29th Jan 2011: Edinburgh Tournament – Ed Uni 3

Players: Charis Tang, Ffion Jones, Fionnuala Dore (MVP: 2), Kirsty Pittman, Louise Pirie (MVP: 2(1.5)), Mary MacLeod, Nicola Kwan, Sarah Kelly, Ben Reynolds, Dale Cooper, Elliot Samson (MVP: 3 (Player of the Tournament)), Jason Kosakowski, Jean Fourie, Matt Gordon

Guest Players: Graham Morris, Kyle Crombie and Stephen Carr

How can I describe the weekend that we’ve had; I mean there’s been, quite simply, so many opportunities that I could write about, all of which are spectacular. Never have I been more proud of saying that I am part of Edinburgh University 3’s. With a final standing of 14th out of 24 teams, we are delighted to announce that we’ve produced the best performance for a third team EVER.

Firstly, we’d like to congratulate our very own ELLIOT SAMSON, who not only won 2 MVPs for the thirds, but also won an MVP for the seconds for whom he is now also playing with, gaining him a very deserved award of player of the tournament. Special mention also goes to FIONNUALA who gained two deserved MVP awards too!

Saturday

So we started off with one of or many matches against Nottingham University (they can drink just as much as us? well nearly ;]). We started slowly trying to get our rhythm going but unfortunately slipped to a minor defeat of 3-1 in Nottingham?s favour. ELLIOT plopped the ball in the korf. However FIONNUALA’s individual contribution was immense which resulted in her first MVP of the tournament.

Then we faced the daunting prospect of Leeds City, the eventual third placed team of the tournament. However despite beating teams 7-0 in some cases, they could only squeeze a measly 3-1 from us with the like of KIRSTY ‘KDAWG’ PITTMAN, showing us incredible ninja/badminton style defence which would have scared even the best korfball players. However this time it was ELLIOT’s turn to take the MVP award after producing up one (of many) beautiful goals.

We then faced the ‘auld enemy’ next, no not an English based team, but GLASGOW. Again a battle ensured on the court, unfortunately on occasion we let our minds slip and unfortunately slipped to our worst defeat of the tournament (5-1). Yet again FIONNUALA shone through to gain her second MVP of the weekend.

Our fairytale next takes us to the battle of capital cities, us vs. Istanbul. The weird thing was that the Istanbul team looked remarkably like Nottingham Uni AND they wore Notts shirts, but they insisted they were Istanbul and so the game was played. Both teams fought very hard, with great dismay we narrowly lost out again, however JEAN took an absolute beauty of a goal from long range. The MVP for this game again was a Tiger with it being handed to LOUISE (after asking the referee very nicely for it).

Our final match of the day was against the University of East Anglia, an important one if we were to reach the middle tier of the competition, a place in which no one would have expected for the Tigers. Despite our losses, our team spirit was immense, along with SARAH HIGGINSON and WILL ELLIS (team coach) we were cheered onto victory with a 4-2 win with goals from Fionnuala, Elliot, Ben and one of three very welcome guests, KYLE CROMBIE. The thirds and ELLIOT gained ANOTHER MVP, bringing the team MVP count to 5.

We’d like to mention here JASON and MATT, JASON made his debut for the Tigers after about 3 training sessions and played extraordinarily well, contributing immensely to the already strong team spirit and to MATT, who yet again got dick of the tournament for playing whilst ill. As always, he put his all into every game he played in and his contribution was greatly appreciated.

Sunday

Having won our final match yesterday, the Tigers did the unimaginable and actually made it into the middle tier of the competition alongside Edinburgh University 1 meaning that we could potentially place anywhere between 9th – 16th place.

Our first challenge of the day was Edinburgh University ‘Old Boys’, all the best players that the uni have had. Unfortunately for them this did not show in the match with the Tigers 2-1 up for the majority of the match. Indiscipline unfortunately marred our outstanding performance and slipped to a 3-2 defeat via 2 penalties we gave away. Even ex third team coach DUNCAN complemented us (which is a very rare thing)!

This meant we had to win our next match against Stockholm to ensure we played for
13th-14th place. The Tigers dominated from the off with the match being mainly played in the Tigers attacking division where ELLIOT and JEAN shooting continuously off of LOUISE and FFION’s feeding/collecting. After persuasion from the sideline LOUISE started to attempt shots at goal, which is encouraging if not somewhat useless. Despite having all these shots, the ball never quite found the middle of the korf, until ELLIOT and LOUISE found the perfect opportunity from the feed, allowing ELLIOT to add another tally to his score sheet. Opportunity arose for a penalty which Louise violently called for, but it wasn’t to be and the penalty was missed. Then we gained, yet again another MVP with it being handed to LOUISE (and she didn’t even need to ask for it!). Final score 1-0 Tigers.

So there we were battling for 13th, only to find out that we were against Nottingham University, again. But no worry cause we were still on a high from the Stockholm match.

The match started with Notts leading the way with a goal. However MIA himself (JEAN) came up for yet another perfectly timed long shot, screams erupted from the Edinburgh crowd but the match was just warming up. Defence was all over the opposition with BEN, NICOLA, MARY and CHARIS standing out. Notts however got another goal. Not downtrodden and with the clock still winding down, the attack kept the ball moving with DALE, FFION and JEAN setting up shot after shot, but it was Sarah who saw the opportunity to strike and with her goal, we were back in the game. This didn’t last long as in the dying moments of the match Nottingham scored a long ranger, thus leaving the Tigers unable to finish off with the win that we so wanted. (3-2)

Looking back on what we have achieved, I am sure you can all agree that the EUKC Tigers deserved their place at 14th in a contest where most thought we would have been a shoe in for the wooden spoon. We also received the most nominations for MVP’s as a team with 6.

It has been an honour to play with the thirds and many thanks go to our coaching team also who are SARAH HIGGINSON, WILL ELLIS and JAMIE MILLER. Also thanks to FFION and FIONNUALA for being our captains and for letting me captain a match too!