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Weekly Update – Mon 19 March 2018

Phew! We need to sit down and catch our breath after that National League encounter yesterday.

There we all were, sitting comfortably with flasks of hot beverages, assorted confectionery, hot water bottles and front-row seats, looking forward to some nice, relaxing and successful Sunday afternoon korfball against visitors (and fellow, newly-promoted and one-place-above-us-in-the-table-and-any-other-unnecessary-hyphenated-adjectival-phrase-you-can-think-of) Birmingham City. The gallery upstairs was full of onlookers and the front row benches were crammed with Korfing movers and shakers, just like a Milan fashion show. Queen of the Catwalk (and Kitchen) Rebecca West showed up suitably late, with her personal assistant in tow (her mother, the Grand Dowager West of England Korfball.) Many Korf ‘Ultras’ were unwilling to miss this key date on the fixture calendar, flying in from all parts – even Holland. They watched it all go to plan in the first half: an 8-6 lead belied the dominance of Tigers, who were mixing the Clarke shots and Adamson runners in attack with a defensive masterclass that restricted the visitors to relatively few shots at all. It’s only a shame that the game wasn’t put away in those first 30 minutes, Jenny in particular cutting a smiley swathe through the heart of the Brum defence, butchering gleefully as she skipped and sang her way through the flailing blue bodies. The plan at the start of the second half was clear: get a few early goals and maintain the lead thereafter.

Erm, that didn’t quite work out. Young Toby had to come off to rest a nagging injury and Brum got their defence and rebounding better-organised. After a number of unsuccessful attacks, one or two missed chances/passes and an increase in urgency from the opposition, we were, to the disbelieving eyes of the Tigers faithful, 13-10 down with minutes to go. Bottom lips were wobbling, eyes were misting over, mouths were agape.  ‘This wasn’t supposed to happen’ sobbed Jonny and Gracie into their phones on the sidelines. Now, earlier in the season, Coach Christopher insisted that we do some serious free-pass training as we kept getting caught out by other teams and we needed to be more dangerous at these set pieces. Well, you reap what you sow and now was the time for those fruits to bloom. At 11-13 down and about three minutes to go, up stepped young Skywalker Dawes to show us the Force of the Free Pass that flows through his ice-cold veins. Smack! The ball hits the back of the basket and the roar goes up from the benches. 12-13! People start fanning themselves as the temperature goes up a degree. Jerram can barely keep his tripod from falling over. Another attack! Another runner! PEEP! The whistle goes for another free pass! A hush settles. Eyes closed and the force flows through the Dawes veins. Up….and IN! A giant exclamation mark rises up through the Perse ceiling as the caretaker comes out to have a look at what’s going on. The throat sweets are dished out on the sidelines as voices start going hoarse. 13-13 with a minute to go! That’ll do. Just keep the defence nice and tight now and we’ll take a point. Niiice and tight in defence now Tigers, Niiice and tiiight……

……..and Brum score. Sigh. 13-14 with half a minute to go. The Dutch contingent shake their heads in disbelief at this wacky game of ours. ‘Why can’t we just score 30 goals instead?’ they ask. Oh. Well, various reasons. Off we go again. One final attack. Thunderous movement. Up steps the West feed! In goes the Adamson runner! PEEP! Another free pass! Good Lord!. How did we manage that in three minutes and why couldn’t we do that for the previous 27 minutes of the half? Anyhow, as we have mentioned Star Wars previously and as Lia is the free pass taker in her division….up steps Princess Lia (yep, sorry Lia) to put that ball where it belongs – right down Jabba the Korf’s gullet and that is that! The whistle blows seconds later and various people stare at each other in silence. Except young Jasper, who’s straight onto the court to get the ball off his mummy to practice some shooting. That’ll be the Dutch genes. 14-14 and a valuable point for Tigers to take them two points clear of bottom spot and a step closer to safety. Same again (or one better) on Saturday in Birmingham for the return fixture please.
The only other news to share is the defeat of the SERL team in the match before to a very experienced and well-drilled City side. City won comfortably and are looking for a promotion league spot for next year. If they keep that team together then we may be playing Premier League against them soon. Wouldn’t that be competitive? Shouts out to ex-under 14s Gracie and Jonny and to birthday girl Keira for scoring (she is also no longer under 14) and to Hana, making the step up and performing solidly. Special shout out to Cozzo, the new Godfather of the Shot-clock and his Mini-Me sitting by his side, playing with Tom’s toy cars, much to his annoyance (vroom vroom) – young master MacDonald, in actual fact, keeping an eye on his refereeing father. We also have to congratulate our Under-14s for winning gold in the U-14 National League this season – undefeated and weighed down with talent. Well done to you all and work on those free passes, now. You never know when you will need them.

T2 – you’re up! Mid-week fixture at Phoenix is in store for you (can you emulate the Clift-off from the previous week?) and NL/SERL teams have another busy weekend on the road. Just some advanced warning for you that the Perse is closed for Easter holidays on Easter week so there will be no training on Wed 04 April. It is likely that the last indoor training of the season will be Wed 16 May and the first outdoor training (at CUP CASS Centre, as usual) will be Wed 06 June. We are also currently trying to re-schedule the SERL away fixture against Norwich Ice to Sat 07 April. That’s TBC.

Thu, 22-Mar-2018 2125 P3 v T2 Cambridge Regional College
Sat, 24-Mar-2018 1300 BIRM v TIG1 Woodcock Sports Centre
Sun, 25-Mar-2018 1145 TROJ v TIG1 Trinity School Sports Centre
Sun, 25-Mar-2018 1245 TIG2 v NICE Perse School for Boys
Sun, 25-Mar-2018 1900 T3 v C4 Perse School for Boys
Sun, 25-Mar-2018 2000 T2 v P2 Perse School for Boys
Sat, 07-Apr-2018 tbc NICE v TIG2 UEA Sportspark
Sun, 08-Apr-2018 1200 NKTS v TIG1 UEA Sportspark
Sun, 08-Apr-2018 1330 NKTS2 v TIG2 UEA Sportspark
Sun, 08-Apr-2018 1600 C3 v T2 Hills Road Sixth Form College

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