As week 6 begins and the BA students sod off home for their well-deserved(??) week off, it can only be time to reminisce on the adventures of our week cavorting with the Mixed Hockey lot.
The week started well with the hockey tournament being undeterred by the rain (we'd have definitely been in Bar Fusion eating chips within 10 minutes, but the steely perseverance of the hockey players managed to encourage us to stick with it). We were well and truly thrown in at the deep end- most of us having our hockey experience limited to extremely traumatic PE experiences many years ago- but some of us managed to be helpful and contribute to our teams, the rest managing to successfully stay out of the way and on their feet (with a few exceptions.. Charlotte.. Annabelle..).
With the following day came the netball tournament (and some achey Mixed Netballers). The rain managed to hold off this time (even mother nature prefers netball) and the session got off to a good start. After a quick explanation of the netball rules ("..no you can't tackle") the hockey players soon began to pick it up and before long it was time for the tournament to begin. All went well in the games, and after some questionable first results, a quick recalculation rectified the situation- if you were in the winning team congratulations! If not, you know, it's the taking part that counts... In addition to some (questionable) netball tekkers, we also managed to raise about £30 from our swear jar- who knew we all had such filthy mouths. Huge thanks to everyone who owned up to their swearing and paid up!
The midweek boat race between various netball and hockey members which immediately followed the netball training is still somewhat baffling- bringing 10 cans of Strongbow Dark Fruit to training isn't generally considered normal practise- but with some questionable sportsmanship from both sides and a gallant sacrifice from captain Lee (who spent the rest of the day moderately sticky and smelling like an alcoholic) I think it's safe to say we came out on top- the start of things to come when it came to the final event of the week: Pub Golf.
I think we can all safely say that if pub golf's aim was to get us drunk, holding onto eggs for dear life then it was a roaring success. Big shoutout to Megan, Bal, Andy and Linesy for arranging the event and providing the copious amount of eggs.. Shame on anyone who purposefully sabotaged other people's egg friends (here's looking at you Todd), and congrats to those who woke up the next morning wondering why they had an half cracked egg in their bag.
Overall it can definitely be said that this week has been a massive triumph, and hopefully next year we can continue the trend and arrange more events together- hockey might even win the boat race next time, who knows.. On a slightly more serious note, on behalf of Mixed Netball we'd like to say a huge thank you to Mixed Hockey for welcoming us into their club for the week, and another thank you to everyone who came along to any or all of the joint events and donated- we raised £237 in total between the two clubs.
"Netball is for Girls"
Balraj Dhingra (Captain)
Bradley King (Vice-captain)
Lee Robnett (Catching machine)
Matthew Koch (Player/Owner/Cheerleader)
Wilhelm Johannis (Aka "rogue-throw Willy")
Ben Thorne (Chosen cos he was large)
Alex Clark (See above)
(Todd Gibson) (Dickhead)
The story begins on the Friday afternoon. Bal (resident dodgeball 'player') invites the squad to participate in training to teach them the rules and get used to play. Despite less than half the squad turning up (that dedication tho), it quickly became clear that Todd was useless, Koch was a mess, and Brad...Brad was actually ok...or as he described himself so modestly as "a natural-born athelete".
Fast forward to Saturday morning. We were ready for a 10am start There was momentary panic from Brad who woke up at half 9, before Lee reminded him he lived on campus and should stop being such an idiot. Unfortunately, a certain member of the squad did not turn up on time...Todd was justifiably punished by being made a substitute for the first few games...however it should have been clear that this tardiness was merely foreshadowing his more annoying behaviour later on in the day - e.g. after finding out he hadn't even brushed his teeth, Lee bought Todd a doughnut to clean his bad breath. Bal added a bit of toothpaste to the mix, much to Todd's delight.
