English Open – Warwick Warriors II

Line-up:

Nathan Thompson (C)
Matt Manns
Khaled Gholmieh
Michael Ash Javaid
Ollie Richards
Thomas Lake
Tom Lawson
Sam Pounds (his mum)

Preamble:

With the 2’s suffering from a number of injuries collected over the previous few weeks and months, our chances were not looking particularly good heading into one of the largest and toughest tournaments of the year. Nonetheless, following our incredible luck with the main draw, which put us into a group with Portsmouth 3s, London Storm 2s and Birmingham 3s, things were looking up for us. That is, until 2am Sunday morning, when Michael dropped out due to illness. An exact cause is unconfirmed at this point, but anonymous sources mentioned the previous night’s Chemistry Ball as a potential factor… This led to Sam Pounds’ last minute call up, a decision that was slightly regretted by team captain Nathan when Sam turned up late to the church on Sunday morning having only got about 2 hours sleep the night before…

THE GROUPS

Game 1 – Portsmouth Purple Cobras 3s

It’s an unwritten rule that any Dodgeball team that insists on wearing those silly vests rather than proper kit deserves to be beaten, and that’s exactly what happened. Playing together as a full team for the first time ever, our boys combined well coordinated throwing with some timely catches to secure a comfortable, convincing win over a seriously fashion challenged Pompey side. We were off to a good start!
Final score: Warwick 6-4 Pompey.

Game 2 – London Storm 2s

We anticipated this to be by far our toughest match, but having just seen Storm get hammered by Birmingham 8-2, we felt we might actually have a decent shot at winning this game and showing our ex president Oli Hague just what he was missing. Alas, it was not to be. Storm really stepped up their game for this match and, despite our best efforts, we were just about beaten.
Final score: London Storm 8-2 Warwick.

Game 3 – Birmingham 3s

In order to ensure a higher place group finish than Portsmouth, the 2s really needed to pull off something special and take some points off of a surprisingly strong Birmingham side, which is just what we did. Tactical throwing and efficient trapping meant that we were able to hold our own, despite injuries taking their toll on certain members of the team. All team members played well, but Matt was the clear ‘Mann of the match’ (sorry, couldn’t resist), as he executed a number of fantastic counters and made some great catches under pressure as well (I hear unconfirmed reports that Mehrdad’s place in the 1s is now under review after this standout performance).
Final score: Birmingham 7-3 Warwick.

Plate last 16:

After a decent 3rd place finish in our group, the 2s were drawn against DeMontfort’s second team in the last 16 of the plate tournament. Having tried and failed to locate an AWOL Sam Pounds, we headed onto the court for what we knew would be a very winnable match. Perhaps overconfident, our boys made several mistakes in the first game which led to a 1v1 with a minute left, and it did not look good. However, our salvation came from an unlikely source – DeMontfort’s final player left in not only decided to roll one of his balls towards a rather bemused Matt Manns, but was then visibly confused as to why everyone started laughing at him. Buoyed by this amateurish display, the 2s gathered themselves, got organised, and convincingly won the next 3 games, with team captain Nathan, finally freed from his ‘no throwing under any circumstances ever’ ban, taking particular advantage of the opposing teams’ chronic inability to catch anything and helping to ensure a swift end to the match.
Final Score: Warwick 6-0 DeMontfort.

Plate Quarter Finals:

Having been drawn against Birmingham 2s in the quarter finals, we knew that this was going to be by far the toughest match of the day – we were getting tired, injuries were really taking their toll and Sam Pounds was still nowhere to be seen. We played well, particularly when we needed catches to stay in the game, but in the end Birmingham just about triumphed. Honourable mention to Tom Lake for being commended by a number of Birmingham players for sportsmanlike conduct (it’s not the same as a win, but we’ll take it). Final result: Birmingham 6-0 Warwick

Final remarks:

Given the choice between hanging around to watch the final few matches, or grabbing some victory/consolation chicken on the way home, our heroes opted for the latter. We headed out of the sports hall, pausing only to confirm that it was indeed Sam Pounds who was fast asleep in the far corner of the foyer, as he had apparently been for the past 3 hours (mystery solved), and made our way home. It was good day overall for the 2s, as we managed to win two of our matches over the course of the tournament (I could point out that our first team only won one of theirs, but I’m a gentleman, so I won’t). Promising performances from both new and old players, and the fact that our team chemistry only improved throughout the day, sets us up well for when the leagues start in just a few weeks.

Fin.

-Nathan Thompson

Men’s 4th Team – University Cup

Event: University Cup
Date: 26th March 2016
Location: Leicester

Team:

  • Tim Fozard (c + armband)
  • Richard Groves
  • Balraj Dhingra
  • Ben Albin
  • Jordan Brett
  • Tom Lewis
  • Adam Patterson

Preamble

The Fantastic Fours arrived in good spirits ahead of our much anticipated University Cup appearance. Messages of support and encouragement had been raking in during the week and if training appearances were anything to go by, then the day was surely going to be one to remember for the 4s. Much of the training sessions consisted of reducing some of the team-members’ fear of the balls and teaching Jordan the basic rules of dodgeball. One-Pint failed to show up to any of these sessions so the early plan from Fozard was to flex his managerial muscles and bench One-Pint for the first game. This plan was scuppered when Adam Patterson failed to arrive at the sport centre at the designated meet time and as a result Captain Fozard’s ‘leave no man behind’ philosophy was quickly aborted and we set off for Leicester. This decisive action from the manager proved to be a sign of the ruthless streak that was to come from all members of the team (except Balbin).

