exeter korfball

  Match Reports   Season 2014/15
 

Saturday 28th March

Bristol City 3 vs Exeter City 2

With hopes of a potential play off place and their grip on the SWKL2 title relinquished (for the time being), the 2nds took to court in the opening Super Saturday fixture with pride and 5th place in the league still to play for. Under the watchful gaze of Coach Claire, Exeter 2 set about their task in a very professional and collected manner, with the opening goals both coming courtesy of Matt- the first a text book runner and the second a coolly taken effort from the penalty spot.
The change of ends brought Nynke's division into attack which featured four players (in Nynke, Annabelle, Gav and James H) with varying levels of 1st team experience. In spite of this and mainly due to border line criminal passing at times from James H, the next two goals were some time in coming. There was still plenty of attacking promise on display with multiple attempts going close before Nynke extended the lead to 3 with a long range effort. Before half time the gap was widened to 4, with Nynke once again making her mark- this time with a running in shot.
Claire took the opportunity during the interval to reiterate the importance of retaining possession and making solid, simple passes by highlighting the numerous examples of James H's inadequacies in this area from the first 30 minutes of play. Suffice to say the Chairman was swiftly hauled off and replaced by Alan whilst Gav opted to gender up and continue playing in spite of a niggling injury.
The second half began somewhat ominously as Alan promptly conceded a penalty which was duly converted as the opposition grew into the game. In attack Matt's division were causing all sorts of problems, with the Captain's pace turning both Bristol City boys inside out on multiple occasions to tee up a wide open James D, who went desperately close with several shots from mid range. Rosie and Helen J were also unfortunate not to add to the scoreline, as multiple attempts from distance and running in shots bounced harmlessly off the Korf to safety.
Bristol City were arguably unlucky not to be closer, having had multiple shots missing by the narrowest of margins and managed to convert a shot from range to reduce the deficit to 2. This brought Alan into attack and given his unbelievably consistent scoring record, it was perhaps inevitable he would find his way onto the score sheet. After a passage of play which left little else on bar a long shot, Alan begrudgingly obliged and effortlessly slotted home from approaching half way. Gavin's perseverance was rewarded with the final goal of the game, as he popped out from under the post to score from close range and restore Exe's 4 goal cushion.
The win secured a more than respectable mid table finish and the (unofficial) title of "Meanest Defence in SWKL2", as Exeter 2 rounded off the season with the lowest number of goals conceded of any side in the league. Both are particularly commendable given the number of regular 2nd team players new to the sport this season and Exe will no doubt be pushing on to reclaim their league title in the coming 2015/16 season.
Male MVP went unanimously to Matt, who should also be congratulated for narrowly missing out on overall male MVP for SWKL2 as a whole. The female vote was awarded to Nynke, who safely negotiated a full 60 minutes of Korf, recovering from injury just in time for the end of the season and netting two goals to cap a fine return.

Scorers- Nynke 2, Matt 2, Alan, Gav
MVPs- Matt & Nynke


Bristol City 2 vs Exeter City 1

After a spirited 2nd team win, the Firsts entered the fray with their 4th place finish far from guaranteed, sitting level on points in the league with their opponents. The earlier showdown this season, a 7-7 draw, was marred by low hanging beams interrupting play so Exe were keen to prove they were stronger and could go one better this time out.
The game started with the increasingly familiar sight of Lisa scoring a goal, opening her account with a runner in the first few minutes. Bristol City then responded with 3 unanswered goals of their own to open up a two goal lead largely against the run of play, Exe failing to capitalise on their superior possession. The Bristolians were soon reeled in however, as Sam and Lisa pinned back the opposition with goals from range. Sometimes this season the Firsts have played some fantastic attacking Korf, and this game was no exception. One attack in particular, lasting around 10 phases, caused the opposition to remark at the recycling prowess on display. Ian philosophically pointed out however that we were less adept at actually scoring and for all the tiki-taka Korfball on show, the Bristol City defence were lucky that Exeter goals were in short supply. Runners from James and Lisa along with a Hannah long shot (complete with celebratory cheer) were reciprocated by Bristol goals to take the scores to 6-6 at half time.
Coach Nynke called for calm and a back to basics approach during the interval and Claire duly responded with a goal from medium range after a short passage of "4-0". Bristol once again replied before Exe began to edge into the lead, as a picture perfect Hazel long shot capped a fantastic passing move, followed by another James running in shot. Yet another Lisa goal preserved the lead as Bristol reduced Exeter's advantage to a single score before a key period of play where the Greens all but secured victory. James netted another running in shot, identical to the previous two, which started the ball rolling and was swiftly followed by efforts from Ian, Lisa and Alan to extend the lead to five. The opposition staged a late fightback which reduced the gap to two before a goal from Captain Hazel sealed the win and 4th place for Exeter 1sts.
A special mention goes to Claire for following Gav's earlier example and playing through injury whilst it is also pleasing to report that everyone on the pitch made it onto the score sheet. Also noteworthy was Alan's gymnastic backwards roll out of a fall (which wouldn't be out of place in a Circus) in the second half and an outrageous blam to deny his opposite number mid way through the first.
The MVP awards were unanimous once again, with the male award going to James H- getting his act together after an auspicious half for the Seconds to score three goals, make countless interceptions and generally run around like a lunatic. The female equivalent went to Lisa, who looks likely to score a hat-full every time she takes to the court, after another excellent scoring display.

Scorers- Lisa 5, James H 3, Hazel 2, Hannah, Alan, Ian, Claire, Sam
MVPs- Lisa & James

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Saturday 21st March 2015

Exeter 2 vs Bristol Uni 2

The Bristol Uni games saw us return to our now spiritual home of St Peter's for this season, with no trace of any incident that might have occurred last time we were there to play the game. The seconds started strong with a trade mark running in shot from Debs, which was soon matched by Will. 2-0, soon became 3-1 with Gav scoring once again from a long shot. Rob O was making his return after a few games off, and proved he had the staying power with some typical O'Brien style shots.
 
Claire had the job of making sure the success of the first half carried over into the second. Gav and Will took well earned rests ready for their first team appearances, letting Alan and Sam take their places. Whatever was said wasn't given away from her body language and Exeter's defence was never really under pressure for the rest of the game. Helen C was unlucky not to add to the score sheet with many long range and running-in attempts, and surely its only a matter of time before its time for the hammer to fall for her. Steve was back on the score sheet after passing his man like a flash to put Exeter four ahead. The game finished with Alan and Sam scoring unanswered goals and finally Anienke with only one vision in the winning of a penalty for Steve to convert. Final score Exeter 9-3 Bristol University.

MVP Votes : Rob O (home) / Steve P (away), Helen C (home) / Debs(away)
Scorers : Rob O (2), Steve (2), Debs, Will, Alan, Sam, Gav


Exeter 1 vs Bristol Uni 1

The first team buoyed by the second's 8th win of the season saw Will make his first team debut and Rob K making way for Gav to start after being told "keep yourself alive and don't play korfball" by the doctor. The greens went headlong into the students making the stronger start to the match,
Hazel made the breakthru onto the score sheet almost straight away with a running-in shot inside the first minute. Some alleged back chat seemed not to stop Claire, Lisa and Alan making sure Exeter were 4-2 up after the first third of the match.
 
However, the first team then began to play the game with a new tactic, instead of last week's "pass to Lisa and she'll score", we tried "pass to the opposition and they'll score." The students quickly capitalised and 4-2 soon became an under pressure 6-15 down. Tuesday's training session with plenty of passing and not just using a flick of the wrist to move ball.
 
