Over the last few months all 3 teams in Bristol Thunder have done us proud.
The thirds have shown they are not too far off other club 2nd teams and have upped the scoring and improved their defence. Despite finishing last in SWKL2 the team has been playing against players with several years korfball experience compared to several months as is the case with most of our 3rds. Spirit was high and they are looking forward to the challenge next year.
The 2nds had some difficult games in the final few games but showed promise for next season. The team has showed masses of improvement, with the majority of the team only starting to play korfball at the start of the year. Some players have taken the step up from 2nd team to be regular 1st team starters throughout the year, demonstrating the improvement going on. The 2nds have taken 7th spot in SWKL 1 losing out on goal difference to Bristol University who took 6th.
The 1sts have finished the season on a high. Despite a disappointing loss to Basingstoke, they have recovered to win their 3 remaining games against the league’s top sides. Thunder beat 2nd place Bristol City 19-14 before beating Cardiff Dragons 19-8. On the final day (dubbed Super Saturday) Thunder 1 hosted Oxfordshire in a winner takes 3rd place match. Thunder never looked like they were going to lose, eventually winning 21-17. Thunder 1 have finished 3rd out of 8 in their debut season at Regional league level. Well done guys!
The 2nd and 3rds played against Taunton last weekend, however both came away losing their respective matches. The 3rds showed masses of progress with Rohanna scoring some lovely long shots early in the game. Thunder couldn’t keep up with the experienced Taunton 2nd team and eventually lost 12-5. MVPs were Rohanna and Tom – well done!
The 2nds lost a game of penalties, with Taunton winning 14-8. Goals in open play came few and far between for both sides as Taunton again showed their experience to draw in the fouls. There were periods of good play and we hope to maintain this next week against the local teams of Bristol City and Horfield. MVPs were Andy Nye (who had dropped down from the 1st team for the day) and captain Clare Welsh.
Sunday 10th March saw all regions in the UK play at the Inter Area National championships at Nottingham’s Wildcats arena. Beth Ryan, Jo Futter, Andy Nye, Dan Thompson and Phil Manavopolous from Thunder’s first team were selected for the South West squad. The rest of the team came from Bristol City, Gloucester Lions and Exeter City.
The day went well with wins against Scotland, West Midlands and Oxfordshire. Narrow defeats against Kent and the North West saw the SWKA Squad finish 7th/13. Considering players from the England squad this year were allowed to take part – we feel this was a good result overall. Congratulations to East Midlands who beat England U19s in the final.
The third team drew and the seconds and firsts won to give Thunder a flying start to the second half of the season.
The third team played well to earn a 5-5 draw with Exeter University 2. Laura Jones top scored with 2 goals, in a match which saw 4 out of the 5 goals running-in shots scored by the girls. MVPs went to Kat Zien and Tom Russell.
The second team recovered from a slow start (down 3-2 at half time) to win 12-7 against Exeter Univesity 1. Zoe Winterbotham found form from the penalty spot to top score with 4 goals. Third team captain Rohanna Morris scored 3, in another match which saw girls leading the way with 9 goals. MVPs went to Zoe Winterbotham and James Green.
The first team produced a confident all round performance to beat Horfield 21-10. An important time out ensured 5-5 after 17 minutes was converted to 11-6 at half time. The score could have been even more impressive if Thunder had completed more of their running-in shots, missing 8 out of 11. Andy Nye was back to his best, top scoring with 6.
Thunder first team beat Cardiff University first team 22-10 with an impressive display. Athletic ability and speed got the better of a spritely Cardiff University, with Thunder outscoring them by 11-5 in both halves.
Crack shot Manavopoulos top scored with 5, sinking an impressive 42% of his attempts. Tessa Bailey set a Thunder personal best with 4 goals, including her first ever running in shot. A long shot, short shot, running in shot and penalty made Beth Ryan the team all rounder. The score could have been even higher but for several short shots going wide from the team.
Well done to Clare Welsh, the second team captain, who was impressive on debut. Definitely a future super star
The party atmosphere started at the airport for the Thunder annual tour with free drinks at the VIP lounge thanks to savvy Stewart Burn our resident Scot. A quick SleasyJet hop to Edinburgh saw the Thunderers make it to the Friday night social in plenty of time to top up their hangovers.
Saturday started with a 4-3 win against Birmingham City, followed by a 2-1 loss to Manchester Warriors, a 7-0 win against Edinburgh University 3, a 1-0 loss to Glasgow then a 6-4 win against St Andrews Saints. With the 15 minute match format, Thunderers were finished by 1pm so had the opportunity to explore the delights of the city taking in the castle and various establishments along Prince’s Street and The Royal Mile. In the true spirit of Burn’s Night, ceilidh dancing at the social and a wee dram were enjoyed by all.
