25th Mar 2012: Pygnition Vs. Ed City 1 Vs. Saints 2

I’ve been incredibly lucky this year to sub-coach the EUKC Seconds (Pygnition) towards the end of this year. Casually strolling in partway through the Seconds Semester, I inherited an incredibly well-trained group of korfers. I have had a lot of experience with EUKC Second teams, and this cohort has definitely shown the best overall level of cool, calm and intelligent korfball. With the experience gained this year, I’ve no doubt their proper coach will gain a well deserved medal next year, depending on how many of his team are poached by the firsts.

Arriving at Westwoods for the final games of the season – against Saints 2 and Ed City 1, we knew we had a mixed bag. One game we should dominate, and one game where we would face a tougher challenge. Saints had technically finished higher at Nationals, this was the time to show them how wrong those placings were – and with 44 minutes to play this time, we would have the chance to.

Pygnition 12-5 Saints 2

From the first whistle against St. Andrews, the Seconds brought their A game. Ella narrowly missed out on converting the first attack – her basket called for travelling, but the tone was set. The baskets flowed quickly, with goals from all over (6 of the starting 8 scored, I believe) before the Seconds settled into holding their commanding lead.
In defence, Saints were clueless. Rebecca acted perfectly as our 9th woman, restricting the Saints players to long shots with no collect, and lots of agitated shouting from the sidelines. One-shot attacks were the norm. Our front defence, also, proved powerful when it was needed, although it did lead to a much more frenetic game, leading the (inexperienced?) referee to call both teams together to ask them to “calm it down”. Passion, that’s what that is.
It seemed like the perfect ending to a great season, but, with one more game to go, Pygnition knew it needed a low moment before the final uplifting, dramatic conclusion. With three minutes to go, Saints called a time-out, and the Seconds agreed to ship a few goals to make them feel better. From 12-2 before the time-out, we finished the game on 12-5. But the hard work was done, and the win was secured.

Ed City 1 13-3 Pygnition

Coming off at half-time against City 1, with Rebecca again working well, the players felt happy at having restricted the experienced City players to 10-2. Their coach, however, was not as impressed. 10-2 would be a good half-time result for most Seconds teams of the past. But these guys had worked harder than any before. They went out for the second half determined to improve.
City’s boys dropping off had been causing problems, and we’d been ‘losing’ balls simply by not challenging hard enough for them. But Pygnition rose to the challenge, and caused more problems to City 1 than they had right to. Despite bringing on their two best girls for the second half, they were restricted to a 3-1 second half score (2-1 until the final seconds..). Pygnition had learned a good lesson – how to graft, when to fight and thus how to hold out a strong Ed City team.

To end, I want to say a final thank you to Will Ellis, Chris Haworth and the whole Pygnition team (water-people/masseurs/cheerdancers included). It’s been a genuine privilege to be involved with such a group and I have enjoyed every minute of chat, games and drinks with all of you.