Leicester Tornadoes vs. Sheffield Trotters

A new year and a new set of fixtures await. The first game of 2018 saw Tornadoes take on Trotters at home. The last clash had been a closely contested draw on Sheffield soil. Down by 4 of the squad, Tornadoes borrowed Emma from Toto and, taking to the court were captain Jenny, Vik (just returned from injury), Trevor and Pete one way with Tom, Craig, Charlotte and Emma, the other. The game started with a bang after Sheffield scored two within minutes. Already on the back foot at the change of ends, Leicester dug deep and fought hard. The half saw runners and drop-offs from Tom, a hard pushed runner from Craig, mids from Pete, a textbook runner from Emma, veers from Jenny and even a penalty, won by Tom and sunk by Craig. Trotters also kept them coming, with few opportunities but most finding korf (some from half court).
At the half, it was 7-6 and all to play for. Off came Trevor and on came Rob. Back on again and the goals kept coming. Another runner from Tom, a goal from Craig, Pete again and Rob finding the score sheet too. Trotters defence was tighter though and tricks that worked in the first half were now getting tougher. Sheffield were also finding closer shots and forcing errors. A missed penalty by LCKC was matched with a missed penalty from Trotters. Tom failed to find the korf off a cheeky free pass from Craig and in the dying minutes, Leicester were down. Desperate to even things back up, a couple of unforced errors led to a Trotters penalty and, by the final whistle, LCKC were down by 5 at 12-17.
A difficult score doesn’t paint the whole picture with most of the game being very even and Leicester dominating in many respects. The energy was great and the structure was a marked improvement on other games. Still needing work was focus, discipline and a bit of cool-headedness under pressure. Tornadoes are back in action this Sunday vs. Leeds City 2 where they’ll be looking to clinch their first win of 2018.
Scorers were:
Craig: 3 (1 pen)
Tom: 3
Jenny: 2
Pete: 2
Emma: 1
Rob: 1

Leicester Tornadoes vs. University of Manchester – 22/10/2017

Sunday saw Tornadoes in action again and looking to secure a victory against University of Manchester and grow their streak of league games unbeaten to 13.

This time, playing at home with a brilliant bench of supporters, taking to court in attack were captain Craig Allison, Rob Parnham, Abbie Mycroft & Charlotte Heffernan, with Pete Wallett, Trevor Brown, Mel Kupaza & Aine Noonan holding down the fort in defence. The game was winding up well with Leicester sinking two or three for every one UoM could put past them. There were plenty of interceptions too and some excellent defensive pressure saw Leicester dominate possession throughout the half. Some tweaks from the sideline saw our attacks improve too as Aine found her feet in her first team debut and soon became a valuable option, helping Leicester’s attack even closer to the post.

As with last week, a spirited performance had given Leicester a nice margin by the whistle. The score stood at 16-5.

Off came Trevor and on came Tom. So too with Aine & Elle. The team chat was positive and the consensus was that more of the same would see us well through, so long as the intensity was kept up. A quick hands-in and it was back on court to see out our second big win of the season.

Manchester had dug deep at half time and, despite having no subs, had come back with a fresh intensity. Leicester had a few pairs of tired legs on court but the subs had plenty in the tank and soon the scoring started up again. With Charlotte and Abbie alternating their post play with Craig & Tom, some solid, structured play led to a couple of swift goals down one end, while at the other end, Dan & Pete were orchestrating some exceptionally co-ordinated defence to keep Leicester’s possession percentage high. The end changes came quickly and so too the tweaks to gameplay. A cutting call and more difficult runners saw Craig, Tom, Abbie & Charlotte switch from 2:2 to a more dynamic 3:1 in attack, while their defence remained tight and high-intensity. Down at the other end, co-ordinated defence shone through with Elle & Mel covering runners between them, while their attacks were simple but impactful. Dan dominated under the post leaving Pete & Elle to mop up veers & mid-shots under less and less pressure.

Towards the end of the half the fatigue began to dig in and Leicester’s intensity dropped but having built on our 11 goal lead, this was never going to be a problem (one for training maybe). Seeing out the half with shots still coming thick and fast and defence still largely solid, the final score was 28:13 to Leicester… treading ever closer to that 30-goal game.

Scorers were:

  • Pete (9)
  • Craig (4, 3 Pens & 1 Free Pass)
  • Dan (2 & 2 Pens)
  • Abbie (2)
  • Trevor (2)
  • Rob (1)
  • Mel (1)
  • Charlotte (1)

Leicester remain top of the table, now with a goal difference of 33 and will be back in action on November 5th, away in Nottingham.

