Monday, 4 August 2014

Rich's Blog: Oxford Tournament - A Genie's Story

It was a morning that made meteorologists of us all. While the rain hammered down we hunted for blue sky, discussed the wind direction, and felt dejected as the water breached our underwear. And we did all of this alongside 20 teams from the south and Midlands at the Oxford City 2014 summer tournament.

I must confess that I went into the day nervous. Partly, at the prospect of playing for City 1; but mainly at having to chaperone my collection of injuries through a full day.

Thankfully, I managed to set aside my first worry by scoring in our opening match, a 5-2 win versus Supernova. But as the rain got harder, so did our opponents. Our next two matches were a narrow loss against Gloucester Lions and a scrappy 0-0 against Southampton Spartans. We finished the morning with a 3-1 win against Abingdon 2, with me playing half the game at walking pace due to my tweaked hamstring — and to little detriment to the quality of my play.

After a quick lunch I carried on playing into the afternoon, despite the medical advice of most of my teammates. It seemed rude to stop now the sun had finally turned up.

And I’m glad I did as I got my second goal of the day in a 7-1 win against Oxford Uni; helped City 2 to win 3-1 against Supernova; and contributed a few assists throughout the day. I also learnt I need more practice at marking people who are taller than me.

We followed the korfball with a chilli-and-alcohol-fuelled fairy tales social where, to further ignore medical wisdom, I spent four hours dancing while dressed (or half-dressed?) as a genie. Which leads me on to a smattering of unofficial awards:

The Chessboxing Award for Brain and Brawn: Chessboxing is well-known for fusing the two contrasting disciplines of chess and boxing, and on Saturday we discovered something similar: korfematics. This is where you switch between playing korfball and working out complex mathematical calculations, to determine who is playing on which pitch and who the hell is refereeing. Only one winner: Taissa.

The “More Height, More Power” Award for Constructive Criticism: This goes to everyone who helped Jim on his return by reminding him of all those catchphrases he’s been barking from the sidelines. Ps. Great to see you back in action, Jim.

The Anton du Beke Award for Dance Commitment: Rich M brought the rhythm with dance moves based on korfball shots, dynamic stretches, and household chores. This climaxed with a dramatic ‘lift’ during What a Feeling from the the film Flashdance, appropriately-titled given that he ripped his shorts in the process. And who was his dance partner? Let’s just say the damage was done by a genie’s lamp.

Thanks to Taissa, Fi and Simon for a great day; to Mike for DJing from afar; and to everyone who came and made it a success despite the rain. See you again in 2015.

Rich Heap, web editor