Despite a horribly early start (for a Saturday) eight Cardiff City players made their way to Bristol for the annual Bristol City Korfball Tournament. The spotlight was on us, Cardiff City having won the tournament twice already in its short eight year history. Despite numerous complaints that the sun wasn’t as scorching as ordered (it was only 9:30 in the morning) we warmed up for our first match of the day…

The result wasn’t entirely as expected, despite an experienced Cardiff team we were soundly put in our place by a decisive (if not athletic-looking) Norwich Ice team.
Defeated and somewhat disappointed to have started in this fashion we retired to the Gazebo to lick our wounds and contemplate our tactics for the next match. Horfield would prove to be more predicable foes, us having met them numerous times in the past and having a much better idea of who to watch out for. The sun came up and our game picked up, giving us as 3-1 victory over the Bristol-based team.
Despite our first-game jitters the morning continued in fine fashion with victories over Bristol City 2 and Basingstoke. A 2-0 defeat of Oxford Isis left us with four wins under our belt by lunchtime and only the morning’s niggling loss to dull our spirits.

After the lunchtime break the pressure was really on. Our morning wins had put us in the top pool, despite our initial defeat. Our first opponents, Manchester were put in their place with a 2-0 victory. This win was followed shortly by a battle with Reading, with a much closer, but still victorious 4-3 score-line.

So it was with some disbelief (but a little bit of pride) that we discovered ourselves at the end of the day limbering up for the final. Luckily our early morning hiccup hadn’t been enough to tip the tables against us and we’d made it all the way through to the final two teams. Unfortunately for us, so had our very first rivals of the day… Norwich Ice. A thoroughly entertaining final ensued, but in the end (and much as I hate to admit it) the better team won, with Norwich defeating us 6-1. Never-the less, our second-place position was well deserved amongst the 24 teams present on the day. And we can proudly say that Cardiff City’s reputation at the Bristol tournament remains intact. Bring on next year . . . .

Bristol Tournament