Match Reports   Season 2015/16

Sunday May 8th 2016 - Regional League Playoffs

And so it arrived, on probably the hottest, sunniest day of the year, 13 players, 1 coach and 5 supporters set off to City Academy (a sports hall which is hot in the middle of winter!) for the regional league playoffs. After prizing us away from a sunny park, Claire delivered a team-talk worthy of Sir Alex Ferguson... apparently we weren't here to have fun, we were here to win! Game-faces were on, warm up was done, and so it began.

Game 1: Exeter vs Farnborough Jets

A nervy start from both sides saw no-one really trouble the Korf for the first 5 minutes, but after Farnborough opened the scoring, Hannah hit back quickly from long range and the game was on. A running in shot from Ian and drop-off from Rob gave Exeter the lead, but both sides were struggling to convert ample opportunities, and a reply from Farnborough left the score 3-2 at half-time.

A running in shot from Hazel opened the 2nd half well for Exeter, but then discipline got the better of us and two penalties from Farnborough levelled things up, before they even took the lead. But another running in shot from Hazel got things back on track, before a running in shot from Lisa and long range effort from Ian re-opened Exeter's two goal advantage. Then disaster struck - captain Hazel went down injured - but we weren't a team, we were a squad! On came Rosie and promptly assisted Alan for a running in shot to stretch Exeter's lead to 3 with as many minutes remaining. Farnborough got one back, but a final running in shot from Danny gave Exeter a deserved 9-6 victory! 1 down 2 to go... after 20 minutes sat outside in the shade trying to cool down!

Scorers: Ian 2, Hazel 2, Hannah, Rob, Lisa, Alan, Danny

Game 2: Exeter vs Cardiff City

Playing any team from Wales often means playing a Welsh international, and sure enough one opened up the scoring early on. But a penalty from a fully recovered Hazel and one from Lisa put Exeter into the lead, although it was short lived as Cardiff hit back to re-take the lead. A short shot from Hazel brought it back to all square, before the heat took its first victim of the day - Lisa collapsing with cramp and having to be unceremoniously removed from the pitch! It was Annabelle's turn to join the fray, but sadly the only matter of note before half-time was another Cardiff goal to make it 3-4.

Some half-time tactical genius from Claire brought Alan on for Ian to dominate the collect, and sure enough he did leading to an instant goal from Rob to level things up again. Both sides were getting tense now - Cardiff knew they had to win to keep their hopes alive, Exeter knew that a win would surely see them promoted - and the play got a bit frantic with Cardiff again taking the lead before some great interplay between Hannah and James lead to a goal from Hannah to level things up again. Cardiff again took the lead, before Claire called a time out, brought Ian back on for an exhausted Rob and delivered her instructions for the final 10 minutes. A classic running in shot from Alan levelled things up again, before a short shot from James and running in shot from Joel sealed an 8-6 win for Exeter in a dramatic final few minutes. Word from the other pitch was that a second win for Raptors meant that it was all over - Exeter were promoted!!

Scorers: Hazel 2, Lisa, Rob, Hannah, Alan, James, Joel

Game 3: Exeter vs Cardiff Raptors

A dead rubber, both sides already promoted, nothing to play for, time for a nice run around for those with some energy left and a rest for those with none. Sadly no one told Claire, who was still insistent that we were here to win 3 from 3. Rising to the challenge, with less than 5 seconds on the clock, a one-handed running in shot from Joel set things in motion. In the very next Exeter attack, a drop off from Rosie made it 2-0, and 2 minutes later after running in shots from Danny and Ian, Exeter were 4-0 up and Raptors didn't know what had hit them! A reply from Raptors briefly stopped the rot, but a long range effort from Alan and another running in shot from Ian kept Exeter pulling away. And when Raptors managed to drag it back to 6-3, Exeter went berzerk; a long range goal from Rosie, drop off from Ian, runner from Annabelle and short shot from Hazel made it 10-3, still with only 13 minutes on the clock! The pace continued to be manic for the remainder of the 1st half, and Raptor goals were interspersed with long range goals from Matt and Alan, to leave the score 12-5 at half time.

Game over? Nope, time for another coaching masterclass from Claire: "No smiling, no quitting, I WANT TO DRAG YOU OFF GOD DAMMIT" was the half time team talk! I'm not sure whether Exeter were shell shocked or just trying to wind the coach up, but Raptors opened up the 2nd half with 3 quick goals, before we got going again. The newly named "pirouette" shot from Joel was followed by a penalty from Alan and brilliant running in shot from Annabelle, after selling the biggest dummy ever to a Welsh international. A brief moment of madness from the referee wrongly awarded Exeter the next goal, after Ian cheekily lobbed the ball into the basket whilst the shot-clock was buzzing. Time for some mass substitutions to distract from the controversy - Rob on for Ian, James on for Joel, Steve on for Alan, Hannah on for Hazel - only Danny was deemed hardcore enough to play every minute of the day! And although Raptors scored a few goals during the final minutes, the substitutes did their thing, with a runner from James and long shot from Hannah ensuring that Exeter scored more goals in the final game than they had in the first two. An amazing 18-12 victory, with 10 (of 12) players on the scoresheet - regional league here we come!!

Scorers: Ian 4, Alan 3, Joel 2, Rosie 2, Annabelle 2, Danny, Hazel, Matt, James, Hannah


Saturday 12th March 2016 - SuperSaturday

Exeter 2 vs Bristol Thunder 3
And so we arrived at the final weekend of the season, and first up was a match that frankly deserved much higher billing - SWKL2's as-yet unbeaten champions vs Exeter 2, the last team to go through an entire season without tasting defeat. Despite this and things yet to come, Exeter seemed intent on injuring each other - Ian was repaid for throwing a ball into Danny's face by getting hit himself by one thrown from Joel, and then Annabelle thought the warm up was a good time to break a finger. Fortunately the ref was a doctor, and after constructing a makeshift splint, the game could begin.

As seems to be the way for Exeter 2 these days, Michelle opened the scoring with a running in shot, but Thunder 3 aren't unbeaten for no reason and quickly equalised. A penalty from Annabelle was quickly cancelled out, as were short shots from Michelle and Tony, leaving it 4-4 mid-way through the first half. More short shots from Michelle and Alex opened up a two goal lead for Exeter, but this only served to annoy Thunder, who upped their game and scored 3 goals in succession to leave Exeter 6-7 down at half-time.

The ping-pong nature of the match continued after half time, with Michelle equalising from the penalty spot, before a long-shot from Tony was once again cancelled out by Thunder to leave the score 8-8. With any luck, this match would be Exeter's dose of tension for the day! A long shot from Steve, short shot from Alex and 2nd penalty from Annabelle gave Exeter a commanding 3 goal lead, but once again, slowly but surely, Thunder chipped away at this and before we knew it, things were all square at 11-11. Lisa could hardly watch from the bench!

But this Exeter 2 side is made of stronger stuff, and sure enough a lovely running-in shot from Debs shifted the momentum back towards us, and a long shot from Tony stretched Exeter's lead with just minutes remaining. Then, as the final whistle was about to blow, Exeter were awarded a penalty, which Michelle duly dispatched to give us a 14-11 win. The achievement of inflicting Thunder 3's first defeat of the season cannot be understated, and shows how far Exeter 2 have come since the 20-8 demolition that was inflicted on them at the hands of Thunder 3 earlier in the season.

The vote for female MVP went unanimously to Michelle for her 5 goals, whilst the male vote was split between Tony (home) and Steve (away) for some excellent all around play. What followed now was an agonising 3 hour wait for the results of Exeter Uni and Taunton to determine our fate. Sadly both teams won their matches, which left Exeter 2 in a respectable 4th place - one better than last year and just 2 points behind 2nd. If only a few of those single goal defeats earlier in the season had been single goal victories!! Well played to everyone who has represented the 2nds this season; next year, the title will be ours...

Scorers: Michelle 5, Tony 3, Annabelle 2, Alex 2, Steve, Deb
MVPs: Michelle, Tony/Steve

Finally, it was time for the season finale. The maths was simple - a point for Exeter would leave us champions, but defeat would mean a win for Bristol Uni would see them champions. The crowds were gathering, the tension was building, this would surely be a high point in the career of referee Steve Jones - the previous biggest match he'd officiated was Netherlands vs Belgium(!)

