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27 Nov 18: Carry on Korfing!

It was Carry-on-Korfing at the weekend; chip butties, missing opponents, cheesy house music, blood on the dance floor, head-spinning debuts, slapstick finishing and lots of coarse shouting and giggling from the sidelines. It was a right knees up and a bit of a roller-coaster ride. All we were missing was the Bullseye theme tune.

It was all kicked off by Tigers 4, who played two matches at the weekend.  They started with an impressive 13-6 away win against Lions 2 in their imposing new Korfing colosseum, complete with continental café/wine bar (serving ale, of course.) Newly-married-and-very-discreet-about-it Caroline Flux chipped in with two goals – one for herself and one for her other half, whose good books she needs to get back into after leaving Barbados, mid-honeymoon to make this game in Littleport on a cold November Friday. Now there’s a woman who has her priorities right*. Another woman who has her priorities right (i.e. can’t get enough of the Korf) is Zoe, the Paula Radcliffe of Tigers, who bagged herself a blinding runner. She loves to run. There was a first game too for Chloe Underdown, who has ventured out from the world of Netball to try her hand at a real sport**. Wait till she scores. Just like the first successful ride of a bike, she’ll soon be hooked and will be throwing a strop at bedtime cause she can’t play korf late with all the others. Ella and Luka have been there and done that though. A hard slog at school all week and the smell of chip butties on the go may have affected their usual korfing cross hairs on Friday night. No goals for them or secret substitute weapon Frances this time but plenty of endeavour (Frances is lethal from short distances, you know.)  Also lethal from short distances is seven-goal ‘Little’ Nicky Armitage, who is trying to wean himself off scoring too many goals (yes, we all know that problem.) He just can’t help himself though. That yellow basket is like a puddle to a toddler. He sees it and must approach, encircle and pounce. But never mind all that, the real result is not the victory but the hat-trick and half pint of celebratory ale old Steve CAMRA Clarke managed to bag. Say what you want about the man, his green tee-shirt or his lovely trainers, but he’s most certainly the world’s only Real Ale-loving, chip-butty-chomping, salsa-dancing Dire Straits lookalike electrical engineer who also plays Korfball – in other words, a unique man and we are delighted to have him. Shake his hand when you see him next.
*Joke
** Sorry Jen, Lucy, Keira, Chloe and all netballers. Please forgive me.

After that match Steve then took his place on the sidelines, ale and chip butty in hand (supreme athlete that he is,) to watch T1 take on Lions 1. Steve should have saved some of his drink to put out Caitlin Jackson-Corbett, who was on fire, scoring in her first match after her return from her extensive travels to the States….and Sheffield. On the subject of being on fire, Joseph was actually on FYAH!…..scoring  five lovely long rangers, complemented by the precise penalty performance of young Potter. Also burning up is Ross, who, after scoring two penalties, jetted off to Mexico with a sporren full of Factor 500 sun cream. A few scores apiece too for Molly, Rebecca and Big Nick, who tag teamed with Little Nick in this one, making way for him in the second half. I am sure there are some jokes to be made there about World Wrestling Entertainment tag teams but I will allow their children to come up with those (spandex shorts in my head now- ugh!) 16-13 victory to T1.

So we were all looking forward to the National League match against Nomads on Sunday, buoyed by recent successes and a mid-table league standing. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out, with Nomads taking a six-goal lead in the first half and holding on till the end. Every time we crept close, they would invariably pop one down the other end – often via their two main, very tall threats. We had plenty of impressive shooting from Matt, Andy and Toby but the boys cancelled each other out and our normal feeding and running game was affected by their defensive rebounding experience (and height.) There’s only so much tangling and twerking one can do under the post to find a defending position against the opponents’ veteran post-huggers. There was some very impressive shooting from Matt, Andy and Dutchie….and some expert flailing of arms and indignant grunting from Liv to underline her claims to a penalty (invariably given.) We lost 20-24 but at least Lia got a coveted Hollywood handshake for her cookies. There is just something special about her butter/pudding mix combo that produces a really unique and delicious chocolate chip delight. If you’ve never tried them, I absolutely encourage you to do so. Eagerly anticipating the next baked treat.

There was a SERL match afterwards against Bearsted 2 too. It had all the hallmarks of a classic encounter of a bygone era; old Korfheads showed up for a possible game (or just to escape the house) and 2 Unlimited were blaring out of the speakers. Unfortunately, the anticipated rave turned into a wet afternoon of soggy chips at the seaside as Bearsted had depleted numbers and forfeited the match. However, this did allow TGV (Thomas A Grand Vitesse) Northfield to return to the hallowed boards as an honorary Bearsted player and get his korfing mojo back after a recent sabbatical. As he faced off against his older brother James, one could think of Williams v Williams in Tennis, Klitschko v Klitscho in Boxing or that classic 70s TV couple, Jonathan and Jennifer Hart from ‘Hart to Hart’ (And when they met, it was Mmmoydoy’ – doing my best to educate you all here.) Family rivalries were also in evidence in the battle of the Bearsted boys Haggart v Haggart – not some Scottish face-off, detective psychodrama but ex-Bearsted boy and current Tiger Rob against his brother. It was like Liam v Noel Gallagher, with a little more panache, better language and handshakes at the end. Not sure what the score was though, if indeed it counts.

T4 played again on Sunday evening – against V3 – and we had another debut – this time for Leo, who scored 4. No slow starter there. Start as you mean to go on, young man! Luka wasn’t having any of that show-boating malarkey though, bagging himself 4 of his own. Of course, Ella would have something to say about that with the nicest goal of the lot, as would Zoe – the expert executor of penalties and shoddy defending. Crouch, spring and fling the ball as mightily as she could manage, Frances did everything but score in this match – smiling all the way through as brightly as her as her bicycle headlights and hi-viz jacket. Second half sub Chloe continued on her crash induction to Korfball and is already passing the ball around with the outside arm, the Netballer slowly becoming the Korfballer. Max put himself about, blondely going where not enough people have gone before – into the feed. He is certainly an important cog in the T4 machine, setting everyone else up. Seven more for Nick too, who was up against it in this one and cut his finger near the end for his efforts. He’ll be out of action for a while till it gets kissed better. T4 won by an awful lot – 18-2 or thereabouts.

T2 played V2 after that. We were looking forward to the visit of Jerram Dawes, who is lining up for his old club this season. Jerram apparently had visitors and couldn’t make it. I suspect he saw the opposition and though better of facing up to his Irish nemesis in battle (although he had shot-clocked two matches earlier, to be fair.) The job of leading V2 was left to Dom McDonald – a wily veteran who knows his onions. And so it was that T2 snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in this one, not really giving it full gas for the whole match (food still being digested, methinks) and paying the price at the end as the visitors launched a few sneak attacks. Sarah, Betsy and Billy ran in a few; Rachel plucked up the courage to shoot (and scored,) whilst Sam whizzed about against an even younger fella, who marvelled at his tricks….and promptly tried a few of his own. He didn’t score as many as Sam’s four but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Ollie grows mightier with each match and he is still only 13. I can only pity his future opponents – a fine prospect indeed. 14-15 the final agonizing score there against an opponent that rolled with the punches and took their chances when they came, accompanied by very vocal support. This dents T2’s promotion hopes slightly, leaving them behind City 4 and, rather oddly, behind T4 too….and there was poor Steve on the subs bench itching to get on and add to his Friday hat-trick – shorts and all.

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