By Harry Low

Supernova started 2016 with a hard-fought win as they defeated Croydon Swans 11-8 at Millwall. 

I would love to credit the first goal to Jenny McG but, given there was one on the court and one on the side, we’ll say the new Jenny opened the scoring (more on the less new Jenny who took centre stage later on).

Shortly after, Shalpin showed everyone that she had not eaten too many parsnips at Christmas, bursting past her player to run the ball in and make it 2-0. At this point, the match notes read “Tom got run” and “Harry nearly hits the ceiling”. I can’t for the life of me tell you what happened during this passage of play but let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that your correspondent’s shooting was particularly lacklustre.

Sadly, so were Supernova as their lead evaporated before Tom restored parity with a classic collect-and-shoot manoeuvre which made it 3-3. Your correspondent bagged a “searing runner” (so says social media) in front of the home faithful to make it 4-4 before Tom and Shalpin both scored their second of the afternoon.

Shalpin’s second was the result of a delightful one-two with JC who bounce passed the ball behind his, and Shalpin’s, defender before slotting home the runner. Matt capped a decent first half with a goal from a rebound and Supernova led 7-4 at the break.

Matters after the interval were to get a whole lot more tense. Jo came on for the new Jenny and put in a performance worthy of winning the player-of-the-match award such was her positive impact, in both defence and attack.

Before that, though, Supernova found themselves pegged back by four Croydon goals as only JC, with a fine shot from down-town scoring for the hosts.

With the scores at 8-8, the less new Jenny entered the fold and was almost immediately castigated by the Swans’ top-scorer this season. Her offence? Swapping ends. With the rest of her division. After two goals had been scored. Turned out he thought the less new Jenny had been playing both ends and jumping into the division with all the action in as she saw fit. Those who know the less new Jenny know that’s not how she plays korfball. And so a beleaguered Anke, who was seemingly being collared by the opposition for offences ranging from failing to give penalties to the colour of the floor, signalled for the resumption.

Some of the defending from Croydon was what one might call enthusiastic, with attackers charging at helpless Supernova defenders with gay abandon. Pointing out that we had spotted this was happening did not improve the mood of the opposition.

Supernova, and especially Jo, took the game to the opposition with two wonderful long shots before Rachel, who successfully ran her player umpteen times, won a penalty. Your correspondent blundered but Matt was on hand to swoop like a hawk eyeing its spherical prey and pop the ball back to your correspondent who made no mistake at the second time of asking.

And so Supernova, despite missing numerous opportunities to extend the lead offered by a generous defence disinclined to mark the attackers, triumphed 11-8 and in doing so overcame surely the most robust physical challenge they will encounter this season.

With many thanks to the Swans for such a close fought game and we look forward to an equally exciting match in a few weeks time.