EKL Premier Division – Week 13
It was round 13 of the England Korfball League’s Premier Division on Sunday (29 March) with a spot in the end of season play-offs still up for grabs.
Bec, Trojans and KV have already qualified for the end-of-season play-offs, but who would join them? It was still possible for four teams, Norwich Knights, Kingfisher, Nomads and Tornadoes to finish in 4th place in the league.
BEC 25-13 TORNADOES
Referee: David Bond
The first match was a London vs. Kent clash between BEC and TORNADOES at Whitgift Sports Centre.
England senior International Andrew Hall top scored in the match scoring 8 goals for Bec all from open play. Bec’s male players scored 20 of their 25 goals.
Tornadoes coach Corinne Buckland said: “Coming away from the results of today’s games, we are going into the last game against Norwich Knights with fate in our own hands.
“This year the young players have gained a lot of experience and they are up for the challenge.”
England U21 International Owen Bailey top scored for the visitors with 5 goals.
Bec coach Dave Buckland: “Very pleasing result today against Tornadoes. We controlled the game from the first whistle to the last with some very creative team goals.
“Very pleasing to have everybody back fully fit and we now have the final league game to look forward against NOMADS before the playoffs.
“I would like to wish the England U19s success at the World Cup next weekend. Good luck to the players and to the coaches and management team.”
The win moves Bec onto 24 points. The team from Tooting-Bec remain in 1st place in the league play Nomads in their final match of the regular season.
Tornadoes remain in 7th place in the league on 8 points. Tornadoes will play against Norwich Knights in the final match of the regular season.
TROJANS 23-12 NORWICH KNIGHTS (HT 14-7)
Referee: Paul Jeanes
Trojans continued their recent form with a convincing 23-12 victory over Norwich Knights.
Joe Stirling, Norwich Knights head coach: “Tough game against tough experienced opponents. Trojans controlled the post area well and made life difficult for us.
“Lots of positives to take away from individual battles. No need to regroup; we stick together as one and belief within the squad remains high.”
Trojans head coach Gary Brooks: “The last time we played against Norwich Knights in January the score was 18-14 so our task was to improve on this.
“A nice match played against a strong and determined Knights team. We raced into a 5-0 lead but Knights responded to bring the scores closer, and at the halftime break it was 14-7.
“The second half was a slightly slower tempo and goals were harder to score for both sides. Sam Brooks top scored with 8 goals.”
Trojans (2nd) will play KV (3rd) on the final day of the regular season, with Norwich Knights playing against Tornadoes.
BIRMINGHAM CITY 17-28 KV
Referee: Sam Billington
Rachel Flight and Danique Fintelman both top scored for Birmingham with four goals each. Birmingham City’s player/ coach Jess Beale said: “We’ve definitely found our stride and our last two performances are testimony that National League experience is invaluable.
“It’s a real shame we won’t get a chance to defend our spot in the league.
“The game started well with both teams trading goals. At 6-6 however, when decisions repeatedly didn’t go our way we came off worse and went into halftime 10-15.
“The second half continued in a similar vein, with more than a few key decisions not going our way. KVs boys attacked hard and our boys did well to go toe to toe with them.”
KV’s player/ coach James McDonald said: “With playoffs in mind and a tight game last week against Nomads we were keen to put in a good performance this week.
“After the long journey we started a little flat in our defence today going goal for goal with Birmingham up to 6-6 we then began to wake up and turn the pressure up more finishing the half 15-10 up.
“The second half we continued to apply defensive pressure whilst our attack ticked along eventually finishing 28-17 to us.
“I was very pleased with the number of goals scored ahead of a tough final league game against our playoff opponents Trojans.
“Credit to Birmingham though they scored some well worked goals and frustrated us in patches and kept fighting to the end.”
Birmingham City will play against Kingfisher on the final matchday of the England Korfball League. Birmingham City will hope to continue their recent performances into the final league match of the season as they go in search of their first win. Kingfisher will need to win the match if they want to be part of the end-of-season playoffs.
KINGFISHER 16-16 NOMADS (HT 9-8)
Referee: Dean Woods
A goal in the last minute salvaged a point for Kingfisher in their penultimate match of the regular season.
Kingfisher coach Ross Carr-Taylor: “We are disappointed, we needed to win todays match to keep a playoff spot in our own hands.
“16 goals won’t win you a game at this level and our shooting and passing was not up to scratch.
“That’s our 3rd draw this season.
“We can still be happy that we are the only team in National League not using the block. We are still in with a small shout of 4th place so let’s see what happens comes Multi Game Venue day”
Nomads’ captain Ean Irwin who scored two goals in the match said “A win was the ultimate goal today to guarantee safety from the relegation playoffs, however after a valiant effort from the team we gained a hard earned point; which could be the difference we require, it also gives us an extra lifeline on the final day.”
Nomad’s and England senior international Sytze Bijker top scored in the match with 8 goals.
The England Korfball League takes a break next weekend as the England U19 squad travel to the Korfball World Cup in the Netherlands.
The final league matches of the regular season will all take place on Sunday 12th April 2015 at Medway Park, Gillingham, Kent.
Who do you think will secure 4th place and the final play-off place?