Then the miracle began! 7 goals for only 1 in reply. Alan started off the reply with a typical of that division drop-off shot. Claire and Sam soon showed the home side of the score board wasn't stuck. A final running-in shot for Alan brought the scores to 13-16 at the 56 minute mark. Despite not being able to close the gap further, the match certainly finished like it started with Exeter on top.
 
MVP Votes: Hazel (home)/Claire (away), Alan
Scorers: Alan (5), Claire (2), Lisa (2), Sam (2), Hannah, Hazel


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S
unday March 15th 2015

Bristol Thunder 4 vs Exeter 2

So it was, that on Mothering Sunday morning, Exeter made the journey from Clifton to Clifton to play Bristol Thunder (although not without copious use of Google Maps to find James from a train station in the middle of nowhere!)

Thunder 4 were quicker out of the blocks than Exeter 2, and opened up a 2-0 lead, before a classic long range effort (one of many) from Rob K finally dropped in. Bizarrely, that remained the score until half-time. That was not to say that the first half wasn't action packed, with plenty of attacking intent from Exeter, but the Korf was not obliging to anything Exeter threw at it.

Thankfully, Claire's half-time team talk did the trick, and despite Thunder scoring again quickly after half-time, Exeter then rattled in five unanswered goals to take a 3-6 lead. A long shot from Helen J started the recovery, before a running in shot from Matt levelled the scores. A textbook drop-off shot from Will and long shot from Rob K put daylight between the teams, before a short shot from Matt completed a fabulous 10 minute spell from Exeter.

But Thunder, despite being battered and bruised, were not beaten, and responded with two goals of their own to keep Exeter honest and the (Exeter) supporters on the edges of their seats. After Helen C was unfairly clattered , Rob K dispatched the penalty, and two short range efforts from Gav gave Exeter an unassailable lead with only minutes remaining. A final goal from Thunder made the scoreline 6-9 to Exeter at the final whistle.

The home male MVP vote went to Will, who was awesome in collect and did very well to keep up with a particularly quick Thunder player for 60 minutes. The away male vote, for the 7th time this season, went to captain Matt. The reward for both players was being asked to give a little more in the 1st team game, due to the absence of a poorly Sam. The home female vote went to Helen J, who recovered some of the form she had before sustaining an ankle injury, and the away vote went to Anienke, maintaining her 100% MVP record for the club.

Scorers: Rob K 3, Matt 2, Gav 2, Helen J, Will

MVPs: Will/Matt, Helen J/Anienke

Bristol Thunder 3 vs Exeter 1

With Hazel and Lisa battling niggling injuries all week, and three players on the pitch who had already played for an hour, Exeter 1 vs Thunder 3 was shaping up to be a war of attrition! A penalty from Lisa opened the Exeter account, before Ian utilised all of this weeks training on running-in shots without the ball to make it 0-2. More goals from Hazel, Lisa, Claire and Alan were only partitioned by a single Thunder effort giving Exeter a 1-6 lead after 10 minutes.

But then we started to stutter, and had to endure 10 minutes of misery as Thunder scored 5 goals to bring the score back to 6-6. The impending threat of going behind sent a shiver down our spines, and this was to be the wake up call we needed. Long range goals from Lisa and Ian settled the nerves, and a fantastic running in shot from Annabelle, opening her Exeter 1 account, made the score 7-9 to Exeter at half-time.

Inspiring half-time team talks proved to be the theme of the day for Exeter, and expected service was very much resumed in then 2nd half. The tactic we discussed of "give the ball to Lisa and she'll score" set the 2nd half on its way, followed by more goals from Hazel, Alan and Lisa to give Exeter some breathing space. After a stalwart 100 minutes of Korf, Matt made way for Will to make his first team debut.

More goals from Hazel, Claire and Ian followed, but it was Lisa who was stealing the show, adding a further 4 goals to her already impressive tally. Exeter were starting to runaway with it now, and this enabled Will to settle into the game and bring through some of his excellent play from the 2nd team into this new environment. The final time-out inspired James into scoring two fantastic goals, both of which flummoxed the scorers usual goal classification system. The first was described as "backwards/diagonal drop off", whilst the 2nd, the result of several passes between Alan and James whilst the Thunder boys continually switched, was described as "zig-zag short". Shortly after, the game finished 13-24 to Exeter.

Both teams were unanimous on the MVPs. The male vote went to Ian, chipping in 3 great goals and many more assists. The female vote went to Lisa, who took the pre-game joke of 20 goals each far too seriously, scoring a frankly ridiculous 9 goals - possibly the highest ever in a single game by an Exeter player?!

Scorers: Lisa 9(!!), Hazel 4, Ian 3, Claire 3, Alan 2, James 2, Annabelle

MVPs: Ian & Lisa
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Saturday 27th February


Exeter City 1 vs Taunton 1


In a departure from normal protocol, the match line up against Taunton featured the first teams playing first, and the absence of a few first team regulars lead to a new look Exeter 1, including a debut for Annabelle only 3 months after taking up the sport!

Unfortunately for Exeter, the usual tactic of scoring 2 quick goals to settle us down was rumbled by Taunton doing exactly the same, leaving us 2-0 down within 2 minutes and almost before we'd had a chance to get a shot in. Some solid Exeter defending kept the scoreline this way for the next 10 minutes, but, setting the tone for the rest of the match, scoring opportunities were proving hard to come by for Exeter, and those which did were not dropping in. Also setting the tone for the rest of the match, a couple of dubious penalties awarded to Taunton allowed them to extend their lead to 4-0, before a textbook free-pass from Alan got Exeter onto the scoresheet.

Taunton then broke out the infamous scissors (of doom...), attempting to confuse (or bore) the Exeter girls into submission. But thanks to a weeks training on how to neutralise this manoeuvre, Exeter were generally able to deal with it any which way Taunton tried it. Sadly, this did not prevent them keeping the scoreboard turning with their phenomenally accurate long-range shots. There was some joy for Exeter, with a well taken penalty and mid-range effort from Hannah making the score 9-3 at the break.

Exeter continued to play with energy and ambition in the second half, and early goals from Alan and James gave us the confidence to keep on fighting. But sadly the Korf wasn't obliging, swallowing up Taunton shots whilst rejecting everything Exeter threw at it. This allowed Taunton to open up a 15-5 lead before their very own "Gazza" moment - a foul by a Taunton girl on Sam lead to a nasty collision between head and bench. Rob K utilised all of his first aid training and most of the first aid kit in stopping the resulting bloodflow, and after a long intermission the game resumed in a slightly subdued manner. A final goal from Alan was the only noteworthy event, with the game finishing 20-6 to Taunton.

Well played to everyone, particularly Annabelle, who defended excellently and was unlucky not to score a few running in shots near the end. The male MVP award went unanimously to James, who defended excellently, restricting one of Taunton's prolific scorers to only 1 goal from open play, and the female MVP award went unanimously to Hannah, who continued her recent excellent run of form and was unlucky to only score twice.

Scorers: Alan 3, Hannah 2, James

MVPs: James & Hannah


Exeter City 2 vs Taunton 2

With the 2nd team taking top billing, SWKA also felt it appropriate to send down a Welsh international player to referee the encounter. It also saw an Exeter debut for Anienke and the first match for a long time for Rob K, thanks mainly to an ankle support which looked like something out of Robocop!