It's fair to say the opening encounters were dominated by the players getting used to a very different style (and quality) of refereeing. Gloucester took an early lead with a penalty, shortly to be cancelled out by our own penalty from Alan. Danny then showed the benefits of a weeks worth of shooting practice on Newquay beach, with a long-shot and mid-range effort giving Exeter a 2 goal lead. But then two more Gloucester penalties squared things up at 3-3. Their first goal from open play gave Gloucester the lead, before a long range effort from Ian brought it back to 4-4. Another Gloucester penalty (STOP DOING THAT!!!) once again gave them the lead, before Alan again equalised for Exeter from the penalty spot.

Now the early penalty shoot-out was over, it was time for some Korfball to break out. A long shot again gave Gloucester the lead, but Exeter were hanging in well, with another equaliser from Ian, this time a drop-off. If you couldn't guess the pattern by now, Gloucester scored, Alan equalised, Gloucester scored, Lisa equalised, no-one was able to take command and half-time arrived with the score at 8-8. Some spectators dashed off to find out how the Bristol Uni match was going, and wouldn't you believe it, they were also drawing 8-8!

But Exeter hadn't come this far to lose it now, and came out after half time with all guns blazing. Long shots from Alan and Joel gave Exeter the biggest lead of the match so far, and running in shots from Lisa and Danny swiftly followed to give Exeter a 4 goal lead. We've been here before; don't panic this time! Gloucester got one back but then Exeter decided it was time to finish things off in style. A short shot from Joel, another runner from Danny and a penalty from Lisa effectively took the game beyond Gloucester. But we weren't done yet. A Rob-special (shooting from feed) by Alan was quickly followed by a long shot from Rob, another runner from Alan and a basketball style long-range effort from Joel, who had now firmly settled into his Exeter 1 début. A running in shot from Ian was to be Exeter's last goal of this game (hopefully not the season!). The scoresheet failed to note that amid some of this showboating near the end Gloucester scored a few goals of their own, making the final score 20-13 to Exeter.

The score in the other hall (a Bristol Uni win) was of no consequence - the title was ours!! Huge congratulations to everyone who has contributed towards this - not just those who played matches, but the entire club, this is for everyone to enjoy. Sadly that means the season is not yet over, as we need now to prepare for a playoff, which if successful will see Exeter playing in the 2nd tier of English Korfball. The MVPs on the day were unsurprisingly Alan and Danny, for contributing half of Exeter's goals between them, but we should also give a mention to Joel who stepped up admirably from the 2nd team in our hour of need - the strength in depth within the club is starting to become scary!!

Scorers: Alan 6, Danny 4, Ian 3, Lisa 3, Joel 3, Rob
MVPs: Danny & Alan


Saturday 27th February 2016 - Home 

Exeter 3 vs Exeter Uni 3

Derby day in Exeter could never have been a more important one; City with the chance of sealing two league titles and still in the hunt for SWKL2 promotion, whilst the Uni themselves were also hunting for SWKL2 promotion and still had a mathematical chance of the SWKL1 title.

First up was the 3rd team match, or as it has become for City this season, "newbies and veterans", with two founding members of City and one former chairman taking to the pitch. And it was Charlie herself who opened the scoring with a beautiful long shot, showing that she's lost none of her talent. Shortly after, James D fed Sarah for a lovely running in shot to prove that the new players were not to be outdone. Youth and experience then combined fantastically as Chelsea set up Alex for a nice drop-off shot before the Uni got themselves on the scoresheet. Despite the ropey refereeing from Ian, City continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over, with short shots from Tony and Alex separated by the Uni's 2nd of the match. Alex then repaid the earlier assist by setting up Chelsea for her opening goal in the sport! Another goal from Tony and one from Kev ensured that City went into half-time with an 8-4 lead.

A change of referee brought Rosie into charge, and Helen replaced Holly, who had to dash off to work after an excellent first ever half of Korf - we hope to see plenty more from her next season. Charlie and Tony added more goals to City's tally, before Chelsea slotted away the second goal of her career from short range. The Uni were struggling a bit in the 2nd half, and more goals from Kev and Tony put the game well beyond them. A final goal from Tony was courtesy of James D's 4th assist of the game, in what was a dominant performance in feed and collect from him. With the final whistle blowing at 14-4 to City, that was job one done for the day as City became inaugural champions of SWKL3 - well played everyone!!

Some great performances all around, not just today but all season long, show that the future of ECKC is in safe hands. The vote for female MVP went to Chelsea, who had an excellent début and looked like she'd been playing for years. The male vote went to Kev, for some brilliant support play and a couple of useful goals.

Scorers: Tony 5, Charlie 2, Alex 2, Chelsea 2, Kev 2, Sarah
MVPs: Chelsea and Kev

Exeter 2 vs Exeter Uni 2
Out for revenge after a narrow defeat earlier in the season, City 2 started quickly against Uni 2 with a long shot from Michelle and running in shots from Steve and Reece only separated by a dubious Uni penalty. But the Uni are always dangerous from long range, and two long shots brought them right back into it at 3-3. But anything they can do... a goal from Steve from what the scoresheet describes as "very downtown" started a fantastic period of play for City. Some lovely running in shots from Michelle and Annabelle separated two more goals from Steve, the 2nd of which was assisted by Joel from the other end of the pitch in a move the Harlem Globetrotters would be proud of! The Uni tried to respond, but some more running in shots from Joel and Reece meant City went into the break with a 10-6 lead.

City weren't messing around in the 2nd half. Another running in shot from Michelle and two penalties from Steve (contributing to his ever mounting goal tally) stretched the City lead to 6 goals, before the Uni pulled two back to keep things interesting. Another long shot from you know who and a beautiful drop-off from Rosie brought the lead back to 6, and despite the game being pretty much over, City continued pushing right to the end. A penalty from Annabelle, another short shot from Rosie and a final goal from Steve gave City an 18-11 win, and ensured that, mathematically at least, 2nd place and the SWKL2 playoff was still within their reach on Super Saturday.

Some fantastic all round play from Helen, still going strong after an hour and a half of Korf, gave her the home vote for MVP, whilst Michelle took the away vote for another stellar performance. Steve unanimously took the male vote for his outstanding 8 goals. We must also take this opportunity to bid farewell to Reece, who played his last game for ECKC as he departs for pastures new in London (if we approve the transfer - we're still negotiating the transfer fee!) - 15 goals, 3 MVPs and 2 wins as captain - a great season!

Scorers: Steve 8, Michelle 3, Reece 2, Annabelle 2, Rosie 2, Joel
MVPs: Helen/Michelle, Steve

Exeter 1 vs Exeter Uni 1
Having watched and waited all day, it was now up to the 1sts to cap off a perfect day. We welcomed back Hazel into the team after a month out with illness, and she was quick to make up for lost time, scoring 2 running in shots to give City a welcome 2-0 lead. But the Uni long shots were as dangerous as ever, and a few minutes later it was back to 2-2 and up to Hazel to score her 3rd of the day. Two goals from the Uni game them the lead, before Rob equalised with a short rebound shot. Hannah gave City the lead before the Uni again equalised and again took the lead for themselves. Just after Lisa scored the 5th equaliser of the match, captain James called a time-out and told City that we now had the opportunity to start again - keep calm and play good Korfball... A penalty from Alan and Hazel's 4th of the game got things re-started for City, making it 8-6 just before the half-time whistle blew.

The half-time rest benefited City more than Uni, and shortly after two running in shots from Lisa and Ian opened up a 4 goal lead for City. Whilst the bench got excited at the prospect of what this could mean, the players got tense - it must be nearly full time, surely?? What felt like an eternity passed with neither side scoring, both sides knowing that the next goal would be key. It fell to the Uni, but Hazel was quick to respond and keep City their 4 goal lead. This brought the Uni's most dangerous player into attack, who quickly drained two long shots, and another Uni goal brought them within 1 before James restored some calm to the City ranks with a long range effort.

As we entered the final 10 minutes, the pace of the game got even faster (if that was even possible!). A Uni goal was quickly responded to by Danny from short range, but then the inevitable happened; two more Uni goals and things were all square with just minutes remaining. A long shot from Danny again put City back into the lead, before the Uni again equalised. A tense final couple of minutes saw both sides miss opportunities to win it, but when the final whistle blew the game ended all square at 14-14. A clearly tactical decision on behalf of City to ensure that there would be some interesting, title-deciding matches on Super Saturday...

