Leicester Toto vs. University of Birmingham 2

Toto set off in high spirits (or is that “full of spirits” as Luca told me, his Captain?!) to Birmingham after a very long winter break.  But ten minutes from our destination there was a sudden change of venue! With Luca and Chloe on the phones in the mobile HQ, this was no problem and Toto arrived before the Birmingham team AND in time to watch a basketball match!

Toto started full of energy with division 1  (Aine, Emma, Ant, and Greg) attacking hard. Defending to the hilt in the other half were Andy, Luca, Clair, and Spargo. Both teams were working hard, and for 5 minutes there was a stalemate. Toto scored first and then each team matched each other – end-to-end excitement.  At the end of a tough half, Toto had put those shots up and pulled away with a two goal lead.

In the second half Joe, the Interceptor, came on for Greg and Claire came on for Chloe. After the hard work of the first half, the energy levels had dropped and a time out was needed.  Toto were reinvigorated with the words of Dan and Ant ringing in their ears and the defending intensified again as the shots went up.  At the final whistle, Toto had an 8 goal win!

Well done to Chloe and Claire who were making their debuts with Toto and at very short notice too!  Thanks to coach Dan and traveling fan Luke for their support and guidance.  MVP was Spargo for good behavior (“Not sure about that!” – Captain)

Another very strong team performance and effort. It was great to see the number of goals scored and by different team members too:

  • Aine (2)
  • Emma (1)
  • Ant (1)
  • Andy (5)
  • Spargo (1)
  • Greg (4)
  • Luca (4)

Fab effort Toto!

Leicester Toto vs. Nottingham Magic

After a couple of losses in a row, Toto were keen to get back to winning ways starting against their rivals Nottingham Magic. After a fast-paced warm up, Toto were raring to get to the court to get straight into the opposition.

This showed with a goal straight from the start from Ant. A couple of quick goals from Magic with an equaliser from Matt and another two long goals from Ant meant we went into halftime leading 4-3.

A couple of goals from Magic at the start of the second half were quickly replied to with goals from Greg and Spargo. Another goal from Greg with a couple from Magic meant it was 7-7 with 20 minutes to go. Unfortunately, a few long shots dropped for them resulting in Magic pulling away 11-7 with 10 to play. Another long goal from Matt brought us to within 3 and after a ref intervention, Magic scored a couple of goals late on with the game finishing 15-8 to them.

Overall a happy and together Toto team that will be sure to go again against Nottingham Magic 2.

Scorers were:

  • Ant (3)
  • Matt (2)
  • Greg (2)
  • Spargo (1)

Leicester Toto vs. University of Nottingham 2

Grab a shirt.

Just over a week after a bittersweet defeat by Nottingham Magic, Toto were primed and ready for a home game against a team they had not yet faced this season – Nottingham Uni 2. With strong support from the sidelines, including all 4 club coaches, and another rousing pre-match talk from Captain Spargo, the game kicked off with Ant, Joe, Emma H and Paula in attack and Matt, Greg, Elle and Spargo (c) in defence. Toto started strong, with a runner scored by Joe in the first few minutes which was then equalized by the opposition only a few seconds later. Notts scored a runner and a mid-shot bringing the score to 1-3. Emma H then popped in a mid-shot and we saw Joe win a penalty, which was nicely scored by Ant. Toto were finding their feet! Notts then took the lead with four quick consecutive goals, one of which was an unusual style of free pass which threw us off (we won’t let that happen again!), bringing the score to 3-7. Greg then stepped up to take a penalty, and the score became 4-7. Matt went in for a runner and scored a penalty having been shoved in the back and then a change of ends saw Joe score another runner bringing the score at halftime to LCKC 6, Notts Uni 7.

A halftime, talk from the coaches and some much-needed Haribo (other brands of jelly sweet are available), geared everyone up to go hard or go home for the last half. On 1, 2, 3…LEICESTER!!

The second half saw Luca come on for Matt and Toto tried to bring it back. Notts were first to score with a runner but then Elle successfully popped in a cheeky short. The score was 7-8, could Toto square this up? Notts then scored 2, edging away from us. A mid-range veer from Ant and a nice short shot from Joe could have pushed us ahead but unfortunately, Notts just had the edge with their shots dropping in the last quarter despite us fighting hard, bringing the final score to 9-15 on the whistle. Dan (head coach) said at the end of the game, it wasn’t physical effort and energy we were lacking it was mental strategy. We’re getting used to the divisions now, learning where our strengths lie and where we need to improve. Toto left the game a little morose, knowing that things could have gone differently but it wasn’t our match and knowing there are things to improve on means we can only get stronger which is what we will need…when our next match is at home against rivals Nottingham Magic. BRING. IT. ON.

