Date: 28th February 2016
Location: Henbury Leisure Centre, Bristol
- 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…
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
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.