Both benches were unanimous in their choice of MVP. Hazel took the female award for her 5 goals, and somehow managing to play the whole 60 minutes despite the lack of match-fitness. And James took the male vote for a brilliant captains performance in both defence and attack, plus his usual 1 goal!

Scorers: Hazel 5, Lisa 2, Danny 2, Rob, Hannah, Alan, Ian, James
MVPs: Hazel and James


Saturday 6th February 2016 - Home

Exeter 3 vs Taunton Soul 3

After the injury crisis and eligibility drama of last week, a legal, and very experienced third team took to the floor, tasked with getting the ball rolling for Exeter on a day that would surely test everyone’s korfing ability, and patience.
The opponents were an equally experienced and organised Taunton who quickly opened the scoring, before James D assisted captain Tony for a short shot, bringing Exeter level. Charlie added a short shot of her own to swiftly shift momentum in Exeter’s favour. However, an aggressive Taunton pulled themselves level and after some cagey play by both sides, took the lead.
The game was proving to be both an interesting watch and a good challenge for Sarah and Caroline: both holding their own with some effective play in all positions, despite having only recently taken up the sport - belissima. Each divisions persistence would be rewarded shortly as Tony added a drop-off goal - taken straight from Thursdays training session, and Joel then had the wind beneath his wings as he scored what surely must be the goal of the season!? The score sheet says, under type: ‘No idea! One handed in mid-air whilst turning and running away from the post’ which is about as accurate a description as we are likely to find.
Taunton equalised again before half-time saw Steve and Joel replaced by Will and Reece, all of the second team boys getting a thorough warm-up before their game later in the day. Taunton took the lead for the final time before Sarah fed James D for a running in shot to take it to 5-5. The change of ends brought the half-time subs into attack and whilst lots of shots were put up Exeter struggled to break the deadlock. However, never ever do Exeter give up, so victory would be ours! With not too long left on the clock Reece scored perhaps the most graceful goal of the season to Un-break my heart and edge Exeter in front. Some decent play followed but the score would remain 6-5.
A good game from the thirds, closer than close, with great performances from all and some good experience for Sarah and Caroline who are beginning to look at home in the sport. Thanks also go to Helen and Annabelle for stepping up to referee at the last moment.

Goal Scores: Tony (2), Charlie/Joel/James D/Reece (1)

Exeter 1 vs Taunton Soul 1

Aware of the threat Taunton pose from a long way out, an Exeter team – featuring Danny, who joins Steve in being the only players to feature for all three teams this season – set out with some tight defending. However, Taunton would break the deadlock, before a mid-range shot from Claire and running in shot from Danny put Exeter in front. Goals were exchanged quickly, with the visitors leveling before some bodyshakin’ play from Exeter saw two become one as Rob fed Lisa for a runner. Two Taunton goals followed, before Danny added her second with a short shot. Although Taunton would score another to lead 6-5 at the first time-out, the score sheet noted some fabulous play from Exeter - particularly Alan’s defending and Rob’s ability to cause chaos in the Taunton defence.
Play resumed at an intense pace, our belligerent guests extending their lead before the penalty King tucked one away. A Taunton goal proceeded a flurry from Exeter – Ian said con te partirò to his marker (a former England youth player) with a short shot/rebound, before a second penalty by Alan, who then quickly fed Hannah for a running in shot. These goals appeared to put Exeter in the driving seat. The agitators from the north would reply, but a long shot from Rob and a Hannah runner consolidated the well deserved lead of Exeter. The final few minutes before half time saw two away goals and we were suddenly in a position where you might need somebody to produce some magic. Up stepped Rob for his 100th goal for Exeter 1 (*fixtures live statistics, fight me), causing pandemonium on the bench, in the stands and in the commentary box…Half time score – Exeter 12 – 10 Taunton.
Unfortunately, the second half saw Taunton come out fighting, clearly not freed from desire, scoring four goals before Rob arrested the onslaught with a mid-range turn and shot from feed. The visitors however, had taken control of the game, scoring six goals in the next period to Exeter’s two – a rapid runner by Danny (assisted by Matt) and an Alan long shot. The home team’s recycling would dramatically improve as they attempted to snatch victory but despite mid-range goals from Hannah and Danny, a Taunton long shot would close out the game and hand the visitors a 20-17 victory.
Despite a first defeat of the season for the otherwise imperious first team- there just ain’t nobody better than Taunton at long shots – Exeter 1 remain in control of SWKA1. The team would take away some valuable lessons from the days’ game, and can be proud of the effort of each individual and the team as a collective. Rob and Danny were the stand out MVPs, both taking their opportunities to well in a challenging game. Special mention to Claire in her final game of the season as her and Hannah WJ embark on their honeymoon to my adopted homeland (can I third wheel? I need me some chicken rice and 30-degree heat) and Oz. From everybody at the club, have a fantastic time!

Goal Scorers: Danny/Rob (4), Hannah/Alan (3), Claire/Lisa/Ian (1)
MVPs: Danny and Rob

Exeter 2 vs Taunton Soul 2

After the disappointment of the 1sts first defeat of the season, the chance of this being a perfect day for Exeter had vanished, and the job of salvaging some respectability against Taunton, who are fast becoming our bogey team, was left to the 2nds. The early signs looked good, as Joel finished off a running in shot in trademark one-handed style. However, that was sadly as good as things got for Exeter 2. A full strength Taunton 1 side meant a very strong Taunton 2 side, boasting plenty of SWKL1 experience, were up for a fight in pursuit of their play-off place. Three quick goals from Taunton had Exeter rattled, before Michelle assisted Steve for a running in shot to pull one back for Exeter.
Despite two more goals from Taunton, a running in shot from Reece (can you see a theme developing on how Exeter would score yet?!) kept Exeter firmly in the fight. But as Taunton continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over, some brilliant play by Exeter was sadly interspersed by forgetting some of the basics, conceding possession and even goals due to rule infringements that some players have probably never done before in their lives. Half-time arrived with Exeter, a slightly undeserved, 3-8 down.
Inspired by the words of wisdom from coach Hazel, Exeter set off the second half at great pace. Another running in shot from Steve, again assisted by Michelle was quickly followed by a runner from Joel "I believe I can fly" Williams, for whom the laws of gravity appear to be no constraint. The problem with Taunton is that no matter how well you defend them, they are always dangerous from long range, and this talent saw them score 7 unreturned goals in a fifteen-minute spell that effectively sealed the result. Nonetheless Exeter don't give up, and could at least restore some pride with a few goals at the end. Joel scored a runner encore en fois, Reece combined with Annabelle to add another, before Exeter’s 8th successfully converted running in shot was finished off by Steve. The game ended at 18-8 to Taunton.
Hush, don't speak, move on and focus on the next game, Taunton were just too much today. There were still some great performances all around for Exeter, and the female MVP award went unanimously to Michelle for her "awesome assists" (so says the score sheet). The male vote was a repeat of the previous week, with Steve taking the home vote and Reece the away - both providing goals in moments on need, during this bitter sweet symphony. 

Scorers: Joel 3, Steve 3, Reece 2
MVPs: Michelle, Steve/Reece


Saturday 30th January 2016

When the fixtures were announced, the 30th January stood out instantly. Trying to organise two teams for matches in two different cities at exactly the same time was always going to prove a challenge, and true to form it didn't disappoint. Things started to come undone on Tuesday, when an at first glance comical collision between Steve's head and Tony's chest in training left one with concussion and the other with a cracked rib! Changes to selection continued to be made throughout the week, as a footballing injury for James D and Hazel's pneumonia ensured that any hopes of fielding a legal 3rd team disappeared, and doubts over Joel's well-being continued until Saturday morning.

Exeter 2 vs Thunder 4 (Bristol) and Exeter 1 vs Gloucester 2 (Gloucester)

Game day arrived and to say it was a chaotic morning for the second team would be an understatement. Matt and Rosie went to collect Reece from church – only not the one he was at. Similarly, Helen and Rachel were at different clock towers. Steve was concussed, Joel was out and Tony in, but oh no wait Joel was back in and Tony was going to Gloucester, although Lisa had already left without him? We had a couple of goes around a roundabout just before the M32 as the sat-nav gave up on us, but thankfully Michelle and Matt got a nine strong Exeter 2 to Bristol at 13.28 and 13.29. Breathe.