Having drawn up some tactics the night before (and subsequently forgetting to bring these along), el Capitano spent much of the car journey thinking about the style of dodgeball we would employ. Our aim as a team was to progress from the group but we knew this would be highly dependent on what the outcome of the draw was. Upon arrival at the sports centre rumours were swirling that we had been drawn in one of the worst possible groups. Unfortunately, despite disbelief and denial, these proved to be true and we were faced with the prospect of not winning a single game all tournament (or even getting a single opponent out). In what was yet another test of managerial mettle, Fozard rallied the troops and prepared the team for an all Warwick affair. Much of the early attention and hype was focused on whether the captain would be using his left or right arm to throw – either prospect was a worrying one for the opposition (and for the crowd in the case of his left).

Group Stage – Match 1: Warwick Warriors IV vs Warwick Warriors I

There isn’t much to be said about this game, plus there’s only a couple of bits worth remembering anyway.

Within the opening seconds of the fixture Tim caught out an arrogantAkshay Shah with consummate ease, making what was in-reality a very difficult catch look like something very simple – a skill only the best dodgeballers are capable of. There’s a video of this a few posts down, watch it.

The second key moment was when Rich ‘the cannon’ Groves sent Oli Hague packing with a pile-driver of a throw – thwack.

To be completely fair to the Warwick 1s, they absolutely destroyed us, aside from the two highlights above (although as a team we possibly amassed at least 6 line-faults in this match). Fortunately for the fours, our performances could literally not get any worse.

Final score: Warwick Warriors IV 0 – 10 Warwick Warriors I

Group Stage – Match 2: Warwick Warriors IV vs Birmingham Lions 1

Prior to this game we were delighted to hear that our initial target had been met before even picking up a dodgeball – even if we lost every single game we would still be granted a progression to the knockout stages of the competition. Given the target was already met it would have been very easy for us to pack our things and leave with our heads held high but that’s not the way we do things in the fours. We prepared ourselves for the best Birmingham had to offer.

This match was another tough one proving too much for Jordan who resorted to bizarrely pushing Balbin off court resulting in him being out via the back line. “You’re all over the place, Balbin” was one of the angry shouts heard from the captain, only to be retracted moments later when he heard what had actually happened.

The highlights of the game came in the form of a slick counter attack from Bal who showed that despite the foam party hangover, his place on the wing was never in doubt. Quite incredibly, Fozard made not one, not even two, but THREE catches this match, equalling the total number he has made during his time at the University of Warwick. A sneaky pre-throw to the knee of a Birmingham player rounded off an accomplished performance from the captain. We lost every game though.

Final score: Warwick Warriors IV 0 – 10 Birmingham Lions 1

Knock-out Stage: Warwick Warriors IV vs Trent Turtles

We’d had the warmup games versus some pretty good teams, but now came the games which mattered: the knockout stages. We were hoping the draw would be slightly kinder to us this time round, and held out for a Warwick 3 v Warwick 4 showdown, but unfortunately yet again were dealt a reasonably tough blow: a match versus the Trent Turtles, a species of reptile native to Nottingham.

This fixture turned out to be something of an epic. We saw the best and worst of the 4’s at times, with excellent wing-play from Balraj and Rich but some quite simply inept dodgeball as well. For example, One-Pint deciding to roll one ball when we had three and then deciding to throw two anyway – i.e. gifting the turtles a ball to block with. This tactical error can only be because he didn’t attend any training sessions – we specifically worked on this type of situation the week prior.

Despite this, a truly thrilling contest resulted in us winning our first frame of the day. Wild celebrations ensued only for Tim to calm the men down and prepare for the next frame – the turtles were lined up and waiting. Every set that followed was extremely closely contested, with the fours often cruelly throwing away a lead. If ever a score-line didn’t truly reflect the closeness of the contest then this was it – cutting out minor mistakes may have resulted in a different outcome.

Final score: Warwick Warriors IV 2 – 8 Trent Turtles

Exhibition Match: Warwick Warriors IV vs Warwick Warriors III

After exchanging chat all day about who had the better team, the 3 and 4 captains decided to put their money where their mouth is and have a quick game to settle the disagreements. In a highly competitive game, the 4’s triumphed 6 – 4 amid cries of “cheat” from the opposition – not something you like to see on court, especially when the game was so fairly officiated by Katie Thompson. The winning moment was a stunning catch from One-Pint shortly after a catch-and-out via back-line from Jordan – scintillating stuff.

All-in-all our performances across the day improved greatly with each appearance and given that we had never properly trained together as a team our performances against some of the best dodgeballers at this level were nothing to be ashamed of. It was a pleasure sharing the court with you, gentlemen.

