as a One Man Band.  Some excellent creativity with letter swapping was also on display towards the end of the evening.  Thanks guys.
Cheers everyone for a great day and evening!
OCKC Chairman

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Nottingham Tournament Breaking News...

It’s official - Oxford City are better than Scotland!
It’s fair to say that Oxford City performed brilliantly in Nottingham on Saturday.  Against high level opposition (there were plenty of ex and current international players on show), we played some absolutely awesome korfball and finished in joint 7th place, out of 20 clubs.  We were actually unlucky not to finish higher as well!  Our defence especially was brilliant, with everyone working their socks off to try and prevent the opposition scoring.  Special thanks to Viktor and Lucy "the third most recognised korfballer in Basingstoke (TM)" Kinder, for making the trip up to play with us.  Much appreciated guys.
After a very early start on Saturday, and some late nights amongst the team on Friday, we were perhaps not fully warmed up in our first game against a very strong Nottingham Old Boys side, resulting in a 4-1 loss, with Dave scoring our consolation goal.  Bouyed on by some encouraging signs during the match (we’d put up a lot of shots and recycled well), we went on to play Leeds feeling pretty good.  Due to excellent defense (a theme of the day) against a good attack, two excellent long shots from Gaz, and another long shot from Dan, we emerged 3-1 winners.  Boom! 
Our spirits were high and we went on to smash Castle 4-0, with the girls absolutely dominating their opposite numbers.  Goals came from Lucy, Catherine (2) & Victor.  Our record of 2 wins and a loss in the morning meant that we finished second in our group and we went into the top pool for the afternoon.  That’s right, the top pool!  Power naps, burgers of dubious meat content and sleeping bag purchasing was the order of the day for next hour. 
First up after lunch was British University Students.  During the morning BUS had scored close to 20 goals, so despite our recent victories, we weren’t entirely confident going into it!  But what a game.  Yes, we lost, but we only lost 2-1 against some brilliant players.  A long shot from Dan was our only goal, but our defence was fantastic and we also created plenty of chances to score more.
And so we came to Scotland.  For most of the match it was 1-0 to Scotland with their tight defence frustrating our attack despite the best efforts of Gaz, Dave, Ev and Catherine .  Late on came the break through, with another goal from Gaz drawing us level.  We’d kept Scotland really quiet for 15mins, and we more than deserved an equaliser.  And then the central hooter called time.  We all walked off.  Lucy shot.  And what a shot.  Yes, there was a hint of travelling (walking off the pitch does that!), and the central hooter had sounded, but the ref hadn’t blown his whistle, not until the ball had gloriously dropped the basket.  2-1 City.  Legends.  Cue the best comment of the day from Ev as Scotland went to play their next game “Good luck.  Play to the whistle (innocent face)"
Our next game was Selly Oak Lumberjacks, winners of the 22 team Milton Keynes tournament a few weeks earlier.  They had also been free scoring during their previous matches, and we were probably expected to provide limited opposition for them.  How wrong they were!  If there’s such thing as a glorious defeat, our 2-1 loss against such strong opposition would be it, as we continually frustrated their attack.  Their attackers were starting to get annoyed, and we love that.  We even had chances to win, but our shots wouldn't quite drop (though Gaz scored again).
Our final game was against the eventual finalists, Ab Fabs, so it’s fair to say they were pretty good.  They scored with a dubious penalty, and then Gaz scored another great goal, and that was it for a long long time.  They had wave after wave of attacks, but our defense held firm.  They were definitely the quickest team I’ve played against!  They even brought on subs in an effort to get the winner.  Unfortunately, the winner did come, with a strange decision by Dan (I blame the sun!) to give his speedy defender a 3 metre head start resulting in one of the easiest goals he’ll ever score!  So a 2-1 loss, in unfortunate circumstances, against one of the two best teams at the tournament.  That’s pretty awesome.
A jubilant Oxford City squad then went on to the social.  As always, what happens on tour stays on tour, but I will share some learnings.  Cold showers aren't fun.  Gaz is a genius with papier-mâché .  Jo has an uncanny eye for watering can potential.  Chilli Vodka is disgusting.  Road Runner is a lot sexier than I remember from my childhood.  John Terry gets everywhere.
Full results were (look at the standard of opposition!)
1st Ruff Shaker (Norwich & Friends)
2nd Ab Dabs
3rd British University Students& Outlawz
5th Nottingham Old Boys & Selly Oak Lumberjacks
7th Oxford City & Leicester Tornadoes
9th Scotland & Nottingham
11th Leeds
12th Hawks
13th Rising Stars
14th Birmingham Uni
15th Manchester Warriors I
16th Manchester Uni
17th Nottingham Magic
18th Castle
19th Manchester Warriors II
 20th Scratch
All of our losses were against teams that finished above us…
Scorers were Gaz (4), Catherine (2), Dan (2), Lucy (2), Dave (2), Viktor (2)
Absolutely brilliant effort Oxford City, and I can’t wait for the season to start!  Next up though, the Didcot Tournament on August 31st!
OCKC Chairman

