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