Final score: Unrecorded

– Tim Fozard (Men’s 4th Team player/captain)

Men’s 2nd Team – DNL (Meet 4)

Event: DNL (Meets 4)
Date: 12th March 2016
Location: Academy Sport, Reading

Team:

  • Anand Krishnan (c)
  • Ben Moran-Wardle
  • Pete Leighton
  • Josh Garcia Hall
  • Josh Keys
  • Will Couzens
  • Nathan Thompson (Team Manager/Public Relations)

Preamble

This week, JC made the controversial decision to exclude Nathan from the squad, to the shock and horror of all other team members. Unperturbed by this snub, Nathan promoted himself to Team Manager and went along anyway, happily wedging himself into Anand’s car in between a rather uncomfortable Bowditch and Rhys, all of whom barely made it to the meet thanks to some poor drivers on the M40 (Rumour has it that Winchester sent them in a desperate attempt to avoid yet another day of utter humiliation. Spoiler alert – they were unsuccessful. Naturally).

Despite this early scare all team members, plus the 1’s, made it to the venue and began warming up in anticipation of a day of dodgeball that would turn out to be one of the most dramatic DNL meets in the 2’s history.

Match 1: Warwick Warriors II vs Imperial

Having absolutely smashed them the first time round, hopes were high as our heroes stepped out onto the court. As expected, the first game went absolutely brilliantly. For about 20 seconds. Suddenly JGH, in a tactical decision known only to himself, decided to go and absolutely mangle his leg, and had to be carted off court. This left the 2’s down to just 5 men and at a crisis point. Things were looking desperate. JC’s plan had failed. Fans were starting to panic. How could the 2s come back from this?!? Step forward Nathan Thompson, that milk boshing, (occasionally) cross dressing, catching machine. Back at full strength, if a little bit ruffled, the 2’s overcame their early wobble to win the match against a surprisingly resilient Imperial side who at one point were leading 6-4. Not the most ideal start to the day, but as the renowned classical philosopher D:Ream once remarked, ‘Things can only get better’…

Final score: Warwick Warriors II 8 – 6 Imperial

Match 2: Warwick Warriors II vs UCL

Having endured a shaky start, our heroes managed to get their act together, falling into a decent rhythm, working together and just generally being pretty wonderful. Excellent throwing on the parts of everyone bar Nathan ensured that very few easy catches were given away to this defensive side, resulting in some rather one sided games. Towards the end of the match, UCL began reverting to increasingly desperate tactics in order to throw us off our game. The highlight of these was when the sole female UCL team member began to engage in some frankly outrageous flirting with none other than our own Mr Josh Keys at the centre line (‘She even said I wasn’t quick enough – the b****!’ Keys, J. 2016). Despite this, the 2’s could not be denied as they secured a convincing win.

Final score: Warwick Warriors II 11 – 3 UCL

Match 3: Warwick Warriors II vs Winchester Bullets 2

Sadly the report for this match has been deemed inappropriate for publication. If you would like to read this report, we suggest that you ask one of the current exec members very nicely and they might show it to you. If they feel like it. Maybe.

Final score: Warwick Warriors II 12 – 2 Winchester Bullets

Final Thoughts

After the meet, it was discovered that this was in fact the first DNL meet in which the 2’s have won all 3 matches.
Following some cutting edge statistics work (and a brief glance at the league tables) we have managed to calculate that all we need to finish in an unprecedented 3rd place is to take a total of 9 points from our remaining 2 matches – bring it on!

– Josh Keys and Nathan Thompson (Men’s Team players)

Men’s 1st Team – DNL (Meet 4)

Event: DNL (Meets 4)
Date: 12th March 2016
Location: Academy Sport, Reading

Team:

  • James Cameron (c)
  • Alex Folwell
  • Oli Hague
  • Akshay Shah
  • Adam Bowditch
  • Rhys Woodgate

Preamble

Finally the day had come; Captain Cameron didn’t have to drive and Folwell actually turned up to a meet. Woo yeah excited!! The joy within was evident and it seemed to be infectious as all members that turned up to the church looked to be in a buoyant mood. The day promised to be a good one. (Leighton was late again. Classic.)

The journey was smooth, uneventful and rather pleasant. Everyone got there in one piece. This was the plan. The plan was executed to perfection. Jackanackanory!

On arrival the squad was met with the wonderful greeting of having to ref. What a fantastic way to start the day. Whilst refereeing a couple of the players noticed others leaning against the back wall. To the surprise of most it seemed as if the UKDBA had just decided to scrap the back line rule for the day, this presented a new obstacle for the Warriors to negotiate. With the officiating over the 1’s were able to start warming up for their first match of the day.

Match 1: Warwick Warriors I vs Winchester Bullets 1

After a first defeat of the season a fortnight ago the 1’s were looking to bounce back to the dizzy heights they were so used to. The match however did not start off well, seeing the bullets take to first period with relative ease. It was clear that the team required a bit of time adjusting to having no back lines. The tide then quickly turned as the boys decided to turn up. It ended up being a bit of a demolition job – arguably the best performance by the side all season. With multiple hits and catches from all members of the team (expect Folwell, he managed not to make a catch) the Warriors took the next games without really breaking into a sweat. The looks of despair from the opposition were clear to see. Excellent start to the day from everyone.