The first team enjoyed their much quicker journey to Gloucester, and had enough time to watch as Exeter Uni did something beautiful for us, beating Gloucester 1 and ensuring that a 1st team win would leave us 3 points clear at the top. Annabelle appeared like no misfit in the 1st team, scoring the opening goal with ease, before Alan scored a textbook long shot. Shortly after, Ian got clattered allowing Lisa to slot away from the penalty spot, and a running in shot from Rob K left us 4-0 up in no time at all.
Meanwhile in Bristol, Thunder were without a score-board (scandalous) and the first team absence made for a slightly eerie environment: the only noise being the sound of the underground. Steve the superstar opened the scoring with the seconds 100th goal of the season. Joel put away a runner and Matt stole a penalty which he scored with ease. Reece then planted his feet mid-run as Matt’s defender surge towards him, to add a mid-range goal.

But the rise and fall of Korf seemed to affect both sides simultaneously. Despite some great play and about a million opportunities, the 1sts were just unable to score, mustering a mere 4 more goals before half-time - at most half of what we were expecting! The first of which fell to Hannah from the penalty spot, and Claire also got her name on the scoresheet with Rob and Alan adding to their tallies.
What followed for the 2nds was something we needed like a hole in the head. Predictably, given the lack of boy substitutes, Joel rolled his ankle. An ice-applying time out was called and we hoped for a quick recovery. Reece then instructed his division not to let thunder score, but also not to intercept the ball until Joel was up and running. A couple of minutes later Rosie cleared and an injured Joel added a mid-range goal before Helen scored the perfect running-in shot. Another Matt penalty was followed by Reece executing one of Tuesdays one-handed runners – assisted by Rosie. Not to be outdone, Steve added a runner, meaning all four boys had scored twice as the team headed into half-time with thunder waving a white flag.

‘Are you okay?’, ‘Who wants to come off?’ and ‘We can go down to six’ were the only real discussions of half-time, but with various players having shaken off problems, Exeter 2 returned for the second spell with a full quota. Our temporary captain had challenged the ref to award Michelle free-passes for being held off during their half-time conversation so was understandably delighted to see exactly that happen immediately after the re-start. Steve scored said free-pass before thunder crashed the wedding by scoring their first goal. Debs evaded her marker to reply with a runner – assisted by Reece, before Steve added a long shot and Michelle made a quick dash from collect to add a mid-range goal.
Slightly further north in their second half, the 1sts continued to make hard work of dispatching a much improved Gloucester 2. Penalties from Alan and James kept the scoreboard ticking over, and a running in shot from Ian ensured that all 8 players had contributed to the meagre goal tally. But when Gloucester scored, it appeared to be the kick up the backside we needed and suddenly the floodgates opened. 4 from Alan, 2 from Lisa and one each from Claire and Rob ended a frantic last 15 minutes for Exeter, getting the score up to a vaguely respectable 19-2.

In Bristol a third Matt penalty put the game beyond a very inexperienced and unbelievably friendly thunder side, who by this point were asking ‘Where is the love?’. There would be joy for the home side though as one of their new players scored a really really long shot for her first goal, greeted by applause from both teams. Joel added a short shot – assisted by Helen who played a beautiful game, before thunder replied and some intricate play between Matt, Reece, Rosie and Deb saw the latter close the game with a goal from under the post.
It was perhaps not the giant goal-fest that the 1st team were expecting, but a potential banana-skin was safely avoided and it was feel good time as we now have a cushion at the top of the league. The Exeter and Gloucester benches were unanimous that coach Claire was the best Exeter lady on the pitch, whilst the male votes were split between Alan (home) for his goalscoring prowess, and James (away) for his constantly brilliant support play, assisting, and captaincy.

All-in-all a really good performance from the seconds. Attention turns to Taunton at the weekend (who, on Sunday, despite having all their teams playing in the same city, at home in fact, turned up late and forfeited their second team match. Cry me a river). Four wins from the remaining four games will see us into the play-offs, so let’s keep pushing! Home MVPs, courtesy of our scorekeeper Rachel J, were for Steve and Debs, whilst Reece and Michelle took the away votes. The goal scoring combinations of the three more experienced players sees them all hit 40 goals for Exeter 2 at the same time. Bravo!

MVPs 2: Debs/Michelle, Steve/Reece
MVPs 1: Alan/James, Claire

Goal Scorers 2: Steve (4), Matt/Joel (3), Reece/Debs (2), Michelle/Helen (1)
Goal Scorers 1: Alan (7), Lisa/Rob (3), Claire (2), Annabelle/Hannah/James/Ian (1)

Exeter '3' vs Gloucester 3

What remained of the 3rd team - Sarah, Charlie and Tony, were joined by some tired 1st teamers to square off against a Gloucester 3 with a legal team for the first time this season. It was Annabelle with the ignition remix, opening the scoring in exactly the same manner as she did for the 1sts. Tony then did his best Alan impression to score with a textbook long shot of his own, which brought a frankly lethal Charlie into attack - two quick goals sent the signal to Gloucester: danger, high voltage! Gloucester pulled a goal back, before Annabelle scored another runner and Charlie continued to make us wonder why she doesn't play more often.

Annabelle, Hannah and Alan's jobs for the day were done, as Lisa, Claire and Rob came on to replace them at half-time. Ian and James apparently needed the full 2 hours exercise, and James continued to help everyone else score, assisting Charlie for her 4th goal of the game. It was by this time that Tony's drugs were starting to kick in... he claimed there was nothing stronger than ibuprofen, but some actions would suggest otherwise. A mad world followed, as he spent about 30 seconds bear hugging a Gloucester player whilst holding onto the ball behind their back, and shortly afterwards attempted to dummy the Gloucester player by hiding the ball up his shirt! Somehow he won and scored a penalty for his troubles, before Ian and Claire added further goals and Charlie continued to hunt down Alan's total from the 1sts game.

Another Gloucester goal was the perfect lead in to Sarah winning, and then scoring a penalty. But no sooner had the ink dried on the scoresheet that she won another, with only the Gods of Korfball knowing how this one did not drop through the hoop. A final goal from Charlie and opening goal from James kept things ticking along, and the last act of the day was to be a goal by Ian which was apparently assisted by "Tony for missing". Some great play all around, and a thoroughly enjoyable game from both sides.

Goal Scorers: Charlie (6), Annabelle/Tony/Ian (2), Claire/James/Sarah (1)


Saturday 9th January 2016

Exeter 2 vs Bristol Uni 2

It was a bright cold day in January, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Stand-in captain Reece had called for a quick start, eager to avoid going 3-0 down as in the previous outing against Bristol uni. Steve duly obliged, instantly scoring a runner with Annabelle the feed. The uni responded with a runner of their own, before a mid-range shot put the students 2-1 up.

In the first half of the season the seconds have had a tendency to panic when going behind, but the past is a foreign country, they do things differently there. Joel and Steve scored short shots as Exeter remained calm amidst the rapid and incredibly tight game. A uni goal levelled the scores before Helen assisted Joel for a running-in shot. Two runners for Bristol uni put them 5-4 up, the last time they would lead the game. Both divisions worked well to rotate collects, because collects are like rainbows; they escape you quickly, allowing Steve (runner – assisted by Annabelle) and Joel (short – assisted by Michelle) to shift the momentum back in Exeter’s favour. Bristol scored a penalty after the physicality of the game was deemed too much by the ref and a time out was called by Rob which provided a well earned break.

Play resumed with an Annabelle short shot. Followed by some intricate play between her and Steve; involving an attempt to walk-the-block to get a collect that was thwarted, resulting in the ball coming back out from the feed for Steve to take a short shot. Set play, tick! Goal, tick! A uni goal saw out the half 8-7 to Exeter, meaning we had scored more goals in the first 30 minutes than in the whole of the reverse fixture in November.

The second period began with two Exeter goals, runners from Joel, who somehow managed to slow himself and the ball in mid-air before gently placing the ball in the basket (please teach us all!), and Steve. Two more uni penalties sandwiched Joel’s fifth goal of the game, as the tension of such a tight affair began to see passes go astray. Reece and Michelle continued to bark instructions in their respective divisions as Gav and Deb marked their opponents out of the game in what was a huge team effort. Steve’s final goal took him to 18 in 8 games, better than in any of his previous full seasons. Bravo! A third uni penalty and a Michelle runner saw Exeter 13-10 ahead with 10 minutes remaining.