LEICESTER TORNADOES VS MANCHESTER WARRIORS 2 – 15/10/2017

Last weekend saw the start of the Central England Regional League and with it LCKC Tornadoes’ 2017/18 season. With a newly minted squad including 4 players newly selected for this season and a helping hand from Ant too, the pressure was on to, not only start the season off strong but also to keep the team’s unbeaten streak of 12 games on track.

Taking to the blue-hued hall in attack were captain Jenny Freeman, Rachael Kings, Trevor Brown & Tom O’Callaghan, with Abbie Mycroft, Mel Kupaza, Dan Hawthorne & Craig Allison holding down the fort in defence. The game began largely tet-a-tet with Warriors kicking off the scoring and Leicester replying in kind. With penalties against LCKC at each end, two scored and one missed, Warriors were scoring regularly but 3 penalties also went Leicester’s way and by 1/2 time Leicester was looking like the better team with the scoreboard at 8-12.

Off came Tom and on came Pete. So too with Rachael & Vik. A quick hands-in and it was back on court to try and increase our lead – and increase our lead we did.

Shortly after the half had started Craig came off for Ant & Mel for Charlotte, but not before Craig earnt and scored another penalty. The floodgates had been opened and with Abbie & Dan sussing their attack and Pete’s interceptions piercing Warriors’, the game was Leicester’s for the taking. Warrior’s number 7 who had been a defensive problem for Tom in the first half was now well covered between an agile Ant & a cover-ready Dan providing only one goal for Warriors and their only goal of the half. By contrast, Leicester was scoring thick & fast with every player on court scoring. By the final whistle, an elated & impressively well-tuned LCKC left the court 18 goals up with an impressive score of 9-27. This puts LCKC at the top of the table for the first week of CERL 2 and promises to pave the way for an impressive season to come.

Scorers were:

  • Jenny (5)
  • Craig (2 & 3 Pens)
  • Pete (4)
  • Abbie (3)
  • Dan (2 & 1 Pen)
  • Trev (2 & 1 Pen)
  • Ant (2)
  • Charlotte (1)
  • Mel (1)
  • Vik (1)

Catch Tornadoes again on Sunday when all 3 Leicester teams are at home & Tornadoes take on Manchester University!

Leicester Tornadoes v Leeds City 2 – 16/10/2016

Following our nail-biting game against Manchester Warriors 2 for the opening game of the season, Tornadoes were on once again at our (temporary) home venue of Beauchamp College. Taking to the court, as well as most of the Tornadoes regulars were Faz and Pete, who had kindly stepped up to bolster the ranks. Thankfully, I don’t have to transcribe a blow-by-blow of the game for you because we had live tweets from the sideline! So, the game went like this:

It’s tantalisingly close at the half with Leicester and Leeds exchanging goals almost 1 to 1. James comes on but Ant stays on the bench at risk of aggravating a potential back injury. Down by just one, Leicester head back on court.

And that’s it! A painstakingly close match but a great one to watch even if the score didn’t go our way. If a few unlucky shots had gone differently, it could have been a different result but we move on, ready to improve and excited for next Sunday’s away game at Sheffield Hallam University.

Brilliant guest appearances from Pete & Faz. See you all next week!

Manchester Warriors 2 vs. Leicester Tornadoes

The season began in spectacular style on Sunday with Tornadoes (pictured post match and full of Frankie & Benny’s) in action against Manchester Warriors 2 away in Manchester. The nail-biting clash began later than planned after the previous game, a sometimes tantalisingly close clash between Snakebite and Warriors 1, ran way over. With little-to-no warm up time, a slightly stiff Tornadoes took to the court.

We began the game a bit frantically with some very unstructured attack and spotty defence quickly falling 4 down. Stand in captain Jenny called a time-out and we adjusted our game plan but, being 4 down after 10 minutes and with nothing on the board, there was a lot needed. By the time the half had ended we had been tit-for-tat and the score stood at around 7:4 thanks to James, Mel, Jenny and a scorching near-halfway screamer from Trevor.

The middle of the second half was nicely caught on camera by Rachael but I can tell you now, having been on court, it was a lot faster and more active than it looks here!

Soon after the start of the second half, and utilising this season’s new rolling subs rule, Trevor came off for Craig, Rachael on for Mel and Ant on for Rob. The newly invigorated team soon made an impact with Tornadoes dominating 3 consecutive attacks and getting the scoreboard back up to 8:8. First Jenny and James scored back-to-back before swapping ends and letting Tom and Craig do the same. Another change and Jenny sunk her hat-trick leaving Tornadoes in front at 8:9.

