Cambridge Training Day report

Courtesy of Matt and Neil, here is a report of their experiences at the recent Cambridge one-day tournament:

Slaves Of Olay 2 – 0 Lunch Club
After an hour of waiting for our group games to start, and having a knock about outside we were on court, up against SOO form Brighton. The team had one fast paced player who quickly put one past us in the first minute which gave us a bit of a wakeup call. After this we played a tight game playing fairly defensive and holding on to possession. The game stayed at 1-0 right until the last minute when we were pushing for an equaliser and were caught out on the counter.

Lunch Club 4 – 0 BBB
BBB was an all girl London (I think) team. We had discussed our mistakes from our first game and set about correcting them right from the start. Neil scored the first then I got a nice bb goal and a long range effort into an open net, Stu then capped it off at the end and we left the court happy Lunch Clubbers.

FdT 4 – 1 Lunch Club
Franky De Tourney was a Netto/Asbo fusion, and so we kind of fancied our chances as we knew they weren’t in their normal teams. It was a tough game, and our final moves (shooting and through balls) seemed to be our weak point. Their goals came fairly steadily over the 8 minutes, marred only by an own goal half way through.

Tornadoes 3 – 2 Lunch Club
Tornadoes are a newish London team (I think) that seemed to have strong support, and as the game got off to a quick start, we found ourselves 2-0 down within a matter of moments, much to the delight of the crowd. We fought back though, with Dan’s words of wisdom ringing in our ears (“They play a more physical game in London”) we got stuck in and soon enough I was in constant tap-out mode, delivering crunching challenges while Matt and Stu sped around and got two goals back quickly, drawing us level with only a minute or so to go. Despite some dubious calls from the crowd (I double-tapped at least once when someone rode over my mallet) from a heap on the floor I glimpsed a final shot dead on the whistle (apparently) fly past Stu and the game was theirs. We played well but not well enough, and finished feeling almost cheated by the crowd’s response to our aggressive play. We still managed to qualify for the knockout round, whether by skill or luck we had won a game, scored a fair amount of goals and held our heads high.

Slaves Of Olay 3 – 2 Lunch Club
The knockout rounds didn’t start for an hour so we got some fresh air, calmed ourselves down and drank some more beer. We had been drawn against Slaves Of Olay, the team we lost to at the beginning of the tournament and we were eager to exact some revenge. We started in our usual positions, Stu in goal, Matt charging for the ball and me filling the gap between them. Despite telling each other before the game to slow down with the ball and take some time to think about movement and space like the more established teams we’d been watching in the break, the game began with pace and we conceded two early goals before regaining our composure. Despite the heckles of the Tornadoes, who were goal reffing and seemed still bruised by our previous encounter, Matt and Stu pulled back two to draw level and the play was end to end until the whistle went for the end of the game. Unfortunately, seconds after the whistle, somebody shouted golden goal, and with the Slaves of Olay already in possession in front of our goal, they promptly passed the ball into the net to secure entry to the next round. This left us a bit shell-shocked, I for one had stopped when the whistle went expecting some kind of restart and extra time, rather than just continuing to play regardless of who had possession and where they were on the pitch.

After the game the ref came over and apologised for blowing the whistle, and not just shouting golden goal so we all knew what was happening. Perhaps we should have read the rules beforehand, but in Birmingham we often end at a draw, maybe we need to be more competitive in future, it seems every game needs a winner.

For a first tournament I think we did OK, we’d only had one session playing together as a team and we still scored a few and didn’t take any serious thrashings. The experience of playing with different teams was good, different styles and interpretations of the rules made it even more enjoyable. A big help would be more support, if three Birmingham teams make it to the London Open in July we should have enough heckling/cheering spur us on to win the games that we lost so narrowly.

Well done for getting that maiden victory, although it sounds like you were hard done by in the Tornadoes and second Slaves of Olay games.  I’ve said it before to Birmingham players, but we really need to familiarise ourselves with the rules.  Our ignorance has been our downfall on more than one occasion.  Also, it would help tournament organisers if everyone was willing and able to ref if necessary.



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