Reece and Steve both then took really, really heavy falls (and had the cuts, grazes and bruises to show for them), the later having had his ankles swiped at by a bristol boy. The uni scored their final goal before Matt came on for Gav to help close out the game. The final actions of note would be Steve and Reece feeding Annabelle for two runners, whose hat-trick sees her move up to the third top female scorer in league 2.

The result: a 15-11 win against a team who had narrowly edged us 7-6 earlier in the season, and the most goals the second team have scored away from home since November 2014. There are plenty more obstacles to overcome, but the best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.

Joel took both home and away votes for male MVP, scoring 5 goals on his full debut! Michelle (home) and Annabelle (away) split the female votes. Both contributing in all areas of the game.

MVPs: Joel, Michelle/Annabelle

Goal Scores: Steve (6), Joel (5), Annabelle (3), Michelle (1).

Exeter 1 vs Bristol Uni 1

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the match against Bristol uni 1 could have massive repercussions in the title race. There were important questions to be answered. Who had faired better over Christmas? Who had eaten all the pies? Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf?

A uni team featuring Lizzie Tighe and Jordie Wildin, who alongside Lois Haddock from Gloucester will be the main challengers to our ladies in the battle for 1st division female MVP (in my humble opinion) and who had held Exeter 1 to a cagey 8-8 draw at the start of Winter would surely provide the sternest test to date…

Not if Alan was to have anything to do with it. Within two minutes, he has scored his 200th and 201st goals for Exeter 1 (in the history of fixtures live). Both of which were classic Alan, minimal backwards lean, hands slightly pinched and then boom! Unfortunately, I had left the sign at home after a slightly chaotic morning. However, I have promised to make it up to Alan. Watch this space…

Bristol Uni replied quickly, Lisa scored a penalty and Hazel fed James for a running in shot before scoring one of her own - assisted by Hannah. Within nine minutes Exeter were 5-1 up: Claire and Matt acting as puppet masters. Mid and long-range goals from the uni brought them within striking distance before James launched one from close to the halfway line. Would he score? ‘Always’. The uni replied before Rob added a veer and Claire fed Matt for a runner. It was the best of times, and then the worst of times as miscommunication caused havoc in defence for Exeter and Bristol snuck through for a running-in shot. Captain Hazel restored order and brought the curtain down on the first half with a long range goal. 9-5 at half time and similar to the seconds, there had been more Exeter goals in 30 minutes this time than in the whole of the reverse fixture. #NEWYEARGAINS

After the break the students struck first, before a twelve minute period ensued in which neither side were able to improve their standing. Eventually, the students found the basket to kickstart a frantic five minutes: Rob K, Claire and Hannah all scoring short shots with a Bristol goal in-between. Hannah’s goal meaning that all eight Exeter players had scored for the third game so far this season - a truly remarkable achievement. Inevitably the importance of the match began to show as both sides forced each other into errors. Bristol capitalised before Matt came from behind the post into feed for Lisa who scored with ease. The students added two long range goals but Exeter would fight to the last. A 13-11 win from a potentially tricky hurdle. The firsts run on, with the wind blowing in their faces and smiles as wide as the valley of Panjsher. They run. (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

Matt took the home vote for male MVP for a combination of speed and intellectual play. Alan won the away vote after thwarting all of the uni’s tactics. Hannah collected her second home MVP whilst Claire took her third away vote of the season. Both having contributed goals, assists and defensive impenetrability. 

MVPs: Matt/Alan, Hannah/Claire

Goal Scores: Alan/Lisa/Hazel/James/Rob (2), Matt/Claire/Hannah (1).


Saturday 12th December 2015

Exeter City 2 vs Exeter Uni 2

It was derby day in Exeter, and thankfully the one away game of the season that we don't have to travel 2000 miles for. As usual, the Uni 2nds opened up with their typically stochastic brand of Korfball, but their solid training regime of just playing Killer all the time meant that their long shots were lethal and they quickly opened up a 2-0 lead. The official match attendance of '1' must have been enthralled by the next passage of play, as City continued to recycle possession in a manner that would make Greenpeace proud, but just couldn't get the ball into the Korf. Eventually Debs found success with a superb running in shot fed by Steve, to open the City account for the day. The Uni quickly responded with a goal of their own, before Matt drained one from miles away. Sadly the only other notable event of the first half was Gav's glasses getting destroyed, leading to the bench having it's own version of scrapheap challenge, endeavouring to mend them using only things we could find in the first aid kit. Two more Uni goals made things 5-2 at the break.

Half-time saw the introduction of Joel, who sadly must have broken some sort of record for the shortest appearance ever, landing like a lump of coal and twisting his ankle within minutes, and giving James D the opportunity to cause some havoc in collect. He quickly obliged, passing off to Matt to score his 2nd of the game. A couple more Uni goals bookended a nice long range goal from Reece, something which is fast becoming his trademark this season. At 8-4 with less than 10 minutes remaining, it felt like the war was over, but no one told Matt this... 8-5... 8-6... they couldn't, could they?! But despite all their best efforts, the curse of the cling-film-covered-Korf struck again, and there was to be no fairytale of St Lukes. A final goal from the Uni left the result 9-6 in their favour.

As seems the case far too often this season, some excellent play from all 11 players went sadly unrewarded by the scoreboard. Annabelle stepped up excellently into the roll of captain, securing the home team MVP vote, whilst Danny took the away team vote for running rings around the students for 60 minutes. Matt unanimously took the male award for contributing 2/3 of the teams goals.

Scorers: Matt 4, Debs, Reece

MVPs: Annabelle/Danny, Matt

Exeter City 1 vs Exeter Uni 1

In much the same way as their 2nd team started, the Uni 1sts opened up a quick 2-0 lead as well, instantly putting City on the back foot. But some quick thinking by City at the change of ends saw Rob pass the throw off direct to Ian under the post, who fed a completely unmarked Lisa for the easiest running in shot ever. The Uni hit back quickly, before Alan scored from what the scorekeeper merely noted as "Downtown!" The pace continued to be frenetic, and the Uni added another two goals to their tally - 3 goals behind is an unaccustomed position for City this season. It fell to Lisa to get the sleigh ride started for City, before goals from Hazel, James and Ian put City into the lead and calm any nerves that may have been forming in the players or crowd. The Uni duly equalised, before our star of wonder Hazel scored her 100th goal for Exeter City 1, with the bench producing banners, tinsel and probably jingle bells to celebrate! The referee was less impressed that in all the commotion they forgot to turn over the scoreboard! The Uni were certainly not distracted, adding a further two goals to leave them with an 8-7 lead at half-time.

The Uni started quickly again after half-time, three more goals extending their lead with only one short range effort from James keeping City in touch. But then Rob K found his radar, with a troika of goals from roughly the same position in the back corner of the pitch to level things up at 11-11. I'm not quite sure what happened next, either City's experience started to pay off or the Uni got tired, but 5 uninterrupted goals from City opened up a huge lead and effectively stopped the cavalry. Hazel, Lisa, Ian, James and Hannah were the contributors to this Christmas miracle, with the scoresheet just saying "? Play too fast!!!" by the end. City were walking in the air, and the pace of the game dropped noticeably for the final 10 minutes as City parked the bus to ensure there was to be no Uni comeback. The Uni managed to get 3 of the goals back, but a free pass from Hazel finished things off, with the final score 17-14 to City.

The MVP paragraph for the 1st team is becoming something of a copy-and-paste job. James H unanimously took the male vote, continuing his quest for "the Alan Martin award" (first team male MVP) at the end of season awards. Captain Hazel unanimously took the female vote, and whilst her scoring exploits aren't the most important part of her play, they don't half help! As no driving home for the Christmas party was required, we could quickly get on with celebrating another fantastic year for ECKC - it certainly wasn't a silent night as we kept rocking around the Christmas tree until the wee-small hours. I'll decline to do a match report on the egg-and-spoon race, 1sts vs 2nds tower building, or any of the subsequent drinking games that gave many excellent quotes... does he?

Scorers: Hazel 4, Lisa 3, James 3, Rob 3, Ian 2, Alan, Hannah

MVPs: James and Hazel


Thursday 26th November 

Exeter 3 vs Exeter Uni 3

A Thursday night encounter up in the university's 'indoor tennis centre' (polytunnel covered outdoor tennis courts) started with a problem more expected of the university team than ourselves - a coursework deadline meant that Kevin couldn't make it, leading to a desperate scramble for an available boy. Alex was the starman to step up, dashing across town from work to make it just in time.

