Men’s 2nd Team – DNL (Meet 1)

Event: DNL (Meet 1)
Date: 31st January 2016 
Venue: Hertfordshire Sports Village, Hatfield 

Team:

  • Gerard Moran-Wardle (c)
  • Pete Leighton (also c)
  • Anand Krishnan (not c)
  • Will Couzens [sic]
  • Josh Keys
  • Nathan Thompson
  • Sam Pounds
  • Tess Elizabeth Gullis (Towel Girl)

Pre-amble:

It all began on a dreary Tuesday afternoon. Whispers filled the air, murmurs could be heard as far out as Gibbet Hill. ‘The 2s beat the 1s in training’ the voices said. ‘Surely not’ replied others ‘they have James Cameron, well known regular Mens Health cover model, dodgeball aficionado and all round great bloke’’. Yet the rumours were true. The 2s had defeated the 1s and were heading into the week ahead with an early mental, and physical advantage over the 1s.

The tension that had started in the first training session of the week continued to swell throughout Thursday’s practice before finally reaching a pulsating crescendo in a fun session that was less about enjoyment and more about bringing down the the FORMER DPL side – the Warwick Warrior 1s from their pedestal. We weren’t successful but it’s the thought that counts.

[Then we all went to Kelseys, had a great night, and remembered that we actually all quite liked each other (but that doesn’t fit well with the story so pretend you never read that)].

The next showdown would be at the church at 10:30am.

Game Day:

A thoroughly well rested co-captain Moran-Wardle set out with Princess (Shah) to pick up a slightly less well rested, but nonetheless pumped up, co-captain Leighton. Upon arrival at the church we saw, to our dismay, that punctuality appeared to have abandoned President Hague and James Cameron on the most crucial of days. Turning up at 10:32 (two minutes past the designated meet time) they then proceeded to attempt to sabotage the 2s chances by nearly leaving for Hertfordshire without Will Couzens [sic].

The convoy rolled up to Hertfordshire uni to the sounds of High School Musical blaring out the windows – a clear effort to hype up the team with the musical stylings of Zac Efron. With a parking space secured we began the walk to the site of what would become the 2s greatest triumph. As we walked a mirage began to appear over the horizon; the ghostly outline of a figure none of us were expecting to see this far south became clearer with every step. Confusion was rife. With an 800 watt grin lighting up his face Sam Pounds (obviously it was Sam Pounds) turned to face us and beckoned us over like he was herding cattle. What followed was a conversation containing very little of actual substance other than the fact that it transpired that James Cameron had simply left Sam Pounds off the team sheet in yet another attempt to sabotage the mental state of co-captains Leighton and Moran-Wardle. Our heroes, now one stronger, soldiered on into the Colosseum that was Hertfordshire university sports centre.

Match 1: Warwick Warriors II vs Warwick Warriors I

A well pumped 2’s team bounced onto the court to the roaring crowd of one or two people’s parents. A cheer-leading squad had appeared for the 2’s, in the form of every graduate who knows James Cameron and hence wanted to see his downfall. It was clear the 2’s were well drilled as the warm up saw stray throws and dropped catches galore, clearly a prime tactic of lulling the 1’s into a false sense of security. The men lined up, the referee blew the whistle, the battle begun. It was clear that the 2’s were in for a long day – tactical dominance saw the counters of JC and Steffan under lock as neither were let even close, caged animals. The 2’s then proceeded to go for a spot of fishing, throwing between Ash and Hague, watching the two go diving into the gap and collide with each other, reminiscent of a Looney Tunes sketch. Hard work saw the 2’s pipping games and taking points off their supposedly better counterparts. Will Couzens [sic] even saw the importance of the match and managed to not try and step on every line around the circumference of the court, another fundamental tactical decision introduced by the team. This match also saw the introduction of a new calling system – “OAP” which pretty much just meant wing it at grandpa Bowditch. As the game drew on, it was clear tensions were high, voices had been raised, we were in their heads. Going into the final game, the 2’s were down 7-5, a quick team talk from co-captains Moran-Wardle and Leighton settled the team and they headed into what was going to be an absolutely blinding game of dodgeball. Catches made, toes pinged, our heroes managed to draw out the game and secure a win bringing the match to a close at 7-7. All tensions were relieved as hands were shook, and a chorus of “we should be the ones” resonated throughout the stadium. It was later discovered that the 2’s had actually ended the games with 16 players left in, compared to the measly 15 that the 1’s had mustered hence positioning our conquerers above their foes in the table, establishing a 2’s win over the 1’s. A tale of true valour and bravery, a fight well fought, a fairytale ending.

Final score: Warwick Warriors II (16) 7 – 7 (15) Warwick Warriors I

Match 2: Warwick Warriors II vs Wessex something or other

We were tired. We got outplayed.

We attempted to push the boat out – it sunk.

The blue sky thinking turned overcast.

We big pictured it but ended up as a passport photo.

We endeavoured to think outside the box, but we realised that would only result in line pints.

At the end of the day:

It is what it is.

Final score: Wessex something or other 12 – 2 Warwick Warriors II

Match 3: Winchester I vs Warwick Warriors II

A clearly weary Warwick team once more strolled out onto the court – obviously the numerous pints at circle had been detrimental what stamina they ever had. Despite the previous game, they were confident that they could come out of this match on top. What proceeded was some of the best dodgeball of the day. The 2’s took off to a hell of a start, winning the first 2 games. The opposition were clearly riled as they showed their true colours, changing from a 5/10 bunch of spanners to a 10/10 group of cubes. After 6 games the deed was done, a last second catch from Leighton in game 6 saw a 2 person swing giving the 2s the 2 points they needed to cross the finish line 8-4. The next game added insult to injury as Josh Keys managed to catch 3 pre throws, diving across the court like the ballerina he acts like to secure them. This was to the elation of Sam Pounds who saw himself get out and return back in all 3 of these times, I think he owes Keys a pint! The final blow was delivered by Moran-Wardle who no look caught an absolute bullet off of his arch nemesis and then proceeded to give him the royal send off to the delight of the baying crowd. This final act of heroism gave the 2’s the final game and the much deserved points. Phenomenal work, even JC managed to crack a smile.

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

Journey Home:

After making a well earned pit-stop for victory chicken, Princess’ car (ft. co-captain Leighton, co-captain Moran-Wardle and Will Couzens [sic]) set off again. To the dismay of the passengers (consisting entirely of 2s members I should mention) a junction was ‘missed’. After 20 minutes of chuntering about unnecessary traffic jams the next junction was taken. All was good. Well, all was good for circa 15 seconds as the realisation hit the passengers (consisting entirely of 2s members I should mention) that Princess had in fact driven us to Heathrow Terminal 4. Whilst his thought process is unclear a quick Google confirms that Terminal 4 has regular departures that land in Japan and Lebanon-both countries without extradition treaties to the UK (need I remind you that the passengers consisted entirely of 2s players). Thankfully Princess came to his senses and chauffeured us home without any further mishaps.

Final Thoughts:

Overall a phenomenal day of dodgeball, we saw trials and tribulations for our new look 2’s team and we came out the other side with incredible success. The 2s left donning the 4th spot in the table in a highly competitive league after playing arguably the 3rd hardest teams. Well played to everyone, you all smashed it. Bring on DNL in two weeks time; it’s just another chance to catch the 1s in the table.

Co-captains Moran-Wardle and Leighton over and out.

P.S.

Shout out to Ash’s mum for bringing all some quality pizza!

– Ben Moran-Wardle & Pete Leighton (2nd team players, co-captains)

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