Supernova Korfball - Central London's Korfball Club

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Match Report: Supernova 4 (5) - Mitcham 2 (5), 16/12/2012

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Supernova 4 (5) v Mticham 2 (5)
 
Boys Mark Paxton, Joe Carroll, Ian Riddell, Stuart Lorne, Chris Clark
Girls Nicola Gordon, Sacha Rybalka (is that right?), Cat Evans, Ellen Nash
 
Supernova 4 faced off against a bit of an unknown element for our last game of 2012.  As a club Mitcham has had a bit of a shake up this year and so we could have very little idea of what and, indeed, who we'd be facing.  In return we had a very strong line up with Mark stepping in for a sick Ben Kelly (get well soon) and Nicola stepping in for those who were unable to attend.  Also we had a very welcome arrival for new starter Ellen making her Supernova debut.  
 
We set out with myself, Mark, Nicola and Sacha in attack and Ian, Stu, Cat and Ellen in defence.  We got off to a good start and took an early lead when I took the ball from Nicola for an unconventional running in shot which was then followed up by Mark demonstrating how you should really do it by dropping in another running in shot soon afterwards.  This was a flying start and in stark contrast to our last few games, marked out mainly by our distinct lack of scoring.  We switched ends and set out in high hopes.  Unfortunately, whilst the shots fell quickly at first, they just wouldn't come for the guys in the other division.  Shot, after shot went up only to spiral off the korf, drop in and come out or fall agonisingly wide.  Mean while down the other end we were defending solidly but eventually the cracks showed and first one and then a second goal dropped in to take it to 2-2.  
 
Switching once more, just before half time, we were keen to re-establish our lead and cometh the hour cometh the woman and Nicola popped in a shot from mid-range to take it to 3-2.  That's how it remained and as the ref blew his whistle, and went off to check the punctuation on his match score card, a little bit of confidence had returned to the side.  Coach Brooker gave us more of his words of wisdom and we set out for the second half with Chris Clark replacing Stu.
 
It started well and once again Mark showed his running in skills to pop another one home in short order.  4-2 and surely our luck at scoring had to be better than the 1st half?  Errr sadly not.  Once again we saw the familiar tale of plenty of shots, plenty of opportunities and a distinct lack of balls going through the korf.  Chris was particularly unlucky with, at my last count, 3 shots going into the korf only to bounce out again.  Once again our defence just couldn't hold and Mitcham scored once more to take it to 4-3.  Still in the lead and still in the game we were hoping things would get better when fate laughed at us again and Sacha took a spill and twisted her ankle.  Unable to continue and with no sub available Nicola, Mark and I had to continue in a division of 3.  Sadly this took effect very quickly and Mitcham leveled the scores.  With our attacking opportunities limited in our shrunken division it looked like we'd have to settle for the draw.  Except it got even worse when the previous rock solid defence of Ian, Cat, Chris and Ellen was breached and Mitcham took the lead for the first time in the match with only 5 minutes to go.  We tried our best to get things going in our 3 but were giving the ball up quickly and with the Mitcham attack taking a while to put up shots the sands of time were running out.  
 
A cry of '30 seconds left' rang out from the sidelines and I tried a desperate running in shot.  This clearly would have sailed through and sealed the draw for us if not for my opponent fouling me (well maybe not but I'm writing the story here).  Mark stepped up to the plate and the pressure was on.  Cool as a cucumber Mark slotted it and took the score to 5-5 just as the whistle went for full time.  
 
This was a game of mixed emotion.  We'd led the game for most of the match and it was only after Sacha went off injured that Mitcham took the lead.  On the other hand we were looking like losing until Mark stepped up and secured the draw in the dying seconds.  In the end it was great to get a result, great to see Ellen make her debut and great to actually play in a game that wasn't just a walkover to us.
 
I don't often give a man of the match award but with a hat trick and a cool head this week I'm presenting it to Mark.  Next up - Christmas!

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