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
13th Rising Stars
14th Birmingham Uni
15th Manchester Warriors I
16th Manchester Uni
17th Nottingham Magic
19th Manchester Warriors II
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!