Scorers;

Joe Douglass x3

Anthony Ryan x2 (x1 P)

Emma Hornett x1

Greg Gilmour x1 (P)

Elle Worthy x1

Matt Freeman x1 (P)

Leicester Toto vs. University of Birmingham 2

Toto started 2018 the way they mean to carry on: Winning! The first game of 2018 against Birmingham University certainly did not disappoint, with everyone bringing their strongest game, heaps of energy and an abundance of enthusiasm.
Toto started the match with Matt, Luca, Spargo (c) and Elle in attack and Joe, Andy, Paula and Aine in defence. The whistle blew and they were off! Toto dominated play in the first half and the goals soon started dropping with Andy scoring the first. Birmingham Uni were fast paced in their response and marked tightly to say the least), but Leicester kept the scoreline in our favour throughout the game. Toto matched their speed and kept strong in defence. Goals from Matt, Luca, Spargo and Andy saw the scoreline at 9-4 by halftime.
The second half saw Emma on for Spargo, scoring a runner shortly after entering the game. Birmingham Uni fought back hard but Leicester kept up the energy and saw further goals from Matt, Luca, Andy and Aine.  At the final whistle it was LCKC leading 14-8. The fast-paced, high octane game saw Toto burst into 2018 and we look forward to what the rest of the season has to offer! Excellent play from everyone.
Goals as follows:
-Andy 4
-Matt 3
-Luca 3
-Spargo 1
-Emma 1
-Aine 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

De Montfort University 1 vs. Leicester Toto

Everyone loves a good derby day and this one did not disappoint. After a win the week before Toto were feeling confident for the Leicester Derby against DMU 1 at the QEII Jubilee Hall on Sunday.

It was the first time the team had had full 12 player availability this season adding to the tingling feelings of excitement and a collective want for a repeat of the excellent performance of the previous week. As the whistle blew to begin the match, Matt, Paula, Spargo and Andy were in attack, and up the other end Emma, Ant, Elle and Joe in defence.

The goals pinged back and forth for the first half, with a goal from DMU quickly followed by goals from Matt and Ant. DMU returned two more goals, before Matt, Emma and Elle came back with 3 in a row for Toto. At halftime the game was a tight 5-3 to Toto.

Second half changes saw Faz on for Elle, Luca for Matt and, later in the half, Joe for Ant. The second half started with a goal for DMU followed by a long shot from Luca and a midrange shot from Ant. It continued in the same vein with another goal from DMU followed by 2 goals from Andy and the next DMU goal followed by goals from Faz and another from Andy.

The game finished 11-7 to Toto! Overall it was a great continuation of the excellent play from the week before and the team is really beginning to gel as a unit. The game was great to watch with structured attacks, solid defence and great communication throughout and, to top it all off, 7 of 12 players on the score sheet. I’m looking forward to what this team will bring for the rest of the season.

Next up, after a 2 week break, Toto vs Birmingham City 3 away.

Scorers:

  • Matt Freeman (2)
  • Ant Ryan (2)
  • Andy Cunningham (3)
  • Emma Hornett
  • Elle Worthy
  • Luciano Faschini
  • Faz Flintham

Nottingham City 2 vs. Leicester Toto

Remember, remember, the fifth of November. Toto finally got their season underway (following a forfeit from Notts Magic the week before) at the Wildcats Arena in Nottingham on Sunday. Excitement was building to finally start the season and the excitement continued as it appeared the Wildcats Arena was packed full of Korfball fans and even ‘car park full’ signs were in place at the entrance. After realising there was, in fact, a martial arts competition taking place, the Toto team ventured past the mayhem into the small hall, ready to take the court following the Tornadoes game.

In attack were Andy, Matt, Emma and Paula and Spargo, Elle, Joe and Ant with Aine replacing Emma and Paula for 40 mins each (I think).

Toto took a 2-0 lead after 2 pens from Andy. This was followed with a goal from Ant and one in quick reply from Notts. A classic Matt fade followed by a pen made it 5-1 going into the halftime break. The second half started evenly with a couple of goals for each team before Toto powered on with plenty of possession, shots and recycling of the ball. The defending from all was exceptional with Notts having very few chances to get shots away. Following a couple of goals from Matt and Andy, a free pass from Ant and a very well deserved goal for Joe, Toto drove on to a final score of 13-5.