MATCH 1 - Group Stage
Netball is for Girls vs. Blackburn Rovers
Score: 3-2 win
The group stage was played best of 5 games, and this match would prove to be one of the toughest all day. Despite facing a squad with a 1st team dodgeballer on it, MN were not phased, and in the first game, a catch from Lee off the first throw put us in good stead for the rest of the match. The second game was fairly even, but a rogue throw from Willy gifted the other team a catch, proving that even the best players make mistakes and we lost the game. 1-1 now. Willy was swiftly substituted, and with fresh legs, we won the third game. This is in spite of Todd stacking and tripping over Alex (what an idiot). We lost the fourth game...it is what it is...Bal missed an easy catch...let's get over it...SO it came down to the wire, 2-2, we needed to win the last game to win the match. And in a beautiful display of dodgeball from MN, our opponents were outclassed, and another rogue throw from Willy (this time hitting their last player in) led the ref to blow his whistle and declare MN as victors!
Man of the match - Lee (for all the catches)
Dick of the match - Todd (for getting out and tripping up Alex)
MATCH 2 - Group Stage
Netball is for Girls vs. Tachers (yeah i don't know how to pronounce it either)
Score: 5-0 win #whitewash
Again despite having a dodgeball player on their side, we were encouraged by overhearing one of their players asking "how do you play" two minutes before starting. Todd was happy to be starting a match, however, after he was pissing about trying to flip a water bottle for five minutes, Bal made the executive decision to bench him. Again. What a dick. Todd, not Bal. Anyway, the match began! The first game was a white-wash, with captain Bal being arguably a bit too aggro for a charity match, as he proceeded to twat a girl right in her vagina and knock a poor guy's glasses off his face...#sorrynotsorry. The next couple of matches went similarly, with Alex hitting the same girl three more times. All the while, Lee was shining like a star, making catches left, right and centre. With MN 3-0 up in games, Bal and Lee took a rest and let Vice-Captain Brad become pseudo-captain, and lead the team to two more wins to get a perfect score of 5-0. Unfortunately during this time, Brad was struck with the captain's curse of dropping really easy catches. Despite this though: more catches from Ben and Alex, rogue throwing from Willy, Koch's massive presence combined with Brad's excellent communication brought the match to an end. MN WIN!
Man of the match - Lee (allllll the catches)
Dick of the match - Todd (for general douchebaggery)
LUNCHTIME: Everyone got food, we chilled and watched one of the three Tennis teams get wasted by a water-polo side who could all throw at speeds never seen before.
MATCH 3 - Quarter-final
Netball is for Girls vs. Harry Dodgers
Score: 8-2 win
With MN safely in the cup competition, scoring changed; it was now first to 8 points, with each win being 2 points, and 1 point for a draw. The first game saw MN down for the most part. It was a tough match for sure. However a catch from Lee in what was the last second of the game led us to win it! Bal made the astute decision to sub Todd off (no guesses for why) and made him join Koch, who was forced into early retirement and was now firmly adjusting to his new role of owner/cheerleader. The second game went exactly the same, with another catch from Lee in the dying seconds winning it for us! Unfortunately, the third game was lost after a throw from Bal missed the player he was aiming for and landed stupidly into the fumbling arms of another one of their players. A ridiculous catch, but a catch nonetheless. 4-2 up, Bal realised that counters were the way to win the match, and positioning big man Alex on the wing, throwing was perfectly on point in the match, and we took the next two games with ease. MN Win!
Man of the match - Lee (not for catching, just for general good chat)
Dick of the match - Todd for being rude about one of their team members post-tournament.
MATCH 4 - Semi-Final
Netball is for Girls vs. Keep up the PAIS
Score: 9-1 Loss
We knew this was going to be a difficult match. Facing a team with 4 dodgeballers, 2 of which were 1st team (is that even allowed in a charity tournament) was never an easy task. Nonetheless, we strode into the game with confidence and gave them everything we got. We lost the first game swiftly, unprepared for how good they were. Bal also noted how Ben was choosing to throw underarm...rogue to say the least. The second game however was a lot closer, with one of their team members being called out for not throwing enough balls (that's a rule lol), SO it was Bal vs. one of their players in a 1-on-1 situation, and we held on to draw the game! WE GOT A POINT WHOO! The next couple of games...well...there wasn't much we could do. When it became clear that we were going to lose, Koch chose to reenter the sport and lined-up to play, only to get swiftly caught out just a few seconds later...but showing great team-spirit all the way. It had to happen eventually, and we were out of the running for the cup. Gutted.