Exeter 2 spent no time showing the 1st team how it's done, with some excellent play leading to a flurry of early goals. A running in shot from Mirjam and a short shot from Anienke allowed both players to open their accounts from the club. An excellent running in shot from Gav was illegally blocked by a girl, and he subsequently dispatched the penalty. A trademark long shot from Rob K and penalty from Matt gave Exeter a 5-2 lead after 13 minutes.

The responsibility for what happened next lies entirely with Steve P, whose idle comment on the touchline that it looked better than the first's game seemed to completely ruin Exeter 2's chances. Taunton fought fire with fire, with some excellent and fast paced play of their own letting them claw back the score and take an 8-6 half-time lead, with Exeter's 6th goal coming from captain Matt.

The second half was much more subdued, with both sides struggling to score, even from the penalty spot! The only moment of glory went to Will, who capped off a fantastic performance with an excellent goal, shooting on the turn from mid-range. Taunton finished the game off with a few more goals, eventually running out 12-7 winners. A disappointing day all round, I'm sure nobody felt like dancing, but both games were closer than the scoreline suggested, and we'll just have to hope for better luck next time.

The home male MVP award went to Will, who continues to improve as a player each game, whilst the away vote went to Matt for a typical captain's performance. The female vote unanimously went to Anienke, who settled straight into her new club.

Scorers: Matt 2, Mirjam, Gav, Anienke, Rob K, Will

MVPs: Will/Matt, Anienke


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Saturday 14th February 2015

Horfield 2 vs Exeter City 1

There was no love lost on Valentines Day between City and Horfield as the two longstanding rivals met for the final time this season. The secondary objective of the visit was quickly achieved, as the scoreboard was liberated from its hostage takers. With the scoreboard returned,  the Firsts then did their best to wear it out, barely giving scoreboard-operator/super-sub Helen a moment to rest between goals as they comprehensively swept aside Horfield and achieved their second highest goal tally of the 14/15 season so far.
The first half ticked along at a steady pace after Horfield scored the opening goal from distance before Alan quickly replied with a long range goal of his own to set Exeter rolling. Horfield were largely limited to long range shots but this proved relatively successful early on as they scored a brace from long shots to take a 3-1 lead at  the 12 minute mark.
This would prove to be a short lived advantage however, as goals from Alan and Sam quickly rheeled in the home side. Another three Horfield goals were matched by efforts from Alan, Hazel and Lisa with the score 5-7 in Exeter's favour going into the interval.
The opening 20mins of the second period more or less sealed the win for the Away team, as Exeter blew Horfield away with 10 goals in rapid succession to open up a comfortable 12 goal cushion. The goal onslaught was eventually curtailed by a Horfield score, who managed to muster a further two goals in between scores by Lisa, James and Claire (the final two both coming within the very last minute) before the referee drew proceedings to a close.
The superb goal tally capped a fantastic performance all round,  with the defensive play also worthy of praise alongside the headline grabbing attacking display. Both sides were in agreement for the female MVP vote, with Hazel taking the plaudits for 4 well taken goals and another polished performance. The male equivalent was shared between Alan and Sam, with the former scoring (a frankly ridiculous) 7 goals and the latter continuing to develop as a First team regular and scoring a more than respectable 3 goals to boot.

MVPs: Hazel & Alan/Sam
Goals: Alan 7 (!), Hazel 4, Lisa 4, Sam 3, Claire, James

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Sunday 8th February 2015

Exeter Uni 2 vs Exeter City 2

After arriving at the spiritual home of Exeter City Korf, the always welcoming Wonford Sports Centre,  the first obstacle to tackle was the news that the hall was in fact booked from an hour later than expected. This posed all sorts of problems but thankfully, the booking at Firehouse for post-match pizza was pushed back and after a flying visit to the delightful Tesco cafe, the 2nds game was finally underway.
Exeter Uni's unique brand of chaos always proves tricky to play against and their 2nd team were typically unpredictable. Their brownian motion-esque play style proved surprisingly effective however, as the University scored their first goal with only 2 minutes on the clock. Debs notched a textbook runner to level the score only for the Uni to once again edge ahead.
Matt followed Debs' lead with a running in shot of his own before another two goals for the Uni took the score to 4-2 at half time. The second half resumed after some words of encouragement from Coach Claire, with James H and James D making way for Ian and Sam and Helen C taking the field in place of Debs.
The game continued at the same frenetic pace and the University continued to take full advantage of the leniency shown towards contact, as City did well collectively to remain composed. As has often been the case this season, a great deal of attacking endeavor from City just lacked a clinical finish or stroke of luck, and despite coming desperately close on several occasions, the 2nds could not add to their tally. The University continued to plug away and slotted home a further four goals, with the final score 8-2 in favour of the students.
In spite of the relative lack of goals, once again there were great positives to take from the performance. Despite conceding 8, everyone worked hard in defense and its hugely pleasing to see that Exeter City 2 have currently conceded the fewest goals of any team in the league which- a fantastic achievement. James D did brilliantly in his first half of competitive Korf, especially after only one (!) training session.
The MVP votes were once again split, which again is testament to just how well everyone in the team is playing. The subs bench voted for Annabelle for female MVP, putting in another fine performance and already well established within the 2nd team in her first season. It's fantastic to have Debs back playing again, and the Uni appeared to agree as their vote went to her after a typically solid performance and a well taken goal. The male awards were testament to the positive effects of hungover Korfball, with Matt and James H receiving the City and Uni male MVP votes respectively.

MVPs: Anabelle/Debs & Matt/James H
Scorers: Debs, Matt

Exeter Uni 1 vs Exeter City 1

Looking to avenge the 2nds, a determined First team took to the court in full anticipation of a high tempo game and were not disappointed. Despite Sam's defection across the City, Exeter Uni still have several strong players, with a few talented new faces to bolster the team and proved perhaps more of a challenge than some were expecting.
The Firsts took the initiative,  with Claire opening the scoring from short range with a running in shot, only for the University to level with a short shot of their own. An Alan veer and an audacious James long shot from more or less half way both nullified by Uni goals as the Firsts struggled to pull away in spite of having the lions share of possession and scoring opportunities. A quickfire treble of City goals from Alan, Sam and Lisa gave some breathing space with the Uni scoring either side of yet another Alan goal to take the score to 5-7 in favour of City at half time.
In the absence of Rob K, the Firsts had the benefit of International coaching insight from Nynke and returned to the court with a few to extending their lead and seeing the game out. The University had other ideas however, scoring first and then following up 2 goals from Ian and another howitzer from Sam with 3 of their own. 2 goals in a row for the students then took the game to a tie at 10-10, before a short shot from Claire was followed with a further 3 scores for the University to take the opposition into a 13-11 lead.
What followed was a brilliant comeback, as City then scored 4 goals without reply to reclaim the lead and secure the points. A James drop off shot (slowmotion footage of which is available on request) was followed in rapid succession by another drop off from Ian and running in shots from Hannah and Sam to wrap up a well deserved 13-15 victory.
Special mention to Rosie for her first ever game for the Firsts in which she more than acquitted herself at the higher level. The female MVP awards went to Claire and Lisa from City and the Uni respectively,  working bloody hard as always in both attack and defense and chipping in with goals to boot.
James completed a clean sweep of male MVP votes from the Uni whilst the City bench voted for Alan for another korfing masterclass.

MVPs: Claire/Lisa & Alan/James H
Goals: Alan 3, Sam 3, Ian 3, Claire 2, James 2, Hannah, Lisa

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Saturday 31st January 2015

Exeter 2 vs Thunder 4

The unexpected absence of the scoreboard meant that the operator of the luminous yellow score sheets had to pay even more attention than usual. Fortunately Exeter 2 and Thunder 4 kept things easy, and the Korf untroubled, for the first 9 minutes. But then the deadlock was broken when a fantastic running in shot by Rosie was clattered by a Thunder player. Unfazed, Rosie stepped up and dispatched the penalty with ease.

