17th Mar 2012: Pygnition hit Nottingham

After a fantastic result in Bristol last year, where the seconds managed to bring a Bronze medal back to Edinburgh, this year’s team were excited and ready for the BSKA Club Championships to be held in Nottingham.

Matt Gordon, Sarah Kelly, Chris Kay (c), Cathy Campbell, Jemima Horsley Downie,
Jean Le Roux Fourie, Ella Paul, Helena Corner, Paul Shields, Sarah Mckeand,
Stevie Devlin, Ffion Jones, Will Ellis, Will Lawton, Rosy Nolan

Friday 16th March was the day of departure with Chris and Helena sharing the 250+ mile drive without once breaking 60mph, no matter how hard they tried! In the bus we had a full team of 12 able-bodied Korfers along with a coach (in the guise of Mr William Lawton), a team masseuse (Helena Corner) and the official Pygnition Cheerdancer Squad (Consisting of Sarah McKeand). As usual, the music was pumping – an eclectic mix jumping between the very best of Disney, everything else on Spotify and Jean’s brand new £7 ‘Ultimate Drivetime’ album – worth every penny… Yeah…

That night, we enjoyed an extravagant feast (at the Burger King at Scotch Corner service station) where we also received gifts from Coach Will – unique head-bands each with our own names sewn in, well everyone apart from Matt who got ‘Flash’ on his due to his unnatural adoration of cleaning products.

Once in Nottingham we settled down for the night, but the 7am alarm sounded all too soon. After a quick breakfast of Weetos (Jean had some jam – it’s what all the best athletes have), we headed off to the sports centre which accidently included a tour of the Nottingham Uni campus grounds. We were a bit early, which provided a perfect excuse to throw korfballs around in the car park – shortly after being there however, Sarah Kelly took a korfball direct to the face, kindly provided by Stevie. Oops.

Once inside the team got straight to it with a warm-up in 2012 Pygnition shirts with the first group stage game kicking off at 9:30am. Matches were only twelve minutes at this stage so it really didn’t give a lot of time to cause significant damage. The team finished 1-0 up against Manchester, a win being the ideal start to the tournament with some great korf being played.

The rest of the games throughout the day produced a mixed bag of results. There were draws with Sheffield Hallam, Kent and UEA with an unexpected 2-1 loss against Oxford. There were still positives that could be taken away from the performances however. Pygnition’s set moves throughout the day were beautiful, defense was clinical and the ability to play inventive and unique korfball at any moment was brilliant, a testament to the coaching the team had been lucky enough to receive in the run up to the event. It was simply frustrating that we were finding it hard to complete the play and end with a goal. Jean did at one point manage a massive B-L-A-M on an unsuspecting UEA player, however unfortunately it didn’t have an effect on the scoreboard. There was one final big win towards the end of the day, with a 7-1 victory over Nottingham 3 – it had taken a while but it was only really in this game that the ball finally started to fall into the korf.

As usual, no Korfball session with Pygnition is complete without at least one serious injury. Matt managed to do one better and after a heavy landing, the remainder of the match was called off and he was taken to enjoy the kind services provided by the NHS. We wish him all the best and a swift return to Korf.

After all our efforts, Pygnition managed 12th place out of the 18th teams, a disappointment to some but at least it gave us time to have a shower and watch the Heros take Silver – and what an amazing performance that was too!

We didn’t all leave empty handed – Jean Le Roux Fourie was top male goal scorer over the entire tournament so received a bottle of wine amid rapturous applause from the crowd. Clearly the last minute mohican before leaving Edinburgh was a good idea.

That night we were to stay in the local church (which, to remind the 3rds, is a church) so we dropped our stuff off and grabbed some food at the local Pizza spot. A little bit too much pizza was consumed by all, along with a plentiful supply of freebies, before we went off to our secret drinking spot for some light refreshments. In one memorable moment of madness, Sarah Kelly was curious as to whether she would be able to climb on the minibus roof – we obviously all said that probably wasn’t a good idea. Less than a minute later and no one knew where Sarah was… I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination

To complete the weekend, we dropped into Leeds on the way home for a home cooked Sunday Lunch courtesy of Will’s Mum. There couldn’t possibly have been a better way to spend the ‘day-after-the-day-before’ and I think it’s safe to say it was thoroughly enjoyed by the team!

All-in-all, it was a fantastic weekend with, without a doubt, the best bunch of people out there. I’ve never laughed so hard so much before, to the point where it’s actually painful and I’m sure many others could say the same thing. Also, just to know that we’ve saved Helena so much wedding planning hassle is fantastic. In case you don’t know, it’s going to be in the Hive and we’re all invited (Sarah K is going to make sure we get queue-jump) and Lee will only be wearing Speedos and a bow-tie – beautiful.

Chris Kay