With little more than 10 minutes left on the clock, it was looking like the Tornadoes comeback might stick but then came an ‘interesting’ free pass decision against Leicester. Manchester sunk it with precision to bring the score back to 9 a piece. Leicester looked to have replied with a fantastic runner but it was called as defended. The decisions didn’t go Leicester’s way again as a seemingly clear penalty wasn’t given. Suddenly the momentum was back in Manchester’s favour. Sealing it with a penalty in the last two minutes, Manchester took the game 13:9.

Tornadoes were:

Captain Jenny (3), Aisling, Rob, James (2), Ant

Abbie, Mel (1), Rachael, Trevor (1), Tom (1), Craig (1)

It was a fantastically close match and a fun game despite the outcome. Leicester started the season in style even if the score line disagrees and there’s plenty still to work on before next week’s Sunday clash at home to Leeds. See you there!

Leicester Tornadoes v Hawks 22/11/2015

Crunch time! 3 teams the CEKL league 1 had perfect records going into this weekend. Birmingham city have won all 4 games whilst Leicester and Manchester hawks had both lost all of their 4, not a perfect record to be proud of. The day had come where the teams sat at the bottom would meet and see who could take a massive step towards survival.

It was Leicester who started the brightest with 6 quick goals coming early on. Hawks had to do something to stop the momentum and forced into a timeout only 10 mins in. Back on court and Hawks had responded to the break but Leicester continued to show their dominance but a few missed chances and simple Hawks goals concluded the half at 11-6. Keen to continue the tempo, the half time message was to carry on and not drop pace. Hawks got their tails up and started what looked to be the most unlikely of comebacks. Another penalty for Hawks and Dan cheekily called a time out at 12-8 whilst waiting for the penalty to be taken. Few words were used (some not to be repeated) as it was important to get everyone back on song. They converted the Pen making the score 12-9. The team talk at the timeout clearly had its desired effect as Leicester blew hawks out of the water and they were unable to keep up. The game culminated with a half way line screamer from Trev at the death to make it 21-10 to Leicester. They had done it! 

“Such a solid performance from everyone and the ability to ride out a poor 15 mins from us and turn it back on at the end was a real test of our character, I am so glad everyone really turned up for this vital game.” Words from the captain following the match.

MVP: 
Charlotte Heffernan

Scorers:
Dan Hawthorne (9)
Andy Cunningham (2)
Craig Allison (2)
Rob Wright (2)
Trevor Brown (2)
Charlotte Heffernan (4)

Manchester City v Leicester Tornadoes 15/11/2015

After a disappointing loss to Birmingham uni, Tornadoes were keen to make a mends and next up was another trip up to Manchester, this time Manchester City were the opponents. The team in orange made a slightly brighter start edging out the early exchanges 3-2. The game continued to grow in pace and ability and with that Manchester City began to get a better foot hold onto the match and ended the half on top.

Continuing on from where they left off Manchester city grew and grew and a valiant effort from Leicester went unrewarded as they succumbed to a 17-9 loss. Positives all round as the new free pass move had a successful first outing with Ant being the beneficiary. Special mention to the tornadoes girls their all round effort kept everyone going and Chloe getting her first goal for the club was a particular highlight along with Sam scoring her first double and Rachael scoring her first for the season. Signs of great things to come from the girls of Leicester Tornadoes.

MVP:
Chloe Studley

Scorers:
Dan Hawthorne (4)
Chloe Studley
Sam Waller (2)
Ant Ryan
Rachael Kings

Leicester Tornadoes v Birmingham University 08/11/2015

Remembrance Sunday saw Birmingham Uni visit Leicester for our first home game of the season. Both teams respectfully took part in a minutes silence to mark the occasion. On the back of their second defeat of the season, Leicester were keen to show what they were made of and chalk up some points in their bid to stay alive in CEKL 1. Unfortunately Leicester never really got up and running in the first half, 4-0 down after 10 minutes forced an early time out and unfortunately that didn’t have the desired effect as we went into the break 11-1 down. Only Rob scoring in the first half. Leicesters frustration was epitimised by Craig who whilst putting in effort saw his attacker, Sam, score 5 goals from as many shots. 