Monday, 5 August 2013

Oxford City Tournament 2013 - The Aftermath

Well, that was a pretty lively weekend wasn't it?!  Oxford City showed the other clubs how it's done, hosting a very successful tournament and social.  Everyone chipped in to make it run smoothly and I thought it was a great day, helped by the generally good weather.  Lots of the other teams fed back that they have a really fun day, and particularly enjoyed the relaxed vibe.  I think that pretty much sums up our club!  Thanks to everyone helped out, especially Becca and Alice.
Things I’ve learnt this weekend? 
1. If you leave a smoke machine on until the room is virtually opaque, it will set off the fire alarm.  Who'd have thought??
2. Becca & Lucy should not be allowed near a megaphone, especially not at 7.30am. 
3. Theft will be punished, don't think I'll forget (see note 2)
4. Rum is a very potent liquid.
5. Trees are for growing fruit, not climbing (see note 4)
6. OCKC really know how to party!
In terms of the korfball we played, there were some definite highlights.  Oxford City I had a strong morning, and were top of their division (ignoring Scratch) after wins against both Scratch and Supernova.  There was the unfortunate moment of a loss against a pumped up Isis team, but we had already well qualified for the Cup competition then, so we obviously had half an eye on lunch!  Oxford City II had a slightly tougher time of it in the group of death, but we did well to only lose 2-0 against Old Badgers, who went on to come fourth overall. 
The afternoon continued in the same vein for Oxford City II, but there were some nice goals from Dave W (textbook running shot!) and overall I think it was a great experience for some of our newer players against high quality opposition.  I think it says quite a lot when the opposition captain is surprised to hear that not all of our players had played in a tournament before (has it only been 2 training sessions Oli?!).  Top efforts.  Oxford City I had a mixed afternoon – we played well in rainy conditions against eventual champions Leicester Tornadoes, and only lost by one goal while we probably could have won.  Bristol Thunder played very well against us in the second afternoon game and were deserved winners.   We then went into our final match against the in form Abingdon (18 goals in their first three games!) and unfortunately couldn’t turn our efforts into enough goals.  Let’s not mention any of my missed penalties please!
My personal highlight was the great performances from Oli, Frances & Anthony.  I was really impressed.   You all slotted in well in your first tourmanents, and Anthony must be pleased with two long distance goals!  I discovered today that it was Taissa's first tournament as well, and I would never had been able to tell!
Best goal?  There were some good contenders from Ruth and Dave W, but my money is on Arge – he shot from so far out even he was surprised when it dropped straight in!!
After a few moments while I mopped and dried out my flooded groundsheet with paper towel, we went on to the social!  If the quality of a night out can be measured by the opposite the next day, the Big Mac meal I had for breakfast shows how much fun the evening was!  Supernova did their bit by bringing along an awful lot of rum and sharing it with everyone, and Isis’s 99 red balloons were also extremely fun to pop – BUNDLE!!.  Visually impressive but probably least themed fancy dress was Dave W as Banana Man from the hit song, er, Banana Song (as made famous by Despicable Me 2!)
Most cryptic costume was Luke’s very impressive Careless Whisper, and special mention goes to Taissa’s Paint it Black efforts, but the prize for getting most into the spirit of fancy dress goes to our very own Genie in a Bottle, Lucy.  Probably the only person in the room who could actually physically fit into a bottle, she’d spent weeks at the gym getting into the shape needed to pull off the costume!  That’s dedication.
Good effort everyone, here’s to next year!  We’ll get chance to do it all again in two weeks at Nottingham as well…  The fancy dress theme is Looney Tunes – let me know Dave if you need guidance on what actually constitutes a Looney Tunes costume!!
OCKC Chairman

Monday, 22 July 2013

Oxford Alternative Sports Day

Thanks to everyone that came down on Sunday, it was a really good day. A lot of people said that outside of their own sport, Korfball was their favourite, so great news for us! 
We also discovered that Korfball is taught in South Africa during school, so we should target any South African societies in Oxford for new recruits!!  Anyone know any?
Special thanks to Dave and Ev for setting up our base station and generally organising things. Alice's flyers also looked great - we had the best ones there in my view! And thanks to Arge for sharing his birthday cake, it was delicious.
Nic did a great job organising the whole event, and Oxford City will be back at next year's if we're invited!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Club News 20.07.13

A very wet and windy morning session and treacherous playing conditions did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the six players* who went along to Cotham RFC on Saturday to represent Oxford City at Bristol City's korfball tournament.
The tournament offered us the opportunity to play against some teams we don't often get a chance to compete against. Whilst the morning weather conditions made flowing korfball more or less impossible (a cool start soon gave way to a gusty westerly wind and a watery deluge) we competed well in every match, grabbing a victory against Leicester and performing crebitably against other opponents including Manchester Warriors. If memory serves, we only lost one game in the morning session, although apparently that was enough to see us in the lower half of the draw for the afternoon session.
(One casualty of the conditions was the club gazebo. Abjectly useless as it was in full summer (it didn't provide the cool shelter you would hope for from the beating sun and if there was an equivalent of Kavos for insects, the ceiling of the gazebo probably would have been it), we found it to be equally ineffective in adverse conditions. It was a total bitch to erect once the wind got up and rather than keeping out the rain, it managed to defy physics to funnel the water inwards, ensuring that everything within got soaked - chairs, bags, clothes, people. The final straw came when it began to blow away, the flimsy guys, pegs and superstructure putting up little resistance to the elements. The executive decision was taken that the gazebo should be jettisoned, its final resting place a large portable bin. Maybe it is still there. Frankly, who cares? R.I.P. Gazebo)
Lunch offered an opportunity to dry off (once the rain thankfully stopped) and although the wind did not abate, at least the sun came out in the afternoon. A very unfortunate loss on penalties to Bristol City was followed by a win over Farnborough Jets and we were by no means disgraced, played some good korfball in trying circumstances and defended valiantly at times.
In short, a good day's korfball.
*Our thanks must also go to all of the other players who represented us on Saturday - particular thanks must go to Lucy and Victor from Basingstoke who played valiantly for us all day.