For a first official league game of the season, it was a very promising start with exceptional defending throughout and structured attacks with strong collects and good recycling of the ball. Great effort from all, especially Joe’s interceptions throughout the game and big thanks to the support from the Tornadoes team and also Luca who traveled up despite his injury.

Next up is the local derby, away against DMU 1 on Sunday.

Scorers were:

  • Andy (3, 3 Pens)
  • Matt (1, 2 Pens)
  • Ant (1, 1 Free Pass & 1 Pen)
  • Joe (1)

Birmingham Uni 2 vs. Leicester City 2 (Toto)

Another weekend, another EMKA showdown. This Sunday saw Toto travel to Birmingham’s Bourneville College to lock horns with one of our closest rivals, Birmingham Uni 2. Following a win at home by just one goal, this really was anybody’s game and with 3 of Toto’s girls unavailable the outcome was even less certain. Thanks to some intra-club borrowing, taking to the court for Leicester were:

Matt Cox
Ant Ryan
Elle Worthy
Aisling Mullins

Pete Wallett
Rob Parnham
Emma Spargo
Jenny Freeman

and myself (Tom) as captain and sub.

The action started quickly with Leicester’s Aisling winning a penalty in the second minute. Ant stepped up to take it but it wasn’t to be as the ball sailed just long and was missed on the follow-up. 2 minutes later and Birmingham this time pushed at the score line with one of their girls scoring a mid shot against our Emma Spargo. Another 2 minutes and another Birmingham goal as their number 45 scored another mid. A change of ends and a change of dynamic, building on some animal-themed training from Wednesday’s mid-week training session, Pete channelled his inner tiger to bring Leicester a long shot. Less than 60 seconds later and Jenny won a free-pass again giving Pete a chance to score – which he all-too-easily put away. 8 minutes in and it’s 2 a piece.

A couple of minutes of stale-mate are broken by Matt as he scores a textbook drop off following a long shot over the korf but Birmingham quickly hit back with a mid of their own and it’s level pegging again. The tête-à-tête continues as Rob wins and scores a penalty which is sadly disallowed due to a foul foot placement from LCKC. Pete recovers the blow with a long shot from the top of court. Birmingham reply with a mid shot but Ant follows the change of ends with a long shot. Birmingham add a runner and again things are all even at 5:5. Rob scores a runner. Birmingham score one too. Birmingham win (and score) a free pass so Aisling scores one for Leicester – 7:7. This is agonisingly close. 2 mids from Birmingham and now Leicester are down by 2. Time for a time-out.

The word from the benches is to look more threatening when receiving the ball in attack. Looking ready to shoot to draw the defenders out and away from the post. In defence, concentration is key. No taking our eyes off the game and letting silly mistakes cost us such a close-fought game. The last 3 minutes of the half will be pivotal.

The advice seems to go down well with Spargo, Pete, Rob & Jenny defending out of their skins. Meanwhile, Matt’s newly encouraged shooting from long gives Ant a drop-off. The half closes out at 9:8 and Leicester are back to being down by just one.

Team talk is a reiteration of what we looked at in the time out. Rehydrating and breathing deep, Leicester talk through the half between them before a loud hands in and heading back on to court.

2 minutes in and Coxy scores a drop off bringing us back level. Brum score a drop off too and we enter a painstaking stalemate as the score stays static at 10:9 for an agonising 15 minutes. Shots go up on both sides but sustained pressure from each defending division forces them long, short or into the hands of the defenders. The play improves and improves to try and find holes in the opposing attacks but the defence improves to match it. Finally, the wait is over as Jenny scores a drop off at 48 minutes.

The change of ends brings an opportunity to bring off Matt who has been defending at high intensity for 15+ minutes and bring on a fresh pair of legs in the form of myself. Birmingham score a mid to take the lead again but, a newly invigorated Toto aren’t taking it lying down. Aisling scores a shot right under the post after turning her defender around. The ends change and Elle, Ant, Aisling & I keep Birmingham under lock and key allowing Pete to force a mid shot down the other end. Jenny takes contact while a player is free to shoot and earns a penalty for Pete which he dutifully sinks. Another change of ends and another goal for Leicester as contact against Aisling gives LCKC another free pass. Ant steps up and pops the ball to me under the post. Having no idea that I’m free to shoot (I know, I’m sorry), I pass back to a surprised Ant who pops a shot up. All’s well that ends well as Leicester sail into the biggest lead of the game at 11:14.