There was a playing space oddity, with an invisible half-way line and penalty spot, and old-school wicker baskets, making for an interesting challenge all around. The team settled well, and Laura quickly got her name on the score sheet, followed by a long range effort from Tony to put City 2-0 up in as many minutes. Alex and debutant Joel combined well for the next two goals, Alex assisting Joel for a running in shot, before repaying the favour for Alex to score a minute later.

The pre-game plan of 'if you win it, take it' allowed Laura to add a second to her tally from the penalty spot, before another debutant Sarah slotted home from short range - amazing stuff after only two training sessions of Korf ever, coach Claire was dancing in the street! Next up to take a self-won penalty was Joel, who calmly slotted it away in a one-handed underarm style never before seen on a Korfball pitch - I look forward to trying that at training on Tuesday! A short shot from Michelle and running in shot from Laura left City 9-0 up at the half time break.

The Uni rang the changes at half-time, but frankly with the mixture of solid defence and beautiful attack, there was more chance of finding life on Mars than City not going on to win. Laura, Michelle and Joel bookended half time with three more goals in the reverse order to what they were scored before. Sadly there were only two things missing from what was otherwise a moonage daydream of a performance from City - goals for Rachel M and James D, and some blams like we learnt in training on Tuesday!

Despite some excellent opportunities, it appeared that the Korfing gods were going to prevent Rach and James from scoring, but as James H is proving in the first team, goalscoring isn't everything - there is no I in team! Both had excellent games, and their names appeared multiple times in the assist column of the scoresheet. Next time... Tony, Laura, Alex and Michelle ran in 4 more City goals as the game approached it's end. A 16-0 win, oh you pretty things! The bar has been set high for the corresponding 2nd and 1st team fixtures in a few weeks time. Granted the Uni team contained more absolute beginners than us, but if they continue playing like this the second team should be worried (motivated?) and the selection committee could have a few headaches!

Not that we want to single out any particular players - you were all heroes, but our MVP votes went to Laura and Joel. Laura for her 5 goals, and Joel for the aforementioned penalty and various flexings of the rules, our particular favourite being rolling the ball along the ground for a few meters before picking it up and not being called for solo-play!

Goals: Laura 5, Joel 3, Michelle 3, Tony 2, Alex 2, Sarah

MVPs: Laura & Joel


Saturday 21st November

Exeter 2 vs Horfield 3

It had begun to feel like a million years ago that the seconds last recorded a league victory. However, rumour has it that following Thursday’s training session the remedy for our previous problems had been found! Captain Will kicked off proceedings with: ‘All I ask is for a good performance’, a request that would not fall upon deaf ears.

A well-taken goal from Horfield opened the scoring and the bench could have been forgiven for some worried glances, but excellent pressure and composure meant that Matt quickly fed Annabelle for a trademark running in shot. Horfield momentarily restored their lead but that goal was cancelled out by a veer from Danny. From then on everything would be right as rain. Matt gave Horfield a turning tables moment with a stunning long shot and a cooly taken penalty from Annabelle helped ease the understandable pressure on the Seconds.

‘Don’t you remember’ a time the Seconds played with such intensity? Determination to win every ball naturally resulted in the occasional free pass being awarded to Horfield, but during the time-out coach Rob reminded everyone to keep fighting.

A Danny running in shot, assisted by Reece, and a penalty won and effortlessly dispatched by Steve gave Exeter a four goal lead for the first time this season. By half time, Horfield were well and truly rolling in the deep.

A largely barren second half occurred as everyone tired but the one and only captain Will fed Annabelle for yet another running in shot before Horfield replied. Reece and Steve then alternated feeds for Danny to score twice. Horfield then gave us all a ‘Hello, we’re still here’ moment with two quick goals due to some daydreaming from Exeter.

Ultimately the Seconds saved the best for last as the final goal came during 19-21/25 seconds of madness. Danny gave Reece the cold shoulder (literally) and not only did he ‘take it all’, he then quickly found a boy to take down with him. With all three players floored, Deb found herself presented with an opportunity she couldn’t let go of and quickly scored a short shot to see out the seconds first win of the season (10-5), and ensure that we would return to Exeter with a little hometown glory.

Will won both the home and away votes for Male MVP and Danny (home) and Annabelle (away) split the female vote for their goal scoring heroics.

Shout out to the Horfield player who twice passed the ball directly to an Exeter player, we can always do with ‘someone like you’ on our team.

Goal Scorers: Danny (4), Annabelle (3), Matt/Steve/Deb (1).

MVPs: Will, Danny/Annabelle.

Exeter 1 vs Horfield 2

Come rain or come shine the firsts were keen to get a solid win under their belts and keep pace with Bristol Uni at the top of SWKA1.

Hannah got the ball rolling after 63 seconds with a textbook running in shot, assisted by James who rapidly motioned to the bench to note down his contribution. His tally doubled moments later as Alan gave everyone a lesson in how to execute the perfect drop-off shot.

Horfield stole their first goal with a stunning long shot and Ian opened his account with a clever short shot. Horfield responded from both up close and afar to bring the scores to an even 3-3 in what was a frantic first 15 minutes. The feeling on the bench at this point being that ‘the best is yet to come’. Ian added a running in shot to his expanding collection of goals but I must apologise to whoever provided the assist because at that moment I had been momentarily transported to a chocolately-stardust realm of heavenly goodness by the opening of James’ brownies, and subsequently failed to note down the name of the contributor. As such the goal has been attributed to ‘the girl next door’.

Horfield scored a penalty and Alan assisted Hannah for her second running in shot as the teams continued to trade blows. Then the inconceivable happened, possibly due to witchcraft. Horfield found the korf three times via a wave of pressing, without reply. The goals: a short shot and two penalties, meant the firsts went in 5-7 down at half-time.

Captain Hazel called for calm, (I’m assuming, again I was too busy delighting in calorific goodies) and reminded the team to that losing to Horfield; whose average height was only just shy of the tallest building in Exeter, simply wasn't an option. A pocketful of miracles wouldn't be required to dispatch the opposition and her words were taken to heart because what followed can only be described as a masterclass.

Lets face the music and dance was the attitude as eleven consecutive Exeter goals obliterated the opponents. Two magnificent long shots from Alan were followed by a double from a relentless Ian: night and day long and running in shots, with Lisa the provider. Hazel won a penalty which Alan tucked away before Hannah scored from ‘somethin’ stupid’ like 80 miles away. A goal that I had recorded on the match sheet as a ‘really really really’ long shot. Another penalty was conceded by an increasingly frustrated Horfield which Lisa buried with ease.

Rob K assisted Ian for yet another running in shot and James was rewarded the second time around for some meticulous play from under the post. Hazel did well to dispatch her opposite number and sink a running in shot, assisted by Alan, and Ian fed Rob for a running in shot to cap a rampant and ruthless performance by Exeter. Nice work if you can get it.

An impressive long shot by Horfield proved to be the concluding goal in a highly entertaining game. The final score 16-8 as the firsts march on, hopefully all the way to the title…

‘That’s life’ was the conclusion from Horfield who will probably be trying to banish the second half from their minds in the wee small hours of the morning even when the summer wind returns.

An excellent all-round team performance saw all MVP votes split. Ian and Hazel took the home votes, Alan and Claire the away.

Goal scores: Ian (5), Alan (4), Hannah (3), Rob/Hazel/James/Lisa (1).

MVPs: Ian/Alan, Hazel/Claire


Saturday 14th November 2015

Exeter 2 vs University of Bristol 2

The 2nds returned to the court still seeking their first win in SWKL2 following the previous week’s narrow defeat to Taunton. The team had been warned to be prepared for very tight defending from the student team and UoB 2 did not disappoint, frustrating Exe with in-your-face pressure from the off.

Following a severely limited warm up (apparently bouncy castles aren’t allowed to remain on the court during matches), the seconds took to court eager to build on their efforts over the season thus far. The university took an early lead, notching 3 goals before the onslaught of Green running in shots yielded a goal, with Reece opening the scoring for the home team. Laura, making her 2nds debut following an impressive run out for the 3rds against Taunton, followed suit with a running in shot of her own. The students managed another goal before the half time break, leaving the scores 2-4 in favour of the visitors at the interval.