Final score: Warwick Warriors I 12 – 2 Winchester Bullets 1

Match 2: Warwick Warriors I vs Winchester Bullets 2

(I can’t remember this match to be honest.) The 1’s continued their good work from the previous match and quickly established a large lead. Winchester 2’s probably deserved more than the 2 points they gained, they played very well but they couldn’t stop the freight train that is the Warwick Warriors 1’s. The only real memory of the match everyone retained was that there was a ginger guy in questionable attire and an attitude so bad that it wrinkled the nose more than the court clearing gases coming from Woodgate’s rear end; an impressive feat to say the least.

Final score: Warwick Warriors I 12 – 2 Winchester Bullets 2

Match 3: Warwick Warriors I vs UCL Pumas

On paper this was going to be a simple match up, but once again UCL were up to the task of making the 1’s day frustrating. There was some clear complacency from all involved and this lead the team to drop 4 points. The annoyance came from the fact that the lads knew a 14-0 win would have taken the team to within 9 points of the leaders making the chase a little less tough. It is what it is.

Final score: Warwick Warriors I 10 – 4 UCL Pumas

Final Thoughts

These results closed the gap to the leaders Wessex by 5 points, leaving them just 13 up the 1’s at the top of the table. Overall it was a great performance from everyone in this meet and one to take into the final meet and hopefully capitalise upon. The final match will probably be against Wessex once again and will turn into what is likely to be the title decider. ‪#‎westillbelieve‬ ‪#‎myglassisalwayshalffull‬

JC.

– James Cameron (Men’s Captain)

Men’s 2nd Team – DNL (Meet 3)

Event: DNL (Meets 3)
Date: 28th February 2016
Location: Henbury Leisure Centre, Bristol

Team:

  • Will Couzens (we’re)
  • Josh Garcia Hall (the)
  • Pete Leighton (prettiest)
  • Anand Krishnan (catchers)
  • Ben Moran-Wardle
  • Nathan Thompson (going)

Week 1: The 2nds batter the 1sts, shattering accusations of incompetency under Anand to cast a team frequented with not just internationals but DNL superstars in our shadow.

Week 2: 2 wins and a draw. Was anyone expecting anything less?

Week 3: History was ready to be written…

Preamble

Having enjoyed successful training sessions as we rehearsed our strategies and deciphered the complex lettering system used in team selection, we were confident come Thursday evening. The next day however, tragedy struck as James Cameron, in a shock decision, named a certain individual as a member of the 1sts. Judas and Jesus. Brutus and Caesar. Josh Keys and the 2nds. It surely ranks as one of the greatest betrayals of all time, and was a clear attempt to sabotage our team before we had even made it to Bristol.

Going into the meet, we knew we were up against it, scheduled to play the first, second and fourth placed teams. We were aware that there could be no back-lines, no foul-starts, and definitely no letting Nathan throw the ball.
The dedication of the 2nds was evident from the start, arriving early at the church to find no 1sts in attendance; another sub-par performance that was seemingly becoming a trend…

Upon JC and Hague’s arrival at precisely 2 and a half minutes later than the agreed meet time we were beckoned to his back seat ‪#‎AdamJohnson‬. Frustration was etched across JC’s face as he regaled us with tales of his teammate’s ineptitude, tales that the present members of the 2’s found both unsurprising and uninteresting.

Nonetheless we made it to Bristol in one piece and went through the motions – registering teams, warming up, etc. All was in place for our first match…

Match 1: Warwick Warriors II vs Warwick Warriors I

Just as in the first meet, the biggest game of the day was scheduled first. All business from both teams before the start time with team talks and warm-ups being held in corridors and changing rooms to ensure that tactics weren’t overheard or dropped catches seen.

Both teams were confident that they could secure the win, with the 2’s looking to merely maintain their 100% win record and the 1’s looking to get their win percentage up from a modest 0%. And this determination could be seen, often heard from the grunts of an angry Steffan Flowers, the barks of the captain, the “I’m just happy to be involved” noises coming from Keys, as the 1’s took the first game.

Then followed a series of ping-pong games as the 2’s upped their game. Good play from Garcia and Ben especially saw us take games 2 and 4, whilst the 1’s had to rely on the luck of fumbling catches, of which JC was becoming an expert, Hague pinging Garcia for what seemed like an infinite number of games in a row and knowing what Couzens was going to do every single time.

In the 5th and 6th games some poor decision-making by the 2’s, as well as Keys and Hague getting in on the act of lucky catching, saw the 1’s establish an unreachable lead. Did this detract from the 2’s hunger, passion and determination? Of course it didn’t. We knew we deserved this match on the balance of the play and wanted the scoreline to show that as best it now could. The senior members of the team stepped up to the plate here, with fierce countering from Ben and… Anand and Garcia and Pete commanding the flanks. A just deserved final game win.

We’ll beat them next time…

Final score: Warwick Warriors II 6 – 8 Warwick Warriors I

Match 2: Warwick Warriors II vs Portsmouth Cobras A

Despite their name being the Cobras, this game made them appear more like Moles; basically blind and utterly incapable of moving quickly.

The first game was one of the stranger games you’ll witness this year, with only 1 player being eliminated in the entire 3 minutes from a Pete Leighton catch. The cross-over to the next game saw friendly exchanges of witty banter, interrupted by girlish giggles from Garcia, between the 2 teams. Little did we know that the rest of the match was to be one of anger, frustration and bitter, bitter hatred.

