University of Nottingham 3 vs. Leicester Tempest

Competing in their last game before the Christmas break, Tempest took to the court at David Ross Sports Village, Nottingham – bolstered by a handful of Leicester Tornadoes. The team consisted of Chloe, Claire, Jordan, Hannah, Neil & Emily (on debut) with a helping hand from Tom, Pete, Dan, Abbie & Rachael. At the first whistle, heading into attack were Dan, Rachael, Hannah & Neil with Tom, Jordan, Chloe & Claire in defence.

The goals fell tet-a-tet throughout the first half with Nottingham scoring and Leicester quickly replying at every change of ends. There were goals from Dan, a signature turn under the post from Rachael, a cracking long shot from Jordan and a nice veer from Neil. A penalty won and quickly sunk by Tom broke the longest stalemate, following a great runner and short shot by Jordan which was (dubiously) disallowed for being defended from the side. In the last attack, Nottingham replied with two leading into halftime.

At the half, the score was tight with Notts up. Off came Tom and on came Pete, so too for Rachael & Abbie as well as Hanah & Emily, making her debut for the sport, the club, and the team. Notts too had made substitutions and, sensing that it was still all to play for, had brought on some big hitters and fast movers across both ends.

Early in the half, Pete sank a wide veer thanks to great support play from Chloe. A penalty won and scored by Neil also punctured the Notts defence but Notts replied each time and Leicester struggled to close the 2-point lead. A great move around the post saw Claire come away with a free pass which she sank with absolute precision but finished as a travel after narrowly avoiding her incoming defender – with some clear encroachment failing to be called. Jordan was again hard done by as he was called defended from the side and a similar call against Claire set the tone for the half. Leicester would have to work against their opponents and the ref to win this one!

With 15 minutes to go, Jordan signaled to come off with his persistent knee issues playing up from being worked so hard! A timeout was called but moments later, before the whistle could be blown, Neil caught a pass awkwardly and had to sub himself off, leaving Tom to come on for Neil and Jordan having to fight through. After a number of big moves from Abbie, Dan & Tom, Tom managed to make a turn under the post and catch his defender napping to bring the score within one. A couple more to Notts and this time it was Emily’s turn to make an impact. As has become a tradition this year, scoring within 20 minutes of debuting, Emily made a fantastic run into the post, losing her defender and veering back to receive a perfect cross-ball from Dan. Planting her foot and shooting strongly, it was in from the moment it left her hands.

By the final whistle, it was 14-12 to Nottingham but spirits were high nevertheless after an excellent performance all round. A few pats on the back and some commiserations to lots of the team, especially Jordan and Claire who missed out on a couple of iffy defended calls left Tempest leaving with yet another Leicester moral victory ;)

Scorers were:

  • Neil – 3 (inc. 1 penalty)
  • Jordan – 2
  • Dan – 2
  • Tom – 2 (inc. 1 penalty)
  • Pete – 1
  • Emily – 1 (debut goal!)
  • Rachael – 1

Birmingham City 3 vs. Leicester Toto

A glorious start to season saw Toto enter the arena that is Moseley college sports centre, with spirits high and confidence soaring. A little bit of fixtures live pre-match analysis en-route informed Spargo of the ones to watch and led us into battle more prepared (even if half the team got lost after missing the turning but shhhh).

The game opened with Spargo giving a motivational team talk about the rugby(?) then setting out with a defence of Emma, Spargo, Matt and Andy, supported by Joe, Faz, Elle and Greg in attack. Within minutes goals flew in, one from our very own joe but three from the opposition. We couldn’t fathom what was going on, so we took the party to them. Greg (myself) hadn’t yet scored for Toto, wanted to get his debut goal and got 2 in quick succession, taking us level at 3-3. That kickstarted many goals going back and forth for both teams. Joe getting another, Matt, Andy and Spargo also getting on the score sheet. Taking us into a halftime score of 9-7 to Toto, comfortably with a 2-goal lead.

An inspiring team talk at halftime from Spargo, as well as the bringing on of fresh legs took us into the second half with a skip in our step, Ant was brought on for Joe, Luca on for Andy and Paula on for Faz. The second half started slowly with not much between the sides. But soon goals started dropping, Greg started with a goal early on, then Ant also got on the scoresheet. Some excellent sexy korfing led Luca to completely befuddle the two boys on his end, leaving Matt open for a clinical drop-off. Brum weren’t giving up yet though. They managed to claw back goals with only one goal in it, 11-12 with 5 minutes to go! Emma gets a lovely blam against their experienced top scorer and then we turned to our captain, who doesn’t crumble under the pressure, securing a last-minute goal and a comfortable win for  Toto, with the final score of 13-11.

To summarise, we smashed it. Everyone played really well and the team is really coming together and gelling nicely. We are 2nd in the table on goal difference and there’s no reason why Toto can’t win EMKA 1 at this rate! Nottingham Magic- you’re in our sights… Special mentions go to Emma, having their top scorer for the season in her pocket and not letting her score a single goal! Luca, as I already mentioned, some sexy movements confusing the opposition. Joe as well, always in great positions and getting a couple of nice goals. Scorers were:

  • Greg 5
  • Joe 2
  • Matt 2
  • Spargo 2
  • Andy 1
  • Ant 1