But with three Thunder 2 players in their team, it was always going to be a competitive match, and Thunder 4 duly scored a couple of their own to take the lead. But then Exeter's recent training in fast, attack-minded play started to pay off, with 3 goals in 5 minutes from Rob O, Matt and a 2nd for Rosie. In spite of Rob K pulling his hair out on the touchline at the frequent presence of 2 players in collect, Exeter were playing some fantastic Korfball and were unlucky to only be 4-3 up at the break.

Claire's half-time team talk reaffirmed that Exeter should continue with this mentality, and 3 more goals quickly followed to put daylight between the teams. These came from the 2nd long range efforts of the game from Matt and Rob O, plus Helen J finally nailed a running-in shot after so many unsuccessful attempts in recent games. A running in shot from Hannah maintained Exeter's 4 goal lead after Thunder had got one back, and that was it as Exeter shut-out the final quarter of the game for an 8-4 victory.

Rosie was unanimously voted the female MVP, as she added a scoring dimension to her typically strong feeding and collecting game. The male vote was split between Rob O (home) and Matt (away), the reward for both being to run around for a further 30 minutes in the first team in place of the poorly Steve P. Well played to everyone though, in what was an excellent all-around team performance.

Scorers: Rosie 2, Rob O 2, Matt 2, Helen J, Hannah

MVPs: Rob O/Matt, Rosie

Exeter 1 vs Thunder 2

After a heavy defeat at the hands of Thunder 2 earlier in the season, Exeter 1 were hoping for better things, and set off at the speed of sound. The fast pace of the Exeter attacks would be difficult to sustain for 60 minutes, and the biggest surprise was that it took 10 minutes before Exeter were 2-0 up, with Alan providing both goals. However, 5 minutes later it was 2-2 and we were back to square one, with one particularly long range effort from a Thunder player providing a warning sign of things to come.

Exeter and Thunder then matched each other blow-for-blow for the next 10 minutes until the scores were 5-5, with Alan, Claire and Ian providing Exeter's goals at ever increasing distances from the post. Unfortunately Thunder then ran in a quick 4 goals and everyone was ready for the half-time break. Except for Sam, whose shot from near halfway had left his hands milliseconds before the whistle was blown... when the ball eventually returned from orbit and dropped through the Korf, the goal stood to make it 9-6 at half-time and give Exeter the boost they needed.

Unfortunately, Thunder started quicker after half-time, adding another 3 goals that were only interrupted by a mid-range effort from Ian. But as the game entered minute 42 with the score 7-12, Exeter found another gear and the comeback was on. 2 running in shots from Michelle, the first of which was scored and the second resulted in a penalty which Alan dispatched, followed a long range effort from Matt, and set up a nervous last 10 minutes for Thunder. With the clocks ticking down, Lisa brought Exeter to within 1, but there was to be no "Fergie time" added to the game and the final whistle blew at 11-12.

The MVP awards highlighted a couple of excellent personal battles. Alan was unanimously voted the male MVP for his personal 4-4 draw with Thunder's male MVP, whilst Hazel took the home female vote for her excellent performance against Thunder's female MVP. Lisa took the away vote for a similarly good performance, being at the centre of everything that happened at her end and being unlucky to only score a single goal.

Scorers: Alan 4, Ian 2, Claire, Sam, Matt, Michelle, Lisa

MVPs: Alan, Hazel/Lisa

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Saturday 17th January 2015

Exeter 2 vs Horfield 3

Haunted by the loss at the hands of Gloucester school the previous weekend, Exeter 2 arrived safe and sound in Horfield hoping for a strong performance to help shake it off and push on up the table. Horfield are a side Exeter know all too well and their 3rd team featured some very experienced players in amongst the new faces.

The scoring in the first half was very much one way and unfortunately not in Exeter's favour. Horfield notched a hat trick of goals before Annabelle scored a well taken running in shot, having only scored her first ever goal  the last time out against Gloucester. Despite playing some brilliant attacking korf, the goals would not come and at half time the score stood at 4-1 to Horfield.

Some pointers and words of encouragement from Rob and the prospect of some of James' unrivalled brownies gave Exe the boost they needed and a reinvigorated 2nds returned to the court determined to score goals. The game continued to be very stop-start, with the fairly blunt refereeing causing deserved frustration and disrupting the flow of the game. Rosie in particular deserves an honourable mention for staying calm and collected under rather intense scrutiny and dealt well with the physicality of her opposite number. Helen also did well not to lose her head, this time more literally, when a Horfield boy saw red, got his sports mixed up and virtually clotheslined her to the ground. The referee deemed the incident entirely innocent of any malicious intent however (rightly, I may add) and play resumed. A fearless Helen J dusted herself off and continued to run rings around her opponent and typified the hard work and effort on display from Exeter 2 this season.

The Korf remained thoroughly unimpressed with the 2nds attacking endeavours however and remained particularly mean until practically the last 15 minutes. Ian added to his impressive scoring record with a short shot, finally seeing a return for some superb link up play with Captain Matt. The remaining minutes saw each side exchanging scores, with a fantastic brace from Will bookending another Ian effort as Horfield converted enough of their limited chances to remain in the lead, finishing 7-5 winners.

The difficulty picking MVPs is a further testament to the 2nd team performances this season and once again the whole team put a fantastic shift in. The Home vote for female MVP narrowly went to Michelle, who practically marked her girl out of the game and was supreme in defence throughout. The Away vote went to Annabelle, who had a brilliant game all round and plucked interceptions out of the sky like an NFL receiver. The Male award went unanimously to Matt, who left both teams enchanted with his attacking interplay with Ian and all round performance.

Scorers: Ian 2,Will 2, Annabelle 1

MVPs: Michelle/Annabelle, Matt

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Saturday 10th January 2015

Exeter 2 vs Gloucester 2

Having played more games at City Academy in Bristol than any single venue in Exeter during the first half of the season, Exeter started to feel some semblance of a "home" venue, returning to St Peter's school for the 2nd time this season.

The first game back after Christmas is always a tough one, as we've barely seen each other in a month, and we always knew that Gloucester 2 would be trouble, after a particularly tough match against them earlier in the season. The opening exchanges were fairly even, with Exeter creating some good scoring opportunities, particularly through stand-in captain Helen J, who seemed able to stroll past her defender at will but just couldn't get any shots to drop in.

Eventually the Gloucester team, boasting 5 players with regional league experience, broke the deadlock, and swiftly added a second to set the tone for the rest of the match. Gloucester weren't creating many more opportunities than Exeter, but were just doing a better job of taking them. Finally Sam opened Exeter's account for 2015 with a well taken running-in shot, but that was to be the only joy for Exeter in the 1st half, with the score being 1-6 at the interval.

The second half saw Mirjam making her début for Exeter, and she acquitted herself admirably. Gloucester could only add a couple more goals to their tally, whilst Exeter seemed to lose a bit of confidence in their own ability, with the play becoming quite slow and static and consequently scoring opportunities started to dry-up. But Exeter were certainly not going down in flames, and continued fighting to the death. And with barely seconds remaining, the effort paid off with an excellent goal from Annabelle, opening her account in the sport of Korfball - hopefully the first of many!