Veteran Debs made way for Michelle as the teams returned to the court with the tie delicately poised. Exe took the initiative, Anabelle successfully avoiding physical assault to slot home with a runner. The University restored their 2 goal advantage before successive Exeter goals via Tony (a penalty) and Michelle (from mid-range) levelled the contest.

UoB once again took the lead, only for the referee to award Anabelle a penalty for an infringement during an attempted running in shot. The set piece expert duly converted from the spot to level the match once more, with time rapidly running out.

Crushingly, Exe 2 snatched defeat from the jaws of what would have been a hard fought point, as high pressure from the opposition forced the Green defence into trouble, resulting in what proved to be the winning goal for the WKD- swigging super noodle munchers (no, I won’t let it go!). After a topsy turvy game, the University emerged one jump ahead to clinch the win, with the result a somewhat unfair reflection of game. Whilst unable to quite go the distance this time out, a maiden victory is surely out there, just around the riverbend- we’re almost there!

In my completely non-biased view (*ahem*), the result was incredibly harsh on the seconds who more than deserved at least a point to soothe their numerous bruises after a gruelling and unbelievably frustrating game. In spite of the result, once again the effort levels were superb, making awarding MVPs an onerous task for the bench. After much deliberation, the awards unanimously went to Tony and Laura, who both played brilliantly in extremely testing circumstances.

MVPs: Tony & Laura

Goals: Annabelle 2, Reece, Michelle, Tony, Laura

Exeter 1 vs University of Bristol 1

After a stinging defeat for Exeter 2, the firsts took to the court to restore honour to us all and attempt a feat which had so far eluded the rest of the league- for the first time in forever (well, this season), beat top ranked UoB 1. Given Rob and Claire’s absence, a rejigged Exe, featuring 2nd team stalwarts Rosie and Matt, started off brilliantly, James working some space underneath the post to get his one goal per game out of the way early on. Over with our friends on the other side of the court, in Captain Hazel’s division the team were getting to grips with the high tempo University attack, as the opposition levelled the scores at one a piece.

A change of ends brought Alan and Hannah in to attack who continued their goal scoring prowess with a penalty and running in shot respectively to draw out a lead for the home team and take us into half time ahead 3 to 1.

As play resumed with the change of ends, the attack slowed but the goals refused to come (Ian remarking someone must have stretched cling film over the basket) despite some well worked chances being created. Despite valiant defensive work, Hazel et al eventually leaked two goals as the ball flatly refused to drop for the Exeter attack.

Following this passage of play, something of a pattern emerged, with Alan’s end successfully converting their chances whilst the other end continued to fire blanks (albeit defending equally brilliantly). A Hazel double restored the two goal cushion before once again, Bristol Uni drew back with goals of their own. The back and forth continued, with Alan and Hazel scoring once more, followed by a University effort to take the scores to 7-6. Very much against the trend, Ian pitched in with a much welcomed running in shot to take the game to 8-6 with very little time remaining.

In a similar vein to the climax of the 2nds match, the ending of the 1sts contest went to the wire. The Uni managed to claw the deficit back to 1 before a controversial (and marital strife causing) equaliser with the last throw of the ball ended the tie in stalemate at 8-8. Lisa, believing the goal should have been called defended, took the referee to task with a verbal and physical onslaught only acceptable when you happen to be married to said referee.

Whilst remaining in control of the tie for extended periods thanks to some supreme defending, to their credit the students showed a level of endeavour one can only hope they apply in their studies in getting a share of the spoils. MVPs were unanimously awarded once again, with Hazel picked out for a brilliant battle with her opposite number and James receiving the male equivalent (for reasons the author is unsure of, possibly brownie related). Arguably a point lost but Hakuna Mattata, the Firsts remain unbeaten and are the only side to take a point from University of Bristol 1 so far!

MVPs: Hazel & James

Goals: Hazel 3, Alan 2, Ian/Hannah/James


Sunday 1st November 2015

Exeter City 3 vs Taunton 3

Nobody thought about the monster job for the match report writer when we decided to create a 3rd team! So, lets get down to business, I'll continue 'till I collapse...

And so after requesting everyone cleaned out their closet for any green shirts, the curtains were up on the 3rd team's first ever game. 4 Korfing débutantes, 3 of whom could count on one hand their number of hours previous Korf experience meant it was always likely to be a chaotic match, but the experience of Danny and Alex brought some structure to proceedings and gave Exeter a 2-0 lead with some simple running-in shots. A drop off from Tony kept the momentum with Exeter, before the new players started to settle into the game. Quite how 12 minutes passed before Laura got her name on the score-sheet I will never know, but some excellent play was eventually rewarded with a beautiful drop-off to open her account in the sport.

Another goal from Danny extended Exeter's lead, before Taunton scored with a goal straight out of the Steve "Backley" Pring Javelin technique playbook! 5-1 at half-time quickly became 9-1 with more goals from Tony, Laura, Alex and Danny in a rampant 7 minutes from Exeter. The pace of the game slowed noticeably within the final 15 minutes, but Tony ensured that Exeter made it to double figures, with the game finishing 10-3.

Everyone played excellently, and special mention must go to John and Steph, who were not afraid to sign up for the match after only 1 training session, and also to Rob S, especially for his fantastic array of non-standard passing. But we have to pick some MVPs, and these went to Alex and Laura for their great all around contribution in attack and defence.

Scorers: Danny 3, Tony 3, Alex 2, Laura 2

MVPs: Laura and Alex

Exeter 2 vs Taunton 2

The second team were feeling in generous mood, giving Taunton a 2-0 head start before they really got going. It fell to captain Will "I ain't never seen an ass like that" Stewart to open the scoring, with an excellent running in shot, before Helen scored another that didn't even touch the sides! Unfortunately Taunton then had a strong period of play, scoring 4 goals without reply and putting Exeter in a very difficult position. The stage was set for Reece to go berzerk; two really really long shots got the score back to 6-4 by half-time.

The second half saw the two teams trading goals, with an Annabelle penalty cancelling out one Taunton effort and another long shot from Reece negating Taunton's next goal. Helen responded to Taunton's final goal with an excellent running in shot, completing her pre-match aim of "multiple" goals. Sadly the two goal headstart was the difference between the teams, with the game finishing 9-7 to Taunton.

I've no idea how the 2nd team are still hunting for their first win of the season, as there was some excellent play from everyone, and it's surely only a matter of time before they start beating all-comers. The MVP awards were unanimous, with Reece taking the male award for his hat-trick, his first goals ever! Annabelle took the female award, her second of the season, for another outstanding performance in both attack and defence.

Scorers: Reece 3, Helen 2, Will, Annabelle

MVPs: Annabelle and Reece

Exeter 1 vs Taunton 1

After patiently waiting for an entire weekend, at 5.30 on a Sunday evening, the 1st team eventually got going in their top-of-the-table clash. The early exchanges set the tone for the rest of the match - the play was fast, one shot, two shot, this was going to be a battle. Taunton took the early lead, before goals from Hazel and Claire moved Exeter ahead. A free pass from Hazel and a classic Rob K shot from feed gave Exeter a 4-1 lead, what would turn out to be the largest gap between the teams all game. Taunton came back strongly to level things up, before Claire again put Exeter into the lead, and a penalty for Alan and 3rd from Hazel let Exeter go into the break 7-5 up.

The second half picked up where the first half left off, with Taunton again coming back to level things up. Another Alan penalty, but then Taunton had a phenomenal spell to take a 10-8 lead. I'm not sure whether this was helped or not by the constant shouts of "round the outside, round the outside" from the sidelines... But Exeter were not going to just lose it now, and duly replied with 3 goals of their own from Hazel, Alan and Lisa, to take an 11-10 lead. Taunton again levelled things up, before it quickly became apparent that the sporting gods were not going to smile on us today. James displayed the qualities of any great sportsman, admitting that he had knocked the ball out of play and handing possession over to Taunton in attack, from which they duly re-took the lead. It then fell to James to score the final equaliser of the match, and whilst we were certainly disappointed, a 12-12 draw was probably the fair result for both teams.

Given one spectator was heard to comment "it was the best match he'd ever seen" (it's unclear whether it was the only match he'd ever seen...), the challenge of picking MVPs could have proved tricky, but the results were again unanimous. Hazel and James picked up the thoroughly deserved accolades, Hazel for her scoring prowess and captaincy by example, and James for being every bit as good Taunton's new recruit from the London regional leagues.

