The Handball Challenge:
- 7 matches before the Olympics starts (I've joined Brentwood Handball Club to play in their season).
Baptisms of fire vary in heat like a curry without the English translation on the menu; you're not sure what you've let yourself in for until it's all too late, in this instance I was the oik left gulping down Cobra like a man who'd not seen liquids in weeks.
The play was quicker than my brain but I now know that with a third of the match down (20 minutes), we were only trailing 3-5 and were well in with a fighting chance against a Cranfield University side that was well stocked with apparent fans of Rap and Metal music.
|Cranfield break through to apply early pressure (The Everyman Olympian, Far Right)|
Then disaster selected Mark and struck him with a bitch slap to the ankle, we were now substitute-less and yours truly would be seeing out the rest of the game. Coach Kuller Rabaca called a time-out to give us a breather and make us aware of the situation.
Whether it was the news that hit us hardest or our opponents more collective reaction to this game-changer I'm not in a position to say but when the ref blew for half time we'd slipped ten points adrift with no further reply, the score now 3-15.
|Our great goalie David draws on this childhood days of watching Karate Kid|
Hans-Jorg took us aside for a rest and a pep talk, we needed to focus, maintain shape and move the ball quicker to the attacking players in the second half.
Sean and George mustered a tiring defence as best they could (each also netting 1 and 2 goals respectively in the match), while Chris lead an aggressive and physical attack that yielded 4 goals and riled their defensive triangle.
Collectively we were sharper in the back 30 and reduced their scoring opportunities, though their agile yet short front men continued to pose a threat, George and Big Phil were able to disrupt them while they looked genuinely unsettled by Chris' counter attacking ability.
|George limes high to save us after Cranfield launch another well-oiled attack|
7-22 The final score of a match which we'd lost due to their blistering opening half while we still getting used to each other, a heavy loss then but there were some positives to build on.
You can find out more about Brentwood Handball Club and the sport here.