The match ended 8-2 to Gloucester, and whilst the game left everyone breathless (and apparently with battered feet), there were plenty of positives and we will quickly shake it off and prepare for Horfield 3 next weekend. The MVP votes went unanimously to Helen J, who played brilliantly and was desperately unlucky not to score, and to Sam, who's lightening on his feet and brings an energy that lifts the whole team.

Scorers: Sam, Annabelle

MVPs: Sam, Helen J

Exeter City 1 vs Bristol Thunder 3

After a mad dash across the city from their 2nd's and 4th's games against Exeter Uni, Thunder 3 finally arrived, and were greeted by an Exeter 1 side in no mood to hang around. A running-in shot from Helen O and drop-off shot from Ian gave Exeter the 2-0 lead Rob K had requested within 3 minutes. After winning promotion from SWKA2 last season, Thunder 3 have been discovering first hand that the play in SWKA1 is literally in a different league! Exeter notched up another 10 goals in the first half, with everyone contributing brilliantly. The game was wide-open and fast-paced, with some great attacking play from both sides, with Thunder popping-in 5 goals of their own, making the half-time score 12-5. The biggest surprise of the 1st half was that it included a 7 minute spell in which the scorer was untroubled.

At the break, Helen O and a poorly Lisa made way to Hannah and Michelle, and Rob set the challenge of 20+ goals to prevent complacency from Exeter in the 2nd half. Exeter kept the scoreboard ticking over, with more goals from everyone, ensuring that all 10 players got a goal. And as Exeter sailed past 20 goals, it became apparent that Exeter's biggest problem was whether the scorekeeper could keep-up, as she ran out of blank space to write the names. Rob called a time-out to re-evaluate his request to 30 goals! The final whistle blew with the score at 27-10 to Exeter, which in the archive of FixturesLive is the most goals scored in a match by an Exeter team.

It was particularly difficult to single out any individual for praise, as the whole team played fantastically - therefore just read the scorers list, you were all brilliant. But the home female MVP vote went to Hazel, who joint top-scored for Exeter and invented a comedy new warm-up routine, which no one managed to imitate in the game. The away vote went to Hannah, whose excellent 2nd half performance caught the attention of the Thunder bench. The male vote went unanimously to James, helped by his lucky (and figure hugging small sized) number 22 shirt, deservedly doubling his goal tally for the season.

Scorers: James 4, Hazel 4, Helen O 3, Ian 3, Lisa 3, Alan 3, Claire 2, Hannah 2, Steve P 2, Michelle

MVPs: Hazel/Hannah, James

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Saturday 13th December - Away vs Bristol Uni 

Bristol Uni 2 vs. Exeter 2

Exeter City made the familiar journey up the M5 to take on high flying Bristol Uni, fully prepared for two very tough games against tenacious table topping teenagers (try saying that three times fast). Having spent the preceding training session focussing on how to cope with high energy opposition and retain possession under lots of pressure, the seconds took to the court with a definite game plan.

Exe had the better of the opening minutes, recycling the ball superbly in attack and were unlucky to go behind. Captain Matt drew the sides level with a well taken long shot to keep Exeter in touch. With a full compliment of substitutes available, everyone was encouraged to push hard and pile on the pressure in defence and the Seconds delivered in spades- repeatedly stealing back the ball and frustrating the Uni. In response to the Seconds' defensive prowess, it wasn't long before the University cracked out the infamous "Scissors of Doom", often (quite wrongly) heralded as the ultimate in Korfball attacking manoeuvres. Fully prepared for this development,  stand in coach James provided some brief pointers and Exe quickly blunted the new threat. In spite of the great work in attack, Exe struggled to convert their chances and were unlucky to go into the break level at 3-3- Rob O sinking a penalty and Hannah chipping in with a fine goal.

Will and Helen C ran their socks off and were duly rewarded for their efforts with a well deserved rest at half time, replaced by Gav and Annabelle respectively. The half time team talk kept the focus on maintaining the pressure in defence and keeping patient in possession and, after an early second half time out to re-emphasise this, the hard work began to pay dividends. Exe managed to build some breathing space following a crucial passage of play, scoring 3 goals without reply to take a 5-8 lead which would prove unassailable. A long range mortar strike from Gav found the Korf without even touching the sides and left the Uni bench (and small army of coaches) stunned into silence. A Hannah running in shot stifled any hope of a comeback and the Seconds saw out the game to secure a hard fought and thoroughly well deserved 8-10 victory, keeping them very much in the hunt for a third successive title.

Special mention to Helen C for refusing to let Alex hog the collect in his division, and also to Annabelle for literally bleeding for the cause and holding her own against a particularly physical player. Both sides were unanimous in awarding their MVPs, with Matt and Hannah taking the plaudits on this occasion. Hannah no doubt drew praise from the Exeter bench for managing to avoid injury whilst celebrating the second of her 3 goals whilst Matt typified the team's patient approach and showed maturity beyond his years, capping off a great performance with 2 goals.

A final shout out to the whole team for their performance of the season so far!  Final Score Bristol Uni 8: Exeter 10

MVPs- Hannah & Matt
Scorers- Hannah 3, Matt 2, Rob O 2, Gav 2, Annie

Bristol Uni 1 vs. Exeter 1

With a tough act to follow, the Firsts lined up against undefeated Bristol Uni 1 who have surprised many this season with a run of impressive results, recently notching 29 goals against our Orange wearing neighbours. The Uni took the initiative in the first half, stretching out a 6-2 lead as Exe struggled to break down their defence and were punished by some speculative long range shots (which proved  frustratingly accurate) and some well worked running in shots. Long range efforts from Alan and Helen O kept the Firsts in touch at the midway point. Despite the lack of goals,Exeter 1 continued where the Seconds left off, keeping the Uni under constant pressure and maintaining composure in possession.

After running themselves into the ground, Lisa and Steve made way for Michelle and Ian for the second half. Play resumed with another superb long shot from Alan and although this was quickly followed by two Bristol Uni scores, the foundations of a spirited Exeter fightback had been laid. After several close attempts in the first half, Exeter began to get some joy with their running in shots, with Michelle making her presence felt with a textbook example. A Sam double reeled the Uni in further but two Bristol goals either side of a Michelle short shot left Exeter with a 3 goal defect to overturn, trailing 10-7 with a quarter of the game to go. The Firsts notched 3 goals in as many minutes to tie the game, with a Helen O effort swiftly followed by two brilliant running in shots from Ian, who left his marker for dust to set up another grandstand finish.

The final period became incredibly tight, with neither side able to take the lead. The Exeter attack found their way past the Uni defence on multiple occasions, with brilliant interplay between Sam and Alan causing all sorts of problems. The ball refused to drop however, with the Korf at that end of pitch refusing to yield a goal as the Firsts went desperately close over and over again without success. At the other end, Exe survived a penalty but struggled to clear their lines as the Uni put together a string of attacks and quickly won back possession, piling on the pressure. The Uni's superior possession eventually paid dividends, forcing their way through a tiring Exeter defence with 5 minutes to go. Another Uni goal in the 59th minute more or less wrapped up the win for the league leaders as the Firsts fell agonizingly short of a famous victory.

As with the Seconds game, the hard work and effort on display could not be faulted and if both teams can replicate their performances over the rest of the season more wins will surely follow. Sam won male MVP from both teams, working hard in both attack and defence as he continues to build in confidence and scoring an important quick fire double in the second half. With a fantastic showing in the second half, Michelle earned the home vote for female MVP whilst Helen O won the away team vote and was unlucky to leave with just the 2 goals to her name.  Final Score Bristol Uni 12: Exeter 10

MVPs- Sam & Michelle/Helen O
Scorers- Alan 2,Michelle 2, Ian 2, Sam 2, Helen O 2

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Saturday 22nd November - Home vs Horfield

Exeter 2 vs Horfield 3

This weekend brought the return to our spiritual home of Wonford, and the usual "must win" fixture against coach Rob's former club, Horfield.