‘Damage limitation’ was the message at half time and this seemed to be taken on board. Substitutes Dan, Trev and Becky were keen to make an impact early with the later 2 putting up numerous shots. Trying to make a mend for a ridiculous first half from University of birmingham’s Sam; Dan showed some impressive defense and managed to blam a couple of his shots. 1 minute later Leicester had scored and the team started to lift. Half way through the second half many Birmingham players started showing concern for the score such was our comeback. Leicester had comfortably won the second half but alas it was not to be enough and the game finished 14-8. 

Birmingham university Alumni Rob Wright took the MVP trophy home and Sam added her name to the scorers list! Unfortunately a tale of two halves in which we were not the victors. 

MVP:
Robert Wright

Scorers:
Andy Cunningham (2)
Samantha Waller
Robert Wright (2)
Dan Hawthorne (2)
Trevor Brown

Leeds City v Leicester Tornadoes 31/10/2015

Following a defeat away in Manchester, an unfortunate schedule meant that tornadoes were handed a 3 week break before going into a match against the heavily practiced Leeds city team who came runners up in the league last year. The break hadn’t seemed to effect Leicester, keen to get off to a good start the game found itself level at 2-2 early on with Trevor opening the account and a penalty won by Craig saw Dan convert for his first. Leeds realised that they were in for a game and turned up the heat. Leicester did their best to follow with goals coming from each the boys we found ourselves 11-6 down at the half. A much brighter start and a flattering score line for Leeds as Ant must have had 20 shots go in only for the ball to somehow spew out again. 

The second half was a much tighter affair as both teams scored 4 goals less than their first half efforts saw the game end 18-8. Trevor stole the attack with 4 goals to his account but it was Craig how was the stand out performer as his efforts of keeping former Leicester star Rich Crossley quiet only scoring 2 is no mean feat given his 8 last week. Tornadoes’ girls, whilst not adding to our total gave a really strong account of themselves not being bowled over by a seriously strong female contingent in front of them. All in all a good performance with moments to forget about. In a really competitive league Leicester have seemingly ridden out quite a storm at the start of season playing last year’s 1st and 2nd place, finding themselves above the bottom of table on goal difference. They look forward to their first home game of the season against University of Birmingham and hopefully the first points on the board.

MVP: 
Craig Allison

Scorers:
Trevor Brown (4)
Craig Allison
Anthony Ryan
Dan Hawthorne (2)

Manchester Warriors 1 v Leicester Tornadoes 11/10/2015

First up for newly promoted Leicester was last years champions Manchester warriors away from home. Hardly an easy start to the league! We all knew it was going to be a tough start and arguably let that get to us in the first 10 mins; going 7-0 down before Andy salvaged one back with the cleanest shot you’ll ever see, not even touching the sides. At 7-1 Dan, captaining his first game at Leicester, called for a timeout to try and rally the troupes, this had the desired effect with goals from Trevor and Charlotte going unanswered bringing the score back to a more respectable 7-3. This seemed to provoke Manchester into action who showed their class with a few unstoppable long shots and a nice goal from Ant saw Leicester go in at half time 12-4 down. 

Half time was a good chance for us to take on fluid and try and reset the minds. Craig replaced Andy and Rob came on for Ant for his Leicester debut and was quick to get into the game fighting for every loose ball much to the annoyance of the Manchester girls. We identified Craig’s match up as one to exploit and quickly put that into action with a trademark Craig runner coming early in the second half assisted by Rachael. Goals were flying in both ends with a lovely cheeky drop off from Charlotte for her second. Another runner from Craig showed that even with the result potentially out of the question Leicester were still showing the fight that Dan had hoped for at half time. Craig continued to cause trouble for the Manchester defense after good link up with Sam he found himself causing the switch which Dan happily converted. Rob, who had the trouble of being marked by the tallest man on the planet, had to work hard for every ball and found himself running his man and a beautiful finish gave him his first Leicester goal. Even the Manchester players in the other end we applauding the finish! There was enough time left in the match for Trevor to show his finishing converting a free pass in true casual Trev style!

A special mention to Chloe, Sam, Rob and Andy for their first Leicester appearance with the girls being promoted from within the club and their performances showed how easily they have fitted in. Excitingly, I suspect there is much more to come from them! A solid effort from the squad today and the only losing team to score more than 9 in what is going to be a very tough league. Happily there are signs that Leicester might just feel at home here!

MVP:
Trevor Brown

Scorers:
Trevor Brown (2)
Craig Allison (2)
Charlotte Slater (2)
Anthony Ryan
Dan Hawthorne
Robert Wright (2)
Andy Cunningham