Although it turned out to be an easy next 3 games, one of the worst refereeing displays you’re likely to ever see turned this Portsmouth molehill into a Portsmouth mountain. Countless were the number of hits missed and dubious 5 seconds called and, subsequently, the 2’s were getting a tad pissed off. Makes me feel a bit sorry for Portsmouth because at least we were winning the match.

Start of the 5th game, Warwick up 8-0. After a game which saw Pete and Will get audibly ‘concerned’ with the referee’s ability, Anand was called over and given a talking to with an invalid warning just for good measure. The ref then decided she had had enough of our nonsense and went to report us as a team. In steps incapable ref 2.0, deeming us unworthy of knowing how much time was left, instead informing us to buy our own watch. Not only did this have the potential to open up a plethora of racial-socio-economic issues more suited to Westminster than Henbury Leisure Centre, it was also quite mean. Luckily Ollie Hopkins stepped in and saved the day and we won the match 12-2.

Final score: Warwick Warriors II 12 – 2 Portsmouth Cobras

Match 3: Warwick Warriors II vs Wessex Wolves

Having witnessed the first team get absolutely hammered by a strong Wessex team, we knew this would be the toughest match of the day by far. Sure enough, Wessex started off very strongly, taking the first game despite our best efforts. Unperturbed, we gathered ourselves and fought back in the next few games, making the score 6-4 in Warwick’s favour. It was then that the 1st team (or should I say second at this point?) finally decided to show up and support their heroic comrades. Their shock at our performance thus far was evident on their faces, with Ash and Hague having to pick their jaws off the floor before joining JC and co in a rousing cheerleading performance.

The next game was hard fought, with Warwick determined to secure the win. However, Wessex pulled out all the stops to level at 6-6. The entire stadium/small-ish games hall held its breath as we headed into the final game…
And what a game that was. We put Wessex on the back foot with some well placed throws, before going down to just one man and it looked as if that might be it for our plucky side. Cue a frankly astonishing succession of catch/hits, as each consecutive member of the 2’s consistently frustrated Wessex’s attempts to end the game quickly. First Will, then Nathan, then Anand, then Pete… each and every member of the team pulled off some impressive catches to keep us in the game right till the bitter end. Alas, it was to no avail. Wessex won 8-6. Absolutely gutting to have come so close and lost, but it was a fantastic result nonetheless against an extremely strong team who had to dig deep to secure their win.

Final score: Warwick Warriors II 6 – 8 Wessex

Final thoughts

Overall result – 1 win, 2 defeats, but we took a massive 29 points from the meet which sets us up well for the rest of the season, with some easier fixtures that should help push us up the table.

Fin.

– Handcrafted by Thompson, N. and Couzens, W. (2nd team players)

Men’s 1st Team – DNL (Meet 3)

Event: DNL (Meets 3)
Date: 28th February 2016
Location: Henbury Leisure Centre, Bristol

Team:

  • James Cameron (c)
  • Josh Keys
  • Oli Hague
  • Akshay Shah
  • Adam Bowditch
  • Steffan Flowers

Preamble

It was a cold, cold, cold day. Once again after not being originally named as a driver the 2’s tried pulling another stunt with Garcia Hall pretending he has an issue with his car forcing Cameron to have to drive… again… for a third meet in a row. What a hero. Despite the lack of preparation for the drive and the frost covering the captain’s car, Cameron still managed to de-ice his car and arrive at the church in perfect time (according to the clock in his car, Robin – named after the best Indian never to play test cricket for his country, Robin Uthappa) to find nobody else there but a couple of keen bean freshers. Upon arrival a second act of sabotage was heard of with the planned late awakening of second team vice vice vice captain Leighton forcing reliable first team member Shah to take a detour and pick this slacker up.

With everyone in the respective cars, the squad set off on another long trip – this time to Bristol. The drive taking the boys a little too close to Wales for their liking An uneventful journey saw some excellent DJ-ing from Hague and even better singing from Couzens, voice of an angel (rumours are flying around suggesting he’ll sing on command – his speciality being High School Musical).

*Lots of driving on the same road*

After almost 2 hours of travelling the cars pulled up at Henbury leisure centre with ample time before the first match. Another fine example of the time management of the skipper. Good Job.

Match 1: Warwick Warriors I vs Warwick Warriors II

Coming off the back of a draw against the 2’s in the first meet, the 1’s were fired up and ready to take on their team mates again. A blistering start saw the 1’s take a comfortable 2-0 lead with some excellent catching from Shah and Bowditch. Suddenly Cameron decided to shock his fellow 1st team players by telling them to purposely get out and let the 2’s win the next two games. Loyal as they come, the team agreed and went along with these strange tactics. Trying to give off the impression that the 2’s were in the 1’s heads, a timeout was taken. Little did the 2’s know but it was in fact the reverse. The plan worked, the next 4 games were easily won by the 1st team seeing them reach an unassailable lead of 8-4. With Garcia Hall being pinged off the start several times, some notably good catches from Keys and some quite brilliant countering from Flowers saw the 2’s spiral into dismay. Cashback! Nobody cares about the 7th period ever. It was lost.