The second team, still buoyed by the glory of last weekends demolition of Gloucester, initially looked like they might pick-up where they left off. They took a quick 2-0 lead with goals from Matt and ECKC founder member Tony, playing his first match this season. However, Horfield were always going to prove a sterner test, and sure enough they quickly pegged Exeter back. A frantic first-half ensued, with both sides trading blows and creating many scoring opportunities. Sadly the shooting accuracy didn't quite match the build-up play, with the first half ending 4-4.

The second half brought the return of Rob K for his first game of the season, after a long injury lay-off. And he quickly discovered his scoring boots, with a typical long-range effort. The play continued to be fast and frenzied, with the scoreboard ticking over but neither team able to build a decisive lead. But just when it looked like Exeter might be pulling away, going 10-8 up with 10 minutes to go, defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory. 3 goals including 2 penalties gave Horfield an 11-10 win, the winning goal coming with just seconds remaining!

Whilst everyone was bitterly disappointed, there were plenty of positives to take from the game, and with 3 weeks until the next game, there's plenty of time to regroup ahead of our away day at Bristol Uni.

The male MVP awards went to Ian (home) and Tony (away), for contributing the majority of Exeter's goals. The home female award went to Annie, for dealing excellently with someone considerably taller than her, whilst Nynke took the away vote for her second half performance.

Scorers: Tony 4, Ian 2, Matt, Lorena, Nynke, Rob K

MVPs: Ian/Tony, Annie/Nynke

Exeter 1 vs Horfield 2

The first team team had a much slower start, with only 1 goal scored in the first 12 minutes. However, once they had settled into the game and found their range, the scoreboard started ticking over, especially from the James/Alan/Hannah/Helen O division, who spent only 8 minutes attacking in the first half to return 4 goals, leaving the scoreline at 7-1 to Exeter by half-time.

Rob's "ball skills" training was clearly paying off, as both Sam and Alan delivered flashy but perfectly-timed passes behind their own backs, the second of which resulted in Hazel winning Exeter a free-pass. Exeter continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over during the second half, with Horfield's only joy coming from a running in shot described as "so fast, no-one could keep up".

There remained only one thing missing, and with 58 minutes gone Hazel passed Alan the ball and followed it, before veering towards the post, receiving the ball back and scoring. The first goal scored by an Exeter player using "the move" against Horfield, whom Rob stole it from. A well deserved chocolate bar prize was presented after the match!!

This finished the game, with Exeter winning 13-2. Congratulations to everyone, especially Sam, who was desperately unlucky not to score but unanimously voted MVP. Claire took the home vote, for another captain's performance, whilst Nynke took the away vote for her second half performance (Deja vu?).

Scorers: Alan 3, Claire 2, Nynke 2, Hazel 2, Lisa, Helen O, James, Steve P

MVPs: Sam, Claire/Nynke
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Away vs Gloucester - November 15th 2014

Gloucester 3 vs Exeter City 2

For the first time in several years, Exeter had to make the long trip “up North” to Gloucester, with the ability of both sides to field legal teams in some doubt until just minutes before kick-off. Thankfully, the match was to be a competitive one, the first ever for the newly formed Gloucester 3 side, thanks to the slightly surprising appearance of Mr SWKA himself in a Gloucester shirt: Kevin Allen.

Exeter were in no mood to hang about, with early goals from Hazel, Matt and a played-for,got and scored penalty from Ian making the score 3-0 after 5 minutes. That set the tone a bit for the match, as Exeter exploited the Gloucester inexperience to score three more goals in quick succession.

The early lead allowed Exeter to relax a bit and bring some of our more inexperienced players into the game. Rachel P, making her debut, had several excellent running-in shots and was terribly unlucky not to score. Annabelle, playing her first full match, continued to show a natural aptitude for Korfball, particularly in feeding and collecting.

Will continues to improve as a player, and was unfortunate not to score, being denied probably his best opportunity by his own team. An excellently timed run-in caught everyone off guard, including Ian who had simultaneously decided that nothing was happening and it was time to get out of collect. The resulting rugby tackle led to a several minute delay in the game whilst everyone stopped laughing! However, arguably the player of the match was Lorena, scoring more goals in 30 minutes either side of half-time than she had in her previous 11 Korfball matches.

With the score standing at 11-0 at half time, the question became how many could we manage and would it be record breaking. The answer was that the 19-0 full time score equalled the biggest ever win by an Exeter team (in the 7 seasons recorded on fixtures live, 23-4 being the other). Congratulations to everyone who played, especially Sam, Hazel and Lorena who took the MVP awards.

We should also congratulate Gloucester, who never gave up and continued to give 100% right until the final whistle.

Scorers: Lorena 6, Hazel 5, Ian 3, Matt 3, Sam 2

MVPs: Sam, Lorena/Hazel

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Home vs Exeter Uni - November 8th 2014

Exeter City 2 vs Exeter Uni 2 

Derby day in Exeter, and our somewhat nomadic tour of Exeter sports halls moved to another new venue at St Peter’s School. Thankfully, the roof was somewhat higher than the last match!

The SWKL2 fixture provided a top-of-the-table clash, with Uni and City both currently holding 2 wins apiece. City had the better of the early exchanges, earning a fantastic goal from Rosie and several free passes. Unfortunately, the Uni rode their luck and proved better at taking their opportunities, running into a quick 3-1 lead.

After several weeks with a niggling injury, Helen J’s ankle finally gave way, forcing an early substitution. And after one of the longest waits to make a substitution ever, Hannah still had to ask whether she was attacking shortly after coming on. She made up for this with a quick penalty, and another cheeky goal from Rosie brought the score to 4-5 at half time.

Our neutral spectator (the school caretaker) was so enthralled by this new sport, that he went and grabbed his friend, taking our attendance record to 2. The Exeter injury curse hit again shortly after half time, when Steve T’s knee gave out whilst celebrating a goal. Expect an end-of-season award for that moment of genius! A wonder goal from Will was the only other moment of City joy in the second half, with the Uni eventually running out 10-6 winners.

Special mention must go to Helen C and Annabelle for solid performances on their debuts, particularly Annabelle in only her third week of Korfball and only playing due to a clerical error. The fact that she wasn’t crying afterwards now commits her to playing again next week! As seems to be becoming a trend, home MVP votes went to Matt and Rosie for typically good performances, whilst the away votes went to Will and Rosie, who are quickly becoming the power couple of Exeter 2.

Scorers: Rosie 2, Matt, Hannah, Steve T, Will

MVPs: Matt/Will, Rosie

Exeter City 1 vs Exeter Uni 1

The SWKL1 fixture saw a new look Exeter 1 side, still chasing their first win of the season, up against a Uni team flying high in the league thanks to recent wins against Horfield and Thunder. It also saw the introduction of a new tactic: get a good collect in and watch as Alan drains it from miles away! This put City 2-0 up before the Uni even knew what was happening.

The Uni proved a typically energetic opposition, challenging Alex’s dominance in collect on several occasions and scoring many long range efforts of their own to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Refusing to be outdone by Alan’s third of the half, Michelle added two long range goals of her own to leave City leading 7-4 after a half in which a short range goal wasn’t scored.