With just 3-4 minutes on the clock Birmingham have work to do. One of their girls takes the ball at the back and leans back to score a mid past Elle’s fingertips. 1/2 an inch closer and she’s defended. Another change and another goal for Birmingham as they score a drop off. 13:14 and it’s nail biting for the last two minutes. Birmingham attack with everything they’ve got but Leicester’s defence is like a brick wall. As the whistle sounds, there’s a sigh of relief and we head off court.

The mood is sombre on the side lines until Elle and I realise that the 15:14 that we thought we’d read actually reads 13:14! Out come the celebratory Malteasers and M&Ms and Emma appoints the MVP – which goes to Elle! A great game all round and a hard fought win. As always, there’s things to address and things to praise as we look forward to facing off against current table runners-up Nottingham City 1 this Sunday at home.

Special thanks for Dan too for coming along to ref for Birmingham. The score sheet for Leicester looks like this:

Ant: 3 (inc. 1 free pass)
Pete: 5 (inc. 1 free pass and 1 penalty)
Matt: 2
Aisling: 2
Rob: 1
Jenny: 1

Well done Toto!

Leicester Toto vs University of Birmingham 2 – 23/10/2016

A fantastic start to the season saw Leicester Toto at home against the University of Birmingham’s 2nd team. With Trevor Brown stepping in as our very own Peter Wallet stepped up to the first team for the weekend.

The game started off well with Tom scoring a lovely short shot 30 seconds in, but Brum quickly equalised a minute later. The next 10 minutes saw some really great play as the classic uni team defended extremely tight and Leicester had to adapt to gain some space and get shots off. These fell for our Matthew’s of the match Coxy and Freeman taking the score to 3-1. However, with some of our shots not falling and with Brum gaining the rebound the next 4 goals fell to Birmingham. With the score at 3-5 Rachael called a timeout to attempt to boost some morale and take on some fluids. For the next 10 minutes Leicester defended their backsides off and no balls fell for Brum, but with 30 seconds till half time Trevor nailed his classic drop off, taking the score to 4-5 as the whistle blew. As the jelly babies did the rounds Freeman, Kings and O’Callaghan gave some pointers and encouragement and a clearly re-energised team stepped back onto the court. For the next 10 minutes ball after ball dropped for Leicester, Coxy and Freeman with two blinding longs, Tom with a lovely veer off to the right, and Trevor with a cheeky under the post and a foot perfect veering mid shot. With the score now standing at 9-5 Leicester had the heads in the game and it took Birmingham 13 minutes into the game to drop their 6th goal. With a naughty contact to the arm on her shot, Rachael was awarded a penalty but it fell short. The following 10 mins were a flurry of goals with Freeman nailing his final two and Trevor with another veering short shot but with Birmingham matching us goal for goal taking the score to 12-8 with 9 more minutes to go! By now Leicester were starting to flag under the scrutinising defence of uni and with Birminghams 9th, 10th and 11th goal dropping Leicester had to turn up their defence. And boy did they do just that, for the final 5 minutes not a single ball dropped for Birmingham giving Leicester Toto the win as the whistle blew with 12-11.

With special mention to Elle for her first match for Toto, absolutely nailing defence and always being in good space.

And to our newest and youngest recruit Kate who constantly had her defender on the back foot and who was just unlucky that her shots didn’t fall that day!

What a way to start the season!

Nottingham Magic 1 v Leicester Toto – 28/02/16

A tough night at the office against the league winners elect. Before this game  Magic had only dropped one point and boasted the top two league scorers in their ranks. Leicester traveled to Nottingham hoping to firm up their bid for 3rd place come the end of the season.

Magic showed their quality early on, taking an 8-0 lead before Leicester called a timeout to regroup and reassess.

The timeout certainly allowed Leicester to get a foot back in the game, going in at half-time 11-3 down – matching Magic goal for goal and causing real frustration. The second half was equally tough with Tom O’Callaghan completing his korftrick but Magic took further control, running out 28-8 winners.

Team news:

Matt C (c) (1), Tom (3), Mel, Becky

Matt F (2), Rob P (1), Rachael (1), Chloe