Final score: Warwick Warriors I 8 – 6 Warwick Warriors II

Match 2: Warwick Warriors I vs Wessex Wolves

This hotly anticipated top of the table clash didn’t quite go to plan. Catches were being dropped left, right and centre. Hits weren’t being made, the boys were getting caught too much and making silly mistakes. All this lead to heads dropping and the team falling to a 12-0 deficit. As everyone knows, the 7th period matters the most – everyone picked themselves off, dusted themselves down and managed to take the final period. A frustrating match for everyone involved with Warwick, fortunately it doesn’t mean the end of the title hopes.

Final score: Warwick Warriors I 2 – 12 Wessex Wolves

Match 3: Warwick Warriors I vs Portsmouth Purple Cobras A

The 2’s had just beaten Pompey 12-2. We decided to do the same. Done.

Final score: Warwick Warriors I 12 – 2 Portsmouth Purple Cobras A

Final thoughts

With these results the team have managed to further cement 2nd place in the table, however the team has been gapped slightly, now being 18 points off top spot. It was a solid meet for the side taking a modest haul of 32. Thanks go to Josh Keys who performed very well despite only being told he’d be playing for the 1’s a few days previous to the meet. Warwick now should look forward to the final DNL meet before Easter, with the intent to pile pressure on the leaders Wessex.

JC.

– James Cameron (Men’s Captain)

Men’s 2nd Team – DNL (Meet 2)

Event: DNL (Meets 2)
Date: 14th February 2016
Location: Harris Purley Academy, South Croyden

Team:

  • Josh Garcia Hall
  • Anand Krishnan
  • Ben Moran-Wardle
  • Pete Leighton
  • Nathan Thompson
  • Will Couzens

Spirits were high after the last DNL success and with the line up looking strong and the fixture list in hand, the formerly known wheelbarrows were ready to reap havoc across the DNL table once again.

The Drive

In an attempt to sabotage all potential pre-match planning in fear of being overtaken in the table, the 1sts spread themselves across the cars, so fear stricken by the savageness of the mighty 2nds at last DNL, they went to the lengths of sending Rhys to London to intervene talks between Will “counter” Couzens and Anand “bounce pre throw, catch” Krishnan. Despite these futile attempts, the remaining 2nds had a cool head. We knew we were “IN THEIR HEADS” as we cruised passed a miserable looking boring James Cameron car early on down the M40.

Although the drive was long and there was fear of being late for registration, we calmly shaved the minutes off of the expected arrival time (on a totally unrelated side note I may or may not have a speeding ticket). Soon enough we had reached London and feeling pumped by the megamix CD, hand made by none other than yours truly, Ben and Pete decided to boast their tremendous biceps by a series of flexing and kissing motions to the innocent and unsuspecting female drivers behind us (odds on was admittedly more of a key factor in this). Cutting it fine, with just minutes to spare before the 12:00 registration deadline, we parked up at the Harris Purley “Academy”.

Turns out Rhys had been there all morning and registration was 12:30 anyway so there was no need to rush…

Match 1: Warwick Warriors II vs Imperial Wolverines I

Going into our first match, word spread of Will Couzens being involved in a minor car crash, was this all a ploy from the ones after stealing Jonny? Hope was almost lost… but then entered our OLD trusted, kind of good at dodgeball friend, Mr Alistair Kidson. Murmours among the crowd, calls of “who is he? “, “Is he up to it?”, “ Get back in your biscuit tin”.

As the first match began, Kidson felt confident out on the wing, taking the ball for himself he felt this was his opportunity to recall upon a younger self. The imperial throws came in whirling passed him as he strode forward, oblivious to the traps of the two balls behind him, still determined despite calls of “HOLDDD!!”, he knew this was the moment he had dreamed of since his departure from undergraduate life, his destiny…. he got caught.

Despite this, with some reply catches from Anand and pete, we quickly took the lead again and saw out the first match comfortably. With the arrival of Couzens, there was an even greater burst of energy supplied to the 2s, cruising through the next two games we managed to take them to 6-0. It was a great start but the next game was crucial. Feeling slightly nervous after the time out called from Imperial, the match restarted, Imperial quickly took the advantage, hits and catches were being exchanged until we found ourselves 5-2 down on court, just Nathan and JGH remained, with the crowd on our side, 2 solid prethrows came one after another, only 3-2 down now. Waiting for the right ball, JGH managed to pluck one out of the air, 3-2 up with just a few seconds to spare. 8-0 what a win! Imperial were in disbelief.

After that, it was a bloodbath, some great throws from Gerard and Pete, and with the catching machine that was Anand in the centre, the match was well and truly over.

Final score: Warwick Warriors II 14 – 0 Imperial Wolverines I

Match 2: Warwick Warriors II vs UCL Panthers

After a great performance earlier the confidence was carried on into this game. We stormed through the first 4 games, some great counters from either side, along with solid catching in the middle saw the 2s cruise into the win. 8-0

The next few games suddenly became very close, UCL seemed to get a second wind and after a few momentary lapses in concentration they managed to take a couple of games from us. Luckily with a couple of good catches from Pete we managed to secure some extra points with a final win.

