The grand season finale took place on Sunday between CaNKorf Express and Castle Dragons (1st and 2nd place in the league)….
……The tone was set as soon as we arrived with the relevation that earlier calculations (I had calculated they probably needed to win by a 20 goal difference to take the title off us) were incorrect- a draw with one of the Keele teams earlier in the season meant Dragons could never take the league title, but were determined to make us cry by trying to snatch the last victory from our grasps (or in Alistair’s words “at least draw to pee you off!”).
With those words ringing in our ears, Captain Stu went up to shake hands with Jon (ref) and Alistair (Dragons Captain) and came back to report that they were shooting “that way!”, we split into two divisions, Stu with Amy (Flyers), Michela and Anthony and myself with James (sub Dave half time), Alex (Flyers) and Kevin. Stu’s division headed off for first attack and with a blow of Jon’s whistle, we were off! Dragons put together a strong side with experienced Emily, Julia, Mike and Hugh all taking first attack; Christine, Clare, Alistair and Reuben pitting themselves against our attack.
Despite a few set backs (bloody shots refusing to drop through the ring) we soon pulled ahead (slightly) of a fierce opposition, the score throughout the first half nudging one goal by goal towards half time. After what seemed like the longest 30 minutes in history (I did accuse Jon of inventing a time machine) Express eventually nudged to a comfortable 5 goal lead at half time, putting the scoreline at 10-5 with goals coming from a variety of players.
The half time atmosphere was relaxed, but determined. Captain Stu gave some advice to individual players and Kevin came up with a masterplan for attacking down his end- the cheeky coach changed the scoreboard to 0-65 to Castle at a request for the score from one of the players.
After a substitution (Dave on for James), the players took to the court once again looking to block any sneaky Dragon comebacks and knowing full well that victory wasn’t ours yet! About 4 minutes into the second half, Julia got injured in the finger with a suspected break and had to sit off to ice and rest it- meaning Dragons were a player short in their attacking division. Emily and the boys fought hard to overcome their disadvantge and after a tense few minutes, Julia eventually requested to come back on with tape on the injured fingers and the game resumed full pelt!
The second half clinched it for Express, managing to close down Dragons to only 2 goals let in and scoring a decent 8 ourselves gave the League Champions a final score of 18-7 against second placed (and hard fought) Castle Dragons. Notable scorers: Kev, Michela, Dave, Alex, Stu, Ant, Eleanor. Special thanks to Alex and Amy, borrowed from Flyers.