Promotional Playoffs – Day One – Tigers gain control
Cambridge Tigers seized the advantage on the opening day of the England Korfball promotion playoffs at K2 in Crawley.
Tigers were the only team to win both matches – against Bearsted and Birmingham City – and will go into their two matches tomorrow hoping to finish the job and reach the England Korfball League.
Bristol Thunder, Birmingham City and Bearsted all won one and lost one, while Croydon have it all to do with two losses.
With three teams going up from the five in the playoffs nobody is out of the running.
The matches continue on Sunday 7th May from 9.30am.
Croydon 9-10 Bristol Thunder
Croydon missed a last minute penalty to hand Bristol Thunder the win in the opening match of the LFF England Korfball Grand Finals weekend.
Despite the early start both teams shot out of the blocks quickly, scoring in their first attacks of the match. Luke James for Croydon and Rebecca Fitch for Bristol on target.
It took until the 5th minute for another goal to be scored – Croydon got it to re-take the lead through Kathy Bradford. But Croydon held the lead for a matter of seconds yet again with Heidi Paton scoring the equaliser before Fitch got another to give Bristol a lead.
Andy Withers scored for Croydon, but goals two from Angus Davidson and two from Fitch ensured Bristol went into halftime with a commanding lead.
Bristol extended their lead early in the second half through Heidi Paton. But Croydon managed to get themselves back in the game at a key time with three unanswered goals, from Bradford and two from James.
Both attacking divisions were struggling to add to the scoreline until David Paton notched for Bristol.
Just when it looked like they would see out the match, Croydon got back into the game with goals from Stephen Gooch, James and Bradford – in-between one for Bristol’s Alex Forrest – to set up a grandstand finish.
With 20 seconds left on the clock Croydon were awarded a penalty – Gooch stepped up to take it, but couldn’t convert, to leave Bristol 10-9 winners.
Cambridge Tigers 15-10 Bearsted
Cambridge saw off the challenge of current England Korfball League side Bearsted in their opening game.
The sides traded goals early on, with Josh Dawes and Lucy Northfield on the scoresheet for Cambridge, and Will Alderton, Karl Sieber and Zach Catterall for Bearsted.
Cambridge opened up a sizeable lead ahead of the interval through goals from Thomas Northfield, Josh Dawes and Tom Coslett. The score 7-3 at the break.
Bearsted briefly got back into the game through Alderton and Sarah Munro. But Cambridge though found their scoring form scoring seven of the next nine goals to give them a 14-7 lead. Dawes with two, Chris West, Jenny Adamson, Olivia Harcourt, Thomas Northfield and Francis Wollerton all on the scoresheet.
The final few minutes, with the result certain, saw the goals raining in, with Sieber, Catterall and Ayishah Chaudry scoring for Bearsted, and Thomas Northfield and Lucy Northfield on the mark for Cambridge.
The final score, 15-10 to Cambridge.
Bristol Thunder 5-7 Birmingham City
Birmingham City got off the mark with a hard fought win in a low-scoring affair.
There were no goals for either team in the opening nine minutes of the match – it was Jess Beale for Birmingham City who finally broke the deadlock only for Bristol to equalise immediately through Rebecca Fitch.
Davidson then put Bristol in the lead, but former England international Tom Brady restored parity. And it looked like it would go into the halftime break that way – but Andy Davies popped up with a goal to take Birmingham into the lead, 2-3.
The second half saw a few more goals, but it remained incredibly close until the end. Bristol started well, getting back level through Fitch, but Birmingham were not behind for long, taking the lead through Bethan Phillips. Before Rick Scocroft and Beale extended their lead to three.
But back came Bristol through Forrest, and they set up a tense finish with Rebecca Kjaedegaard scoring for Thunder.
It wasn’t to be for Bristol, and Adam Waide sealed the win for Birmingham, 5-7.
Bearsted 9-7 Croydon
Bearsted subjected Croydon to their second defeat of the day and got their promotion hopes back on track. Croydon will rue three more penalty misses towards the end of the game.
Bearsted stormed into a four goal lead early on. Zach Catterall and Chris Martin each scoring two goals.
Croydon’s Luke James made sure that his team remained in the match with two goals of his own – a long range effort and a penalty.
Despite one more Luke James goal, Bearsted’s Martin and Adam Dibble ensured Bearsted went into halftime in a good position, 6-3 ahead.
Croydon clawed their way back into the game with another two goals. But Dibble for Bearsted kept their noses in front. Luke James scored his fifth of the game, but Bearsted efforts from Ayishah Chaudry and Will Alderton put Bearsted further ahead.
Croydon had three chances from the penalty spot to get back into it, but Zu Omar missed all three. So when Dan James did eventually get one back for Croydon it was too little too late. Beartsted the winners, 9-7.
Birmingham City 10-13 Cambridge Tigers
Cambridge ensured they would go into the final two matches of the promotion playoffs top of the table with a win against Birmingham City.
The first half was tight, with few goals scored. It was 5-all at the break. Cambridge opened up a small lead early on with goals from Josh Dawes, Lucy Northfield, Thomas Northfield and Roey Haughan. But Jess Beale, Andy Davies and Rick Scowcroft ensured it remained close.
Lucy Northfield restored a two goal lead for Cambridge. But Birmingham’s captain Jess Beale converted two penalties before the break to send the sides in level.
The second half was full of goals, with Cambridge lighting up the K2 with two goals in the first minute from Thomas Northfield.
Jenny Adamson added another, before goals from Rachel Flight and Adam Waide gave Birmingham hope. but a scoring spree from Cambridge sealed the game – goals from Thomas Northfield, Dawes, Haughan, and Lucy Northfield opened up an unassailable lead.
Birmingham did have a late rally, with the final three goals of the game through Beale and Scowcroft, but it was Cambridge who held the advantage, 10-13 at the final whistle.