Overall this was a solid performance, great throwing, great catching, job well done.

Final score: Warwick Warriors II 10 – 4 UCL Panthers

Match 3: Warwick Warriors II vs Winchester Bullets II

Going in to the final game everyone seemed a bit too calm, Winchy came out of the box fighting and they caught us off guard. A combination of good dodgeball from our opponents and some very dubious decisions from a certain Wessex wolves referee including an outrageous “hit” call on Pete and a couple of apparent “blocks” from winchy, we found ourselves 5-1 down.

A tactical time out, we took a knee. SPARTANS, WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION??!?! AOOO AOOO.

The game recommenced, the team demonstrated some fantastic dodge, Couzens making some vital hits, and Nathan taking multiple catches in the middle brought threw the game wide open and we managed to fight our way back to 7-5 up! In the last game, Winch came out strong, despite our best efforts and a few dropped catches ….the final game slipped through our fingers (literally).

A good results considering the bad start, some could say we were unlucky, but after some great dodgeball all day we were happy with the draw.

Final score: Warwick Warriors II 7 – 7 Winchester Bullets II

The Drive Home

I won’t bore you any longer, pete lost a “29” to 1 odds on to walk back from Beaconsfield services, obviously after seeing a sensational JGH all day the number 18 had stuck in his head ;).

Summary

Absolutely fantastic results, especially against Imperial, a great day of dodgeball, a massive well played to all the guys.

We now sit at an impressive 3rd in the table, tactically 20+1 points behind 2nd and 20+1 points away from 4th. Coincidence? I think not.

– Josh Garcia Hall (Men’s 2nd team player)

Men’s 1st Team – DNL (Meet 2)

Event: DNL (Meets 2)
Date: 14th February 2016
Location: Harris Purley Academy, South Croyden

Team:

  • James Cameron (c)
  • Rhys Woodgate
  • Oli Hague
  • Akshay Shah
  • Adam Bowditch
  • Jonny Sloyan

With a meet scheduled for Valentine’s day there were bound to be numerous absentees from the usual squad that would be selected. This lead to the 1’s only having 5 available to play the night before the big day. But the Captain/2nd team manager/tactical genius/all round good lad James Cameron had a trick or two up his sleeve. It was noted that originally 7 were selected for the 2’s with Cameron anticipating he could guest a player in each match. A quick check of the rules and regulations showed that this was not the case and a backup plan had to be exercised. Luckily the skipper had a nice 2 hour drive to come up with said plan.

Arranged meet time: 10:00 at the church

9:58 – Cameron pulls up with Bowditch at the church to see Sloyan and
Thompson waiting. Excellent time keeping once again from the Captain.

10:00 – Hague turns up with 3 seconds to spare. Nice.

10:01 – After believing Cameron had tried to sabotage the 2nds in the previous meet, senior member Moran-Wardle looked to do the same by turning up late and preventing 1st team player Shah also from being on time.

10:02 – Garcia Hall and Pete turn up late (clearly another attempt to mess with the captain by more senior members of the 2nds).

With everyone at the church, the boys (and Rosie) set off on the long journey south. The dynamic duo of Bowditch and Sloyan were on top form when it came to choice of music – an interference plagued Radio 1 the whole way. The guys in Garcia Hall’s car can’t have been enjoying their drive half as much. The clock struck 12 (well 12:07) and both squads arrived ready to register before the 12:30 cut off point. Woodgate, the final member of the 1sts had been at the venue for hours claiming he went early to check out the hall conditions and to mentally prepare. This went over none of the boys heads, they knew it was because his leash wasn’t long enough to stay at home.

“SLOYAN!”

It appeared a backup planned had been devised. After a great session on Tuesday, Cameron decided to call up young hot shot Sloyan to the first team. Murmurs swept through the crowd. Is it too early? Is he ready? Who is that chips and gravy loving tramp? Nevertheless there was a sense of anticipation in the atmosphere – what could this enigmatic northerner do?

Match 1: Warwick Warriors I vs Winchester Bullets 1

Full of confidence from the previous meet the team were geared up and ready to face what on paper should be a tough match up. But then again as was proved last time, what should happen on paper doesn’t always follow through. The match saw the Warriors take an early 4-0 lead with great catching from Hague, Shah and Sloyan. The two sides then traded frames to make it 6-4 after 5. One more frame needed for the win. The 6th frame was a hard fought affair with catches and hits left, right and centre, this lead to a 1 on 1 situation between Woodgate and Winchester’s number 1. Cocky as ever due to his multiple last man wins, Woodgate began an assault on the Winchester player, not giving him a chance to take a catch or counter. Finally a ball had to be thrown at Woodgate, after a heart in mouth juggle a catch was secured taking the Warriors into an 8-4 lead. The boys closed out the final frame to take 15 points from their opening match of the day.

Final score: Warwick Warriors I 10 – 4 Winchester Bullets 1

Match 2: Warwick Warriors I vs Winchester Bullets 2

Winchester 2’s like to catch…a lot. With the obvious danger of being caught, all the boys pulled through and gave it their all with each throw to comfortably take a 10-0 lead. After a blip in the 6th the team battled back to take a comprehensive win, making it 2/2 for the day. Back of the net.

