Event: English Open
Date: 31st October 2015
Venue: Chase Leisure Centre, Cannock
- James Cameron ©
- Rhys Woodgate
- Oli Hague
- Josh Garcia Hall
- Akshay Shah
- Seb Giles
After being rudely awakened by the builders across the street (I assume it was them – what else could be making such a noise at 7:00 in the morning…) 5/6 of the initially selected team were up and preparing for the hardship of a post night out tournament – the first of many to come this year. At this point, whilst mentally preparing over a bowl of Weetabix, I was pondering over my plans for the team for the day ahead of us. Little did I know that these plans would be ruined by 1 certain let down of a human being. I’ll cut to the chase; it was Pete Leighton (shock). After not turning up to the church for the designated meet time and being completely uncontactable due to conveniently having his phone run out of battery, we set off without him.
Arriving at the leisure centre with minutes to spare before registration closed I had to quickly think who to promote to the first team to help us in our bid for glory. I decided to pick a man who had previously been missing for over a year. Seb Giles. Yes ladies and gentlemen you heard correct, a man that was thought to have been lost to the wilderness a long time ago was ready to make his triumphant return to the side. (Little side note – massive thank you to Seb for turning up after only finding out about the tournament on Thursday evening).With all the hurdles negotiated we were ready to begin, but as usual UKDBA were not. After only having 1 referee for 6 courts we all knew that it would be a slow day. Classic.
Finally we could start the group stage, first up Nottingham Sheriffs B. It was a very successful match to get us going despite the simply diabolical refereeing performance from a team that shall remain unmentioned with all the team catching things for fun including an extremely satisfying simultaneous catch from myself and Oli which I can only say by the sound that came out of his mouth left a little mess in Anand’s shorts… All in all it was a relatively nice start to the day and we ended up winning 8-2. Good stuff so far.
Next up were JD, strap yourselves in guys because you’re just about to go through a rollercoaster of emotions. First game: JD quickly took control reducing us to just 2 men whilst they still had 5 on. These 2 heroic men (me and Rhys) found themselves with 3 balls on their side. They turned to each other and decided to have a throw. We hit 1, got all 3 balls again. We hit another, got all 3 balls again. We hit a third, got all 3 balls again. Teams even. With Anand getting extremely excited on the side lines again we thought we should let the show go on, hitting the remaining 2 players with the next 2 throws. BOOM, 2-0 WARWICK! Second game: JD retrieved all the balls off the start and a clearly angry Ryan Knight called for the balls to be thrown in my direction. I thought to myself, what would annoy him the most at this exact moment in time, ah yes catch him. Plucking his ball out of the air with a smile on my face, he slowly trudged off to the side. With some excellent throwing from Seb, Josh and Rhys it looked like we may reduce them very speedily. Unfortunately they’re quite good at dodgeball and were able to turn the game around for a win. 2-2. Third game: Despite some brilliant catching from Ash, Seb and Oli we were only able to take a point from the third, setting up the remaining 2 games nicely. 3-3. Fourth game: With Ryan Knight in our back pockets after being caught in all of the previous games so far it was going to weigh us down a bit (come on, how do you expect us to play a game with a grown man pulling us down?). We lost making the score 3-5 going into the last. Final game: The teams were trading blows with each side losing men early doors. We were left 2-1 up with 1 minute 51 seconds to go. A tremendous effort from Oli and Ash saw them throw at one of the better catchers on the circuit for a solid minute. After a glance to each other they knew they couldn’t keep it up for much longer, so went for the hit… THEY DID IT!! What a match, 5-5 against one of the toughest oppositions going. At this stage we were all very confident with making through to the next round.
Final group match was against Birmingham 2’s. Bottled it 4-6. Don’t really want to speak about it. The outcome was that we were out. Devastated, we turned to each other and said in unison “I blame Pete”.
All joking aside I’d like to say how proud I am of the boys, we played amazingly early on in the day – some of the best dodgeball I’ve been part of. So many positives can be taken from the tournament, including the obvious chemistry we’re developing as a side. I look forward to the season ahead of us, from what happened on this day it has the potential to be a hugely successful one.
Cheers lads. JC