Nottingham Falcons Korfball U9s Team shine at National Youth Day
On Sunday 10th July 2016, four young korfball players from Nottingham went with their parents to their first, big, outdoor korfball tournament – National Youth Day. This year it was at Swavesey Village College, just north of Cambridge.
The weather was bright and sunny, though rather windy at times too. This led to some exciting near misses for many teams trying to score in the yellow baskets; the U9s play using 2.5m posts, pretty high for many U9s and some of our team were officially U7s! (Competition rules allow you to ‘play up’ one age group.)
Having struck a base camp next to the U9 pitches and changed into their white korfball team shirts, Ellie, George, Dan and Jasper played their first game against Cambridge A, the result being a 0-0- draw.
Most of our players have only been playing for around a year, with the newest starting around Easter time 2016. None of them had ever played anyone else, their only playing experience being against club mates at Tuesday training; so this result was a really good start. Especially as Jasper tweaked his ankle in the first three minutes of play. Thankfully it was not serious and he was able to bravely carry on after a short rest. We had the minimum number for a team, four players, with no subs, so badly needed him back in the game and for the rest of the day too.
The next game was a 1-0 win against Sprowstone C, with the winning goal being a well-aimed long shot from George. Game three was much tougher; a 5-1 loss, with our only goal coming from a delightful medium shot by Dan, who then scored a winning (1-0) long shot in the last game of the morning pool against Cambridge B.
This meant that out of five teams, we were third in the morning pool!
The three afternoon games were to be against all the other third placed teams in the other morning pools, so we knew we had to keep playing our best to make the games close. We even hoped for a win!
In the end, we played brilliantly! Everyone ran here and there, getting into good spaces and into collect (behind the post when somebody took a shot). Ellie in particular made a huge effort to keep going, with encouragement from her mum, dad and younger brother on the side-line. Jasper, our newest player, had learnt loads in the morning and began to use that knowledge to play really well in the afternoon games.
We beat Cambridge Phoenix 3-0, with goals from George (1), and Dan (1), both medium range shots and the third goal was from either Jasper or Ellie. By this time we were too excited and forgot to write it down! We then drew 2-2 with Queen Edith Primary school, both our goals coming from Dan, who sank two lovely long shots. We finished with a tense game, winning 2-1 against Cambridge City 1, courtesy of short shot by Dan and a penalty in the last few minutes by George.
The supporting families and coach Kathy cheered loudly!
Hopefully we’ll be able to muster a team, perhaps even two, for NYD 2017, which will again take place in July.