17th Mar 2012: Heroes Win Silver at BSKA Club Championships

Edinburgh University Korfball Club’s 3rd team (The Heroes) upset the odds to claim an unexpected 2nd Place overall at the BSKA Club Championships held in Nottingham.

As one of only three 3rd teams in the 18 strong field, The Heroes were viewed by many as underdogs in the predominantly 2nd team competition. However on the back of impressive Scottish league performances, the team was full of belief that they could go far. Under the calming influence of Captain Jack, the optimism was proven not to be misplaced as The Heroes put in a string of tremendous performances in a run that led all the way to the final.

Squad List
 Jack Dundon (C), Roozbeh Kalateh, Nitin Lalwani, Kris MacMillan, Kévin Tourret-Lacan, Max Wartelle
Girls: Claire Bridges, Jena Connolly, Ellie Deans, Esther Ketelaars, Louise Moreland, Marta Riba-Singla

Group Match 1 Edinburgh Heroes 6-0 Kent
Scorers: Marta (4), Kévin (2)

With group matches being a mere 12 minutes, the Edinburgh Heroes knew that they had no time to waste against a Kent side who finished in the top 8 last year. Fortunately, they made a flying start with two perfectly executed running-in shots from Marta fed by Jack in the first two attacks of the game. That settled the nerves and Kévin further extended the lead with two short range veer shots helped by great set-up play by Esther, Claire and Nitin. The Heroes continued to convert their chances as Marta grabbed another two goals with a perfect free pass and another runner. The 6-0 win was far beyond expectations and a fantastic start to the day with all 12 players contributing to the victory, including four from the substitute’s bench.

Group Match 2 Edinburgh Heroes 8-0 Nottingham 3
Scorers: Kévin (3), Jack (2), Marta (1), Claire (1), Ellie (1)

Confidence in the team was high from the 6-0 thumping of Kent and yet again the Heroes made a great start against a relatively inexperienced Nottingham 3 side. Jack scored two early runners and the team kicked on to better the score from previous match with another 3 goals by Kévin, a second free pass of the day by Marta, a beautiful mid-range shot from Claire and Ellie somehow converting from a nice spin move directly under the korf. The final score of 8-0 was the biggest win of the day for any team and displayed the scoring potential of the Heroes especially with the wide variety of scorers.

Group Match 3 Edinburgh Heroes 2 -0 Leeds
Scorers: Jack (1), Jena (1)

Up next was a Leeds team that had also won their first two matches, making this a group decider. The goals weren’t as easy to come by as in the previous games but the defence remained solid with Kévin and Nitin combining well to keep out Leeds’ first team player. It was Jena who eventually broke the deadlock with a nice 5m shot before Jack doubled the lead with a drop-off. Louise then shone in collect meaning that the Heroes constantly recycled the ball giving Leeds few opportunities to come back into the match. With that victory the Heroes topped the group without conceding a goal, ahead of a Leeds side who eventually finished 3rd in the tournament.

Quarter Final Edinburgh Heroes 1-1 Sheffield Hallam 2
Scorers: Max (1) (Pens: Kévin, Max, Marta, Nitin)

After topping their group, The Heroes were drawn against an aggressive Hallam 2 team in the quarter final. The game was marred by dubious calls by the referee which frustrated both teams. The Heroes benefitted first as a soft penalty was awarded but Max stepped up to convert it and establish a one goal lead. Marta then had a goal disallowed wrongly for cutting before Hallam equalised with a long shot near the end. Chances were missed at both ends before the final whistle as the match went to penalties. The Heroes held their nerve as Kévin, Max and Marta scored the first three as Hallam cracked under the pressure, missing two to leave Nitin with the chance to seal the win which he duly converted. The team erupted with joy as a top four finish was now guaranteed which was unprecedented for a third team.

Semi Final Edinburgh Heroes 5-3 Cardiff
Scorers: Rooz (2), Marta (2), Max (1)

The semi-final against Cardiff was eagerly anticipated and the Heroes, with 4 changes to the starting QF line-up demonstrating the depth in the squad, started well with Rooz scoring an early running-in shot. Cardiff equalised straight away before Marta nailed another runner and Max converted a nice drop-off to put the Heroes in control. Rooz further extended the lead with a great long shot as Kévin continued to dominate under the post. At 4-1, the game looked over but Cardiff scored two quick goals to pull back to within one. Marta eased the nerves by getting yet another running-in shot before some solid defence by Kris, Max, Marta and Ellie ensured that the Heroes made history. Scenes of jubilation ensued after the final whistle, highlighting just what it meant to this team of korfball freshers to be guaranteed a medal.

Final Edinburgh Heroes 2-3 Nottingham 2
Scorers: Jena (1), Max (1)

With signs of fatigue creeping in to The Heroes performance, the match began as a tight affair with both teams feeling the nerves as well. The majority of the crowd were supporting The Heroes as underdogs and they were given something to cheer as Jena scored a mid-range shot to give Edinburgh the lead. With Nitin and Rooz doing a great job of keeping out Nottingham’s main threats the score remained at 1-0 for the majority of the first half until Nottingham scored a 10 metre shot. Nottingham then scored again to take the lead before half time. After the break, The Heroes then gave away an unfortunate penalty which Nottingham’s first team player put in to make it 3-1. With time running out, Marta had a runner ruled out for being defended before Max scored a spectacular shot from the half-way line to give Edinburgh hope. Nottingham used their experience to run down the clock and managed to hang on to record a 3-2 win.

Conquering Nottingham, the hosts and winners of first team nationals the week previously, was ultimately one step too far as The Heroes suffered defeat in an exciting match. Although they didn’t lift the trophy, all present were unanimous in praise for Edinburgh Uni 3’s remarkable performances. The Heroes themselves wore their silver medals with pride and although the disappointment of missing out on gold was evident at the final whistle, the whole team was delighted with their achievement as a result of their heroic performances.