Having come second in a tight group, Thunder faced Durham Saints in a thrilling quarter-final. The final scoreline of 7-7 meant a tense penalty decider. With Dan Thompson missing after Beth Ryan scored, Thunder were knocked out to play for 5th-8th positions. Subsequent losses to Paal Central 6-4 and British Bohemians 6-5, meant that we finished 8th out of 24 teams, well placed considering the high standard of the tournament.
Those who had to get back to work on Monday were unfortunate to miss more fun at Clare Welsh’s jazzy birthday meal on Sunday evening. Monday offered further opportunity for sightseeing including screaming our way around the dungeons (Rohanna Morris).
All in all a great time was had by everyone and the newer players gained valuable experience playing a variety of international teams. A big thank you to Stuart Hall and Emma Grant, adopted Thunderers for the weekend from Gloucester Lions.
It’s been a few weeks since we last updated you all but here goes…
Thunder 1 have had a mixed few weeks, starting with the best game of the season against champions Cardiff City Cyclones which ended 13-13. The next two weeks saw us beat both Horfield and Cardiff Dragons heavily. After the Christmas break we travelled to Oxford where a frustrating game finished 13-11 to the OKA Select Squad. This past week has seen an upturn with a great victory against Cardiff University (22-10, full match report to follow) and our first trip to London for the rearranged EKA Cup match against Harrow Vultrix. The EKA Cup handicap system awards certain teams a starting goal advantage – we were unlucky to be on the end of a 10 goal head start to Harrow. The game (with no handicap) finished 10-16 to us but unfortunately this translated to 20-16 to the hosts and thus we went out of the cup.
Thunder 2 have played 3 games since the start of December. The first being an amazing result against Taunton 1 with the score ending 11-9. Sianne, Sam A and Clare all scored at least two goals. Next came two heavy losses against two good teams in Bristol City 1 and Horfield 1. Captain Clare showing her class with 4 goals in the first match. We have several players now forcing there way into the 2nd team squad who only started a few months ago (and Stewart has gone further by starting the previous two 1st games – Well done!).
Thunder 3 likewise have played 3 games since the last update. The 3rds have shown why we are doing well as a club – nearly everyone in the team started korfball in the last year. The goals are gradually increasing and it’s looking good! Three losses in the three games but all against 2nd teams from various clubs. Rohanna is leading the way being the joint highest female scorer in the entire SWKL2. Keep it up!
Over the last few weeks there have been several games for all three Thunder teams. Thunder 1 have beaten Basingstoke Bulls 16-6 before a very exciting match against last years Regional League champions which ended 13-13.
Thunder 2 were narrowly beaten in Gloucester by the Lions first team 10-5, whilst Thunder 3 have come up against a very experienced side in Gloucester Lions 2. We have had several korfball debuts and the progression is certainly showing! Well done everyone.
Week 3 in the SWKA Leagues brought on new challenges to the Bristol Thunder 2nd and 3rd teams, after two games against the University sides they would now come up against a far more experienced beast in Exeter KC.
The 3rd team started off the Captain Morris leading the charge, with two Korfball debutants in Claire and Jules, and a Thunder debut for Ian. The team fought hard, smiled lots and learned massively from the experience. The game started with Exeter using their experience to create running in shots and charged into an unassailable lead of 13-1 at half time, although with a bit of coaching on how to stop running in shots the second half was 10-4 to Exeter and with abit more luck in their shooting Thunder deserved to have been even closer in the 2nd half. So we lost 23-4 but with 5 out of the starting 8 having played only played 5 ½ korfball matches between them before this game, the club is very proud of the way they fought to the end and kept smiling. Goals from Captain Morris, Sam ‘Power Ranger’ Grainger, Sam ‘Chuckle brother’ Alexander and Mike ‘chuckle brother’ Lovely.
The 2nd team were left to rue a lack of concentration at the start of each half, having gone 0-3 down early on, pulling it back to 4-5 at half time, before again conceding goals at the start of the second half and then pulling in back to 9-11, another 5 minutes and we might have pulling off the win. A third hat trick in 3 games for Kevin ‘Korfball’ Allen, plus goals for Tess, Anna, Zoe and Sam A (goals might be wrong) kept us in the game until the end.
So a SWKL weekend with 2 losses but most players are performing in a higher league than last season that of course is the ones who played Korfball last season, the others just hadn’t heard of the sport before this summer.