This weekend, we had many Lakers players taking part in the EKA Inter-Area tournament – playing against some of the best players in the Country.
The tournament was held at the WildCats arena in Nottingham – on almost full size courts, which makes a huge difference from the courts we are used to! (imagine that we usually play on a court that is 4 badminton courts LONG, well a full size court is 3 badminton courts WIDE) Plus all games were under the shot clock which just added to the pressure.
The team was made up of Lakers, Bucks and Harrow players (but the majority were Lakers!)
We arrived and were placed in our initial pool with Kent and Oxfordshire. So two teams an opposite ends of the scale, Kent have one of the most successful korfball areas in the UK and Oxfordshire, similar to us in SMKA are just looking to enter regional teams. We faced Kent first, which proved to be an interesting encounter – our first game as a team on a huge court, with a shot clock and against one of the best teams in the Country! Yay!
Anyway, we actually didn’t do badly, losing 8-2 with a great long shot from my myself (Jeni) and Emma landing a great drop off shot. It was a hard fought game and players not used to playing on the large court or under the shot clock really were feeling it by the end.
Our second game against Oxfordshire was critical, especially after their narrow win against us in the pre-tournament a couple of weeks ago. It proved to be equally hard fought with only a single (penalty) goal in the game scored by Dan – the division in defence played an absolute blinder of a game – spending the full game in defence and limiting Oxford to few shots. So our first (and last!) win of the tournament came against our closest rivals but a knackering 1-0 win!
That win, however, managed to take us out of the bottom pool for the afternoons games, firstly competing against another strong team in the South West – combining some of the Welsh International team from Bristol Thunder. Probably the most physical game of the day saw lots of elbows and flying tackles going around and a disappointing 8-1 loss. Next up, another strong side taking on the home team of East Midlands. This was probably the best game of the day, playing against some of the top players in the Country – (coach John claimed that one girl brought on was the best female korfer in the UK)! This match was super close in the early stages, with goals going in both ends, a super turn and shoot from Jeni and a really love long shot from sub mark kept us in contention. Dan unfortunately then missed a penalty (so close!) which would have evened the game up at 4 all. East mids, then took control, bringing on some super subs to see the game out 6-3 – however, we came off so disappointed having played exceptionally well.
Although only winning one game all day, we were not in the bottom pool, enabling us to face the North West and West Midlands for places 5-7 overall.
The North West, now managed by Kevin Moss were a very strong side, but it ended in our highest scoring game with 4 goals scored! Unfortunately we lost 4-6, but it was a really great performance.
Our last game of the day saw us take on West Midlands, littered with a few National League players from Birmingham. To be honest, this game came after over an hours break from the previous game and I think fatigue and lack of play time together was starting to show. We lacked pace and clarity in passing and went down 8-1. Everyone came off the court exceptionally tired and ready for home time!
Considering the talent in the arena, the team did very well to place 7th overall. It was a long day but enjoyed by all and we can only get better as a team as the SMKA becomes stronger.
Huge thank you’s must go to John – our coach, Toby for reffing for SMKA and Jo for coming along as our shot clock operator. Much appreciated guys.
Jeni (4), Emma (1), Nicki, Mark (1), Ron (1), Dan (1), Jimmy
Kat (1 – Bucks) Mandy (Bucks), Lizzie (1 – Harrow), Marcus (Harrow), Harry (Harrow)
[Currently missing a couple of scorers, will update ASAP)