Scorers: Hazel 4, Alan 3, Claire 2, Rob, Lisa, James

MVPs: Hazel and James


Saturday 17th October 2015

Exeter City 2 vs Thunder 3

Rewind to match week 2 and 7 days on from our first Korfball rendezvous of the new season, both teams made the familiar journey to Bristol with the 2nds facing a stern test in the form of Thunder 3. The opposition featured players with WRL experience however under the close pupillage of Rob K and Alan the opening minutes were a tight affair.

A well taken running in shot from Matt cancelled out the opening Thunder goal before the Bristolians notched 3 goals to gain a margin of safety. Another effort from Matt, this time from long range, doubled our tally before another from Thunder restored their advantage. An injured Gav made way for a returning Reece to make his first SuperSaurday appearance for the club in over a year (I’m sure you’ll all follow me in welcoming him back to the club). Steve then slotted home from some distance, followed by a penalty conversion by Matt to complete a perfect korfball hat trick (running in shot, penalty, long shot). Yet another long distance goal from Steve interrupted a run of 3 goals for Bristol to leave the half time scores 8-5 in favour of the team in baby blue.

The break provided time to reflect on the first half performance which saw a good deal of graft and some slick play go largely unrewarded. Play resumed and Thunder came out strongly, increasing their lead to 7 with 4 unanswered scores after the interval. The onslaught was thankfully halted by a running in shot from Rosie before goals from Captain Will and Debs helped to slow the deluge of opposition goals.

Thunder continued to rack up the goals with the game finishing 20-8 in their favour. The score line certainly did not reflect what was in fact a tightly fought contest- some frustratingly clinical finishing really the only difference between the teams. As noted above, the effort and hard work by the whole team can’t be faulted, especially in the muggy conditions with several players battling through the heat admirably.

A notable mention must go to Will ‘Booty Man’ Stewart for successfully avoiding conceding any fouls for excessive use of his… assets. The split MVP votes are a good indication of how well the whole team performed in spite of the result, with Matt and Annabelle taking the Exeter bench’s votes whilst the opposition opted to recognise Steve and Rosie for their efforts.

Goals: Matt 3, Steve 2, Rosie/Will/Debs 1

MVPs: Matt/Steve & Annabelle/Rosie

Exeter City 1 vs Gloucester Lions 1

Eager to avenge the 2nds, Exeter 1 took to the court to face newly relegated Gloucester Lions 1 in what would be a stern test of the team in Green’s title challenging credentials. You can’t be messing ‘round at this level and a pre-game warning regarding contact (there would be lots of it) only served to emphasise the point.

Despite the undoubted credentials of Lions 1, you could almost hear the scoresheet crying “Fill me in!” after the 1sts free scoring season opener, and they were only too happy to oblige once more. The match set off at a frankly ridiculous tempo as each side scored soon after the starting whistle. A few concerned eyebrows were raised as the former Regional league side scored twice to take an early lead. Hannah and Hazel replied with long range scores of their own to restore parity and settle a few jitters.

Gloucester notched another goal and briefly enjoyed what would prove to be their last period in the lead for the remainder of the game. The deluge of Exeter goals began with efforts from short range by Ian and Hannah before 4 running in shots in a row (Ian with 2, with Hannah and James also chipping in) and a textbook long shot from Alan swung the momentum truly in Exeter’s favour. There was time to squeeze in a goal in reply from Gloucester before Claire rounded off an emphatic half with a drop off to maintain Exeter’s 6 goal cushion at 11-5.

The firsts showed no mercy after the interval with a brief drought ended by Hannah with a long shot finding its mark from essentially the halfway line. Long shot practice continued as Alan, Ian and Lisa all decided to try their luck from far out and successfully found the korf. Hannah Finished off her goal scoring heroics for the day with a midrange effort before Gloucester reminded everyone they were also allowed to score, bringing the score to 16-6 to the Greens.

Ian and Lisa added further goals to their tallies before a final effort from the Lions was capped by a captain Hazel drop off. A comprehensive 19-7 scoreline left the firsts walking away with a hard earned win. Such a fantastic result usually means it’s time to party but on this occasion the car ride back to Exeter would have to do instead.

In a once in a lifetime turn of events, neither Alan nor Lisa topped the scoreboards after Hannah and Ian’s respective 5 goal hauls, eliciting MVP votes from the Exeter bench. Alan and Hazel drew the away team’s equivalents after a fine performance from the whole team.

Goals: Ian/Hannah 5, Alan 3, Hazel/ Lisa 2, Claire/James 1

MVPs: Hannah/Hazel, Ian/Alan


Saturday 10th October 2015

Bristol City 3 vs Exeter City 2

Wake me up when September ends, the holiday is over and the season has finally begun! Selection headaches and eligibility rules were hopefully understood, and everyone was keen to get going. Bristol City were to be the opening day visitors at Wonford, and the first order of business was to inflate some Green Bay Packers noise sticks provided by Matt, hoping that the additional noise from our supporters would ensure it really was a green day!

A cagey start from both sides was to be expected, but Exeter were first to break the deadlock when some contact under the post gave us a penalty. Annabelle confidently stepped up and dispatched it with ease, and shortly after Exeter were 2-0 up when Gav sunk a long-shot. But Bristol didn't panic, and fought back well with 2 goals of their own, before another penalty, this time from Gav, gave Exeter a 3-2 lead at half-time. Obviously all that penalty practice on Thursday was worth it!

Half time saw the introduction of Reece, in his homecoming match after a year out in Singapore, and an Exeter debut for Danny, whose dedication in travelling up from Newquay to play is immense. Tony and Michelle made way after some typically solid performances, and after Bristol equalised again, 2 goals from chairman Steve gave Exeter a 5-3 lead. I'm not entirely sure what happened next, due to Hazel's new regime of taking the 1st team outside to warm up, but as Rob came running out to check on the legality of subbing Rosie on for Helen is was clear something had gone wrong. The accident book describes it as "Will threw an excellent hard flat pass straight into Helen's nose"!!

The game continued to be a close affair, with Bristol again equalising before Steve completed his hat-trick with a trademark running in shot. Bristol then took the lead themselves before Gav equalised, also completing his hat-trick, and setting up a tense finish. In the end, Bristol just managed to sink their shots where Exeter couldn't, with the game finishing 7-9 in their favour.

A great performance from new captain Will resulted in him being unanimously voted the "female" MVP (I'm just reporting what it says on the sheet - ironic really given he twice got penalised for having a Kim Kardashian sized arse...), whilst the "male" vote was split between Debs (home) and Annabelle (away). In spite of the result, there were some great performances to build upon for the rest of the season.

Scorers: Gav (3), Steve (3), Annabelle

MVPs: Debs/Annabelle, Will

Bristol City 2 vs Exeter City 1

There was no such cagey start from the 1st team, with Hazel's new warm up regime showing instant reward as Exeter opened up a 3-0 lead within a couple of minutes. No prizes for guessing who the scorers were - Alan and Lisa opening their accounts for the season in typical fashion. Bristol notched a couple of goals back, before more goals from Alan & Lisa, and a drop off from Ian, gave Exeter a 6-2 lead, still with only 10 minutes on the clock. The scoreboard continued ticking over, with contributions from captain Hazel, coach Claire, and a couple of goals from Rob K on his return to the 1st team after a year on the physio table. This was all in addition to many more from "the usual", as Exeter finished an eventful first half with a 14-6 lead.

Matt replaced Rob at half time, and continued with the herculean task of defending Bristol's equivalent of Alex! After the pace of the first half, there was always going to be a risk of burnout in the second half, and there was indeed a noticeable drop in tempo from both teams. Goals from James and Rosie ensured that all of the starting 8 got their names on the scoresheet, and both players deserve a special mention. Rosie for an outstanding performance, easily justifying her selection, and James for some outrageous showboating, passing the ball from right hand to left hand behind his back to wrong-foot his defender and have an easy running-in shot. Ultimately the second half score was exactly half that of the first half, with the game finishing 21-9 to Exeter.

No surprises in the MVP awards, with Alan unanimously taking the male vote, whilst Lisa (home) and Claire (away) deservedly split the female vote. A great performance from everyone though, and hopefully a sign of an exciting season to come.

Scorers: Alan (6), Lisa (5), Ian (2), Hazel (2), Rob (2), Claire (2), James, Rosie

MVPs: Lisa/Claire, Alan