The second half saw Rosie making her SWKL1 debut, and she just picked up where she left off in the 2nds game, defending and collecting like someone who’d been playing the game for years. Uni also benefited from the half time break, coming out of the blocks much faster than city and pulling the score back to 9-8, leading to some nervous moments in the City camp. However more goals from Claire, Alan and Lisa, and a birthday goal for Sam against his old club, let City stretch their lead and run out eventual winners 16-10.

The male home MVP award went to Ian on his first full 60 minutes in the 1sts, whilst the away vote went to Alan for being score-wise the 6 goal difference between the teams. The female home MVP vote went to Claire for a great captain’s display, whilst the away vote went to Lisa for another great display and some important goals.

Scorers: Alan 6, Alex 2, Michelle 2, Claire 3, Lisa 2, Sam

MVPs: Ian/Alan, Claire/Lisa

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Home vs Bristol City - October 25th 2014

Exeter 2 vs Bristol City 3
 
Following last week's relatively comfortable performance, the seconds came through to claim another 3 points after a much tighter match against Bristol City 3. Both sides had to contend with the unique peculiarities of the venue, with low hanging beams turning the action into something more akin to pinball at times.

The opening attacks were unsurprisingly fairly tentative, with each side struggling to take into account the difficult conditions and figuring out which areas were free of overhead obstructions to get clean shots away. Fittingly nearly all of the goals came at short range, with Bristol's penalty cancelled out by a Gav running in shot. In a change from the opening two games, the seconds were forced to play catch up for much of the game as Bristol City repeatedly edged back in front after every Exeter score. Patient attacking by the home side unfortunately went largely unrewarded as Bristol played their way into a 3-7 lead, placing Exeter's unbeaten start to the season in jeopardy and sparking the 2nds into action. Half time saw Michelle and Will make way for Annie and Alex, with Will showing great korfmitment by fitting in a half before dashing off to work.

The introduction of collect juggernaut Alex into the fray led to some fantastic recycling of the ball in attack in his divison after the restart. Thankfully the big man succeeded in keeping his elbows to himself and capped his first appearance of the season with a deserved goal. Gav somehow successfully negotiated the beams to score a long shot and Ian added three goals of his own to the tally, the last of which took the scores to 8-8 in the dying minutes and set up a grandstand finish.

The deciding goal fell to Matt, showing no signs of pressure and producing a textbook penalty to clinch a pulsating victory with essentially the last act of the game. For his last minute heroics, Matt was awarded the MVP award by Bristol whilst a consistently strong performance for the whole 60 minutes, including some vital goals, earned Ian the home vote. Rosie once again played brilliantly and was unanimously awarded female MVP, with a special mention for her fantastic work in collect.

Special thanks to Rob K for dragging himself round the pitch for an hour as stand in referee and particularly for knowing the rules for when the ball hits the roof/moronic low hanging beams!


Scorers: Gav 4, Ian 3, Alex, Matt

MVPs- Ian/Matt, Rosie


Exeter 1 vs Bristol City 2

After a tense finale to the 2nds match, the Exeter bench was hopeful of a more relaxed encounter between Exeter 1 and Bristol 2- needless to say what followed was an equally nail biting affair. The firsts started strongly with Captain Alan’s division taking advantage of starting in attack and taking an early 2 goal lead through a James double. A niggling injury saw stalwart Rob O sidelined and brought Sam on in his stead.  Both sides then exchanged goals to take the scores to 7-5, Exeter maintaining their 2 goal cushion with goals from Steve, Hannah, Helen O, Alan and Sam.

Following some guidance from coach Rob, the firsts pressed the opposition high up the court and worked hard to cut out feeds, frustrating Bristol City and stifling their attack for long periods. Both divisions attacked confidently and put together some fluid offensive moves but again struggled to convert chances, with the Korf proving particularly unkind. The opposition proved to be more clinical with their limited chances, scoring 2 goals without reply which took the scores to 7-7 as momentum began to shift in favour of the away team.

After an MVP-worthy performance, Lisa left the field to be replaced by returning Hazel, who settled straight back into competitive Korf after a lengthy absence. A combination of the aforementioned beams, close scrutiny from the referee and great accuracy from Bristol left the score at 10-12 (Bristol’s twelfth courtesy of a converted free pass conceded by James bulldozing through his man after a missed penalty). With time running short and the firsts desperate for their first points of the season, newcomers Sam and Nynke completed a stunning Great Escape, converting a penalty and free pass to level the game at 12-12. The only things missing were Steve McQueen jumping the Swiss border on a motor bike and a winning goal, Exeter sharing the spoils and earning their first point of the 14/15 season.

Another fantastic showing from Lisa secured the MVP vote from the away team whilst Hannah impressed on her first full 60 minutes for the Firsts this season, notching a goal and the home vote for female MVP.  Steve P continues to grow in stature, regularly chipping in with goals in addition to his previously highlighted defensive prowess which earned him the home team’s MVP award. A trio of goals, the last of which formed part of a memorable comeback, capped an impressive attacking showing from Sam who took home the away team's male MVP nomination.

Scorers: Sam 3, Steve P 2, James 2, Alan 2 Hannah, Nynke, Helen O

MVPs- Lisa/Hannah, Sam/Steve P

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SuperSaturday - Bristol - October 18th 2014


Gloucester 2 vs Exeter 2

After successfully negotiating diversions and closed roads on route to Super Saturday, the 2nds built upon their impressive start in Week 1 with a comprehensive victory against Gloucester 2. A flurry of goals saw them take a healthy 7-2 lead within the first 15 minutes and left onlookers relishing the prospect of a goal fest. Will, aptly wearing number 9, showed his attacking prowess with a hat trick on only his second ever competitive game in the sport.  Hannah also had her shooting boots on,  matching Will's tally with three goals of her own and playing her way into the 1sts starting line up next week. Fortunately for the opposition, the run rate slowed somewhat with the scores at 9-4 going into the interval.

After another assured performance, Michelle made way for Nynke at half time and so began a good exercise in consolidation, with the 2nds again enjoying plenty of possession and defending well as a team. After threatening to run away with the game early on,  a final score of 11-7 reflected the more dangerous attacking threat posed by Gloucester in the second half. Exe delivered a measured defensive display throughout, but (perhaps inevitably after the frenetic start) couldn't quite maintain the same structure and composure in attack for 60mins.

Returning from a lengthy spell on the physio table, Ian safely avoided further injury and saw out the full hour, putting in a characteristically solid performance and adding to the growing number of players knocking on the door to 1st team Korfball.
 Will was unanimously declared male MVP for his aforementioned eye for the Korf whilst Hannah and Rosie split opinion for the female equivalent.  The Exeter bench went for Hannah whilst Gloucester were clearly impressed by Rosie's performance, who continues to develop and already looks at home on the court just two game in to a promising career in amateur alternative sports.

Scorers: Hannah 3, Will 3, Michelle 2, Sam 2, Helen J

MVPs- Will, Hannah/Rosie

Bristol Thunder 2 vs Exeter 1

After a gruelling opening day defeat against Taunton the 1sts faced another stern test against a Thunder side featuring several players with WRL and Champions Trophy experience alongside SWKL1 veterans. As with the game against Taunton, the opening minutes saw both sides exchanging goals, with an Alan penalty and a drop-off from James cancelling out Thunder's early double. Unfortunately, this was as close as the scoreline would get for the remaining 55 minutes, as Exe conceded a punishing 9 goals without reply to trail 11-2. Exe suffered injuries to both Rob O and Nynke early on, bringing Ian and Hannah into the fray, with the former making his mark and taking Exeter's tally to 3. In spite of their hard work and positive play, Exe once again  struggled to convert their chances despite often building well structured attacks and demonstrating solid link up play. This led to greater pressure on the defense, which was once again far better than the score line would suggest. Particularly impressive was Steve, whose composed  performance under the post ,against arguably Thunder's strongest player, was testament to his development over the last season.

