Representatives from all 3 Cardiff city teams joined together as “the grass snakes” to do battle at the first ever Gloucester tournament. With stunning Korfballing weather, a good mix of opposition and the ever trusty Wales gazebo, the day was shaping up to be almost perfect. The only question that remained was whether our playing could live up to expectations…
Setting aside the disappointment of a below-average performance at the Oxford tournament two weeks earlier the team got stuck in straight away, with three consecutive victories giving them a good position within the pool. It wasn’t all plain sailing though, and a meeting with old-time rivals Exeter soon put an end to the run of wins. Desperately hoping to salvage a top pool position out of the loss it was Birmingham Uni who we came up against next. Unfortunately, the best we could manage from this game was a draw and it was in a somewhat sombre mood that we headed for lunch.Â
After a quick break our spirits had soon been lifted. Julie,Â Stu and Max embarked on a “who can eat a donut fastest”Â competition, with Max coming out tops with his now legendry “all in one” move.
Matt entertained the troops with his Korfball juggling exploits (it was firmly established that more practice is required), and Elaine came up trumps as usual with a three million calorie chocolate cake. This was all topped off, at the end of our lunch break, with the discovery that despite our performance in the last two games of the morning, we had indeed been placed in the top pool for the play-offs… the challenge was on!
The afternoon started well, with an easy victory over our first opponents. Our hopes rose even more with a second victory and the news that Exeter, the old rivals who had won the last tournament we had entered, and beaten us once already during the morning, had been knocked out out by Birmingham Uni. We were starting to imagine that we might actually get to the final. A further convincing victory in the semis sealed it and we were suddenly in a position where we could actually win!
During the day the team had pulled together well, and this began to really pay dividends as the tournament final commenced. This was our second meeting with the Birmingham Uni team (remember that we had only managed a draw against them earlier in the day), but this time the game was entirely different. The improvement in our play was apparent right from the start and by half time we had drawn out a 4-1 lead. The second half continued in much the same vein and an enthusiastic audience watched us sweep to a 7-1 victory at full time with Birmingham Uni never really getting a look-in.
Buoyed by our victory and in all-round good spirits we raced back to Cardiff and headed out into town to celebrate!