Man of the match - Lee (for getting some VERY good catches in)
Dick of the match - Todd...can't remember why, but he defo did something.
MATCH 5 - 3rd Place Playoff
Netball is for Girls vs. The Ball-Breakers
Score: 9-1 Win
Whilst we always prove to be better athletes, better people, and better at socials than tennis...there was one arena where our skills hadn't been matched before...ON THE DODGEBALL COURT! With big man Peter Tennis having shown good ability earlier on in the day, we knew we had to beat them. Especially since Todd had a pint bet with Peter on the outcome. The match started well, with a narrow victory in the first game. We were rattled however as we only managed to come away with a draw in the second game. 3-1 up, we went into the next game where we realised that countering was the way to go, and Bal on the wing continued to hit several players out. With Lee catching everything that came his way as well. The match was going brilliantly. Play was momentarily halted after one of their players adamantly claimed that he made a catch, before then admitting "I can't remember if I made a catch actually"...silly tennis players! Anyway, none of this could detract from the excellent play which led us to a solid, resounding victory. If you want evidence of this, please see Lee's snapchat, which Koch was in charge of with Ben, who had been benched after his awkward throwing in the previous game...MN WIN!
Man of the match - Lee (cos I can't give it to myself...and I guess he made some sick catches)
Dick of the match - Todd, for awful sportsmanship, making sipping actions towards Peter DURING THE GAME!
SO...overall a third place finish, and for a team of 8 players, 7 of whom had never played a dodgeball match in their lives before, this was an immense achievement! We never actually got to play Swim/Polo (who came second) during the day, but I'm sure we would have won. The overall champs were the PAIS team with dodgeball players...no surprises there...Congrats to them though :)
I am immensely proud of my boys, they did so well and I would do it all again with them if I could :)
Lee caught literally everything and was essential to winning some matches, and hence was Man of the DAY!
Alex made some great catches, and his throw was very powerful!
Ben's awareness of trapping was fantastic, and was the reason we had three balls to throw many times.
Willy showed great commitment, and never gave up, even during the toughest matches.
Brad was a rock. He played consistently and was the soul behind the team.
Koch, who may not have played much, provided integral support and when he did play, dodged with the agility of a salmon on crack.
Todd was Dick of the Day...showed up late, poor performances, added nothing to the team, and was the only one who managed to get injured...(nah he did alright).
It's been a busy weekend for MN; our old boys returned to campus yesterday to participate in our first match of the year. We put up a tough fight but unfortunately age won over beauty this time with the final score being 22-17 to the oldies, though I think everyone will agree it was a good match all round- the club is a force to be reckoned with! Last night we also welcomed back the old boys and a huge number of freshers to the biggest circle of the year so far, hitting Skool Dayz and reminding the graduates what purple tastes like.
Today we ran the last of our scheduled taster sessions, with a great- though moderately hungover- turnout, so now its time for a big thank you to everyone who came to a session over the last few weeks- whether you showed up to the first, the last or every one in between its been great to see you and introduce you to the club we all know and love, and we hope you've decided stick around!
If you've managed to last three weeks without making it to a taster session but are still keen to join the club, never fear! Our regular training sessions will start this week, the first being Wednesday from 1-3 at the lakeside courts (hopefully you should all know where that is by now), and the second being on Thursday at 8:30pm in Desso Hall (in the Sports Centre). The Thursday session will be an extra special one-off collab with our friends at Futsal, where we run a training session together and have a go at a few matches of each so I'd definitely recommend coming and checking that out!