Final score: Warwick Warriors I 12 – 2 Winchester Bullets 2

Match 3: Warwick Warriors I vs UCL Pumas

This should have been the easiest match of the day, but as said before, things don’t always go exactly to plan. The lads made it extremely tough for themselves, giving away silly catches, dropping silly throws and being pretty idiotic overall. With the talent in the team, they managed to battle to a nice 10-4 win again, putting pressure on table toppers Wessex Wolves.

Final score: Warwick Warriors I 10 – 4 UCL Pumas

Final thoughts

With these results the team have managed to retain 2nd place in the table just 5 points off top spot. It was a great meet for the side taking amassing 47 points in the day topping their performance from the previous meet. A special mention has to be given to Jonny Sloyan, who up until the day before didn’t think he was playing for the 2’s let alone the 1’s. He was excellent all day taking catches at vital times and generally being a great team player.

The next meet sees a top of the table between the Warriors and Wessex Wolves, this is not one to miss. Let’s hope the boys can carry their momentum from this meet to the next in a fortnights time.

JC.

– James Cameron (Men’s 1st captain)

WDPL (Meet 1)

Event: WDPL (Meet 1)
Date: 6th February 2016
Venue: New College, Leicester

Team:

  • Thandi Ngoma (c)
  • Rosie Leverton
  • Kay Heenan
  • Katie Thompson
  • Cecilia Jastrzembska

Apologies for the lateness of this match report, like many a literary great I have been struck down in the prime of life by tragic illness. Yet I will endeavour to tell the tale of the first WDPL meet of the season…

I would love to carry on the tradition of overanalysing the journey to the match location, however not much really happened apart from we agreed that Bieber’s “What do you mean” invariably saves the night at Pop. Old news. We arrived at New College Leicester which is very exciting to play at because they have dodgeball courts PRINTED ON THE FLOOR. Long gone are the days when you would trip over the £1.99 masking tape, rip it all up and just make a general mess. Things got very exciting for approximately 90 seconds as we thought, going into battle as we were with just 5 players, we could sub in one of the Girls Who Won’t Leave aka Harry Bignell or Megan White. However even the mere whiff of this sent hackles rising and grumbles around the hall, and the ref trundled over to analyse the UKDBA rules, which I assume are written on a napkin. For all who are interested, apparently you cannot sub a player from another club. (?!?) As none of the watching mums were willing to step into the breach, we embarked upon our first match small in numbers, but mighty in heart.

Match 1: Warwick Warriors Women vs Nottingham Sheriffs

Well, not really sure what to say here. Rhys Woodgate helpfully pointed out that twice we were finished off in under a minute. These things happen from time to time. Clawed some points back though, we’re nothing if not scrappy.

Final score: Nottingham Sheriffs 10 – 4 Warwick Warriors Women

Match 2: Warwick Warriors Women vs Bedford Mighty Eagles

Almost unanimously considered the hardest team in DPL, this team is packing all England players bar one. It’s casj, we all know Warwick like a challenge. And I have to say, we stepped up. Some huge BACK YOURSELF catching from especially Kay Heenan, Katie Thompson, and I’m gonna say it, me. When Kay hunkers down and stares that ball down you know it’s going straight in the bear trap. Howzat. However I feel my favourite moment was me and Katie ranged against all 6 players, with 3 balls nestled between us. Picture it, a real David and Goliath moment, not only metaphorically but physically too, considering neither of us are over 5’3″, and the other team most certainly are. I turns to Katie and I says, let’s have a go. Katie turns to me and says really?!? You back ourselves that much?? However it was too late to answer because we were already throwing. The looks on their faces roughly translated to what are these short twats doing? Thank god we hit someone because it would have been severely embarrassing if not.

All in all a match we should be proud of, we definitely held our own and overworn as the phrase is, the score on paper doesn’t reflect the actual play, which was much closer than I think many would have believed. AND WE ONLY HAD 5 PLAYERS.

Final score: Bedford Mighty Eagles 12 – 2 Warwick Warriors Women

Match 3: Warwick Warriors Women vs Leeds Dodge

Whooooo. Boy oh boy. What a match. A classic Warwick slow start saw us channeling Taylor and shaking it off, if Swifty liked to spend her afternoons in garishly lit halls trying to hit people with phlegm coloured balls. We caught things (yes everyone, Katie finally got those kneepads dirty!), we threw things (Cecilia had a naughty little counter that kissed some toes), we got hit in the face (me), we caught some more things (Thandi Ngoma had had enough of these puny balls being thrown at her so just decided to catch them all), we got accused of cheating (unacceptable and from both ours and the refs perspective, groundless).

Again a really well played match (DID I MENTION WE HAD 5 PLAYERS?) and the team should be proud of ourselves. Ooooooooosh.

Final score: Leeds Dodge 9 – 5 Warwick Warriors Women

Thoughts, reflections, ponderings:

Thanks to Rhys Woodgate, Adam Bowditch, and of course the queens of the cheers that sound like sex noises Harry and Meg for supporting us, it makes a huge difference having someone there to cheer you on. You are the wind beneath our dodgeball wings.

Over n out

– Rosie Leverton (Women’s Team player)