With a full game already under his belt, exhaustion finally got the better of Ian who made way for Matt towards the end of the second half  whilst Helen J also gained some more valuable 1st team experience, coming on in place of Hannah.

After a speech from Captain Claire which can only be described as Churchillian, a newly inspired Exeter put together a gutsy closing period, notching 5 goals and reclaiming some pride to take the final score to 24-10. Whilst still in search of their first elusive points, the 1sts showed that they're more than capable of competing with the best SWKL1 has to offer. With some better luck and a bit more time in training, the hard work will undoubtedly begin to yield results.

Helen O once again secured female MVP,  capping another fine performance with a goal. The jury was out over male MVP, with Steve's determined display winning the Exeter vote whilst Thunder opted for Matt, who banged in two goals in a lively 10 minute cameo.

Scorers: Alan 3, Ian 2, Matt 2, Helen O, James, Lisa

MVPs- Helen O, Steve/Matt

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Sunday 12th October  - Away vs Taunton

Taunton 2 vs Exeter 2
 
The defending SWKL2 champions faced a stiff early test of their credentials with a tight encounter against an experienced Taunton 2 side. The Exeter line up featured several debutants in amongst experienced heads and Richard, Rosie and Will performed fantastically in their first competetive game whilst Sam impressed in his first showing for City following his move from local rivals Exeter University on a bosman transfer.
 
Exeter somewhat dominated going forward, enjoying the lions share of possession throughout the game and recycling the ball well in attack. Stand in captain Matt showed a newfound aptitude for set plays, establishing himself as something of a deadball specialist and early pace setter for top scorer this season, slotting in two penalties and a free pass.
 
Equally pleasing was the defensive performance, with everyone coping well with the physicality of the game and some of the more...unusual attacking tactics employed by Taunton. Of particular note was Rosie's recogniton of Walking the Block from a video she'd seen on Youtube.
 
Despite their endeavors, Exe were unfortunately unable to convert their possession into a sustainable lead, with Taunton able to claw back a two goal deficit in the dying minutes to secure a 6-6 draw and a share of the spoils. Matt's set piece prowess and link up play with Sam earned him the award for male MVP whilst a reliably strong all round performance, topped off with a penalty, secured the female MVP for Michelle.
 
Scorers: Matt 3, Michelle, Helen O, Rob O
 MVPs- Matt and Michelle
 
Taunton 1 vs Exeter 1
 
A new look 1sts,  as much through injury as design,  fought a bruising opening fixture against a typically direct Taunton side. The match started somewhat ominously, conceding within seconds after the throw off in disappointing fashion. That aside however, the opening exchanges were relatively even- with neither team able to pull away.
 
As with the 2nds, the 1sts were desperately unlucky to see low returns from some fantastic attacking play, further adding to the building frustration caused (somewhat ironically) by constant infringements for physical fouls disrupting momentum and giving Taunton plenty of opportunities to score from set plays. Seemingly lacking their own specialist from the penalty spot, Taunton failed to capitalise on the generous supply of penalties and free passes, ensuring the scores remained close going into half time.
 
In the second half, Exe were unable to maintain the same level of fluency in attack, resulting in increasingly long and exhausting periods of intense defending which began to take its toll. Taunton were able to pull away,  eventually finishing 13-7 winners in a socreline which fails to reflect the highly competitive nature of the match.
 
In spite of the scoreline, there were plenty of positives to take into next week's fixture against Bristol Thunder, with Nynke completing an accomplished debut after a 30minute cameo for the seconds, dominating in collect and defending well. Sam, brought on at half time, topped off a fantastic day with a throughly deserved goal. Despite conceding 13 goals, the defensive performance was in fact very encouraging, as were the effort levels from the entire team who left everything on the court.

Helen O won admiration for her attacking play, causing Taunton headaches with a combination of pace in attack, accuracy at range and solid defense securing female MVP. James picked up the male equivalent, enjoying  particularly close attention from the referee but combining well with Alan in defense to restrict last season's top goal scorer for Taunton and the South West League overall to just one goal all game (partially making up for conceding 9 against the same player last season).
 
Scorers: Lisa 2, Steve P, Rob O, Helen O, Alan, Sam

MVPs- James and Helen O
 
Congratulations again to all the debutants who played exceptionally across the board!

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Saturday 22nd November - Home vs Horfield

Exeter 2 vs Horfield 3

This weekend brought the return to our spiritual home of Wonford, and the usual "must win" fixture against coach Rob's former club, Horfield.

The second team, still buoyed by the glory of last weekends demolition of Gloucester, initially looked like they might pick-up where they left off. They took a quick 2-0 lead with goals from Matt and ECKC founder member Tony, playing his first match this season. However, Horfield were always going to prove a sterner test, and sure enough they quickly pegged Exeter back. A frantic first-half ensued, with both sides trading blows and creating many scoring opportunities. Sadly the shooting accuracy didn't quite match the build-up play, with the first half ending 4-4.

The second half brought the return of Rob K for his first game of the season, after a long injury lay-off. And he quickly discovered his scoring boots, with a typical long-range effort. The play continued to be fast and frenzied, with the scoreboard ticking over but neither team able to build a decisive lead. But just when it looked like Exeter might be pulling away, going 10-8 up with 10 minutes to go, defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory. 3 goals including 2 penalties gave Horfield an 11-10 win, the winning goal coming with just seconds remaining!

Whilst everyone was bitterly disappointed, there were plenty of positives to take from the game, and with 3 weeks until the next game, there's plenty of time to regroup ahead of our away day at Bristol Uni.

The male MVP awards went to Ian (home) and Tony (away), for contributing the majority of Exeter's goals. The home female award went to Annie, for dealing excellently with someone considerably taller than her, whilst Nynke took the away vote for her second half performance.

Scorers: Tony 4, Ian 2, Matt, Lorena, Nynke, Rob K

MVPs: Ian/Tony, Annie/Nynke

Exeter 1 vs Horfield 2

The first team team had a much slower start, with only 1 goal scored in the first 12 minutes. However, once they had settled into the game and found their range, the scoreboard started ticking over, especially from the James/Alan/Hannah/Helen O division, who spent only 8 minutes attacking in the first half to return 4 goals, leaving the scoreline at 7-1 to Exeter by half-time.

Rob's "ball skills" training was clearly paying off, as both Sam and Alan delivered flashy but perfectly-timed passes behind their own backs, the second of which resulted in Hazel winning Exeter a free-pass. Exeter continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over during the second half, with Horfield's only joy coming from a running in shot described as "so fast, no-one could keep up".

There remained only one thing missing, and with 58 minutes gone Hazel passed Alan the ball and followed it, before veering towards the post, receiving the ball back and scoring. The first goal scored by an Exeter player using "the move" against Horfield, whom Rob stole it from. A well deserved chocolate bar prize was presented after the match!!

This finished the game, with Exeter winning 13-2. Congratulations to everyone, especially Sam, who was desperately unlucky not to score but unanimously voted MVP. Claire took the home vote, for another captain's performance, whilst Nynke took the away vote for her second half performance (Deja vu?).

Scorers: Alan 3, Claire 2, Nynke 2, Hazel 2, Lisa, Helen O, James, Steve P

MVPs: Sam, Claire/Nynke