The season started in what felt like the middle of summer as the first game was the first weekend in October. It saw Thunder 1 up against the newest team in the Regional League, Cardiff Celts. With some new faces in the squad it was time to see if we could live up to the pressure of being reigning Champions. Well, we went out hard and fast to pull into a 10 goal lead early on, this we never looked like relinquishing to finish 30-11 with all 11 squad members getting on the scoresheet and Angus getting 8 and Ruth and Ramzi 5 each. The evening then led to Angus and Grace’s housewarming party, where there was Pimms and Haribos to help us recover.
Week two took us to Tims housewarming party with Whisky City, the start of the SWKL season and another WRL game all against Bristol City. We started with the 4th team, well what can I say, we had a legal squad, we had 3 Korfball debuts and 1 Thunder debut and we WON the first ever win for the 4ths. Two great Captains goals from Ian and some awesome defense say us home 5-3.
The 2nd team were next up and dominated throughout to win 18-8 with 4 each from Beth and Sam.
Finally the 1st took to the Kingsdown stage and it was a cracking game with both teams fighting it out and Jake Cooper having an awesome day for City we had to dig deep to finish up with a 19-14 win. Phil scoring 6 in his first game of the season.
Week 3 – Time for the 3rd team to join the party, however against a physical and athletic Exeter Uni side they struggled in their first game in the higher league. The 4ths were also brought back to earth although we had another Korfball debut to expand the growing Thunder empire. The 2nd team came up against Exeter City and after a close start, largely due to our inability to finish the chances we created, it became a comfortable win 24-10, with 4 each from Captain James, Alex and Clare.
The first team started their Promotion Division season against Basingstoke Bulls which also counted for the WRL. The shot clock was in and the squad were ready. The team started well and looked like they would dominate before a change in tactics from the Bulls brought them back to only one behind at 5-4. Then a wayward pass led to Captain Ruth trying to claw the ball back into the court and a dislocated and chipped finger later led to a reshuffle with Ramzi helping her to hospital Jo and Alex were on and the team had fingers crossed (making Korfball quite difficult) she would be fit for Wales. (thankfully with the wonders of painkillers she was). Again we dug in like the Bristol City match we showed the character of Champions to finish up 17-9 victors and 6 more goals for Phil. The 1st team then had a 2 week rest whilst Ruth, Ramzi and Angus headed to the Europeans with Wales and Scotland.
Week 4 saw only the 3rd team in action and had a very creditable performance against Horfield 2 who finished with 2 Regional League players to win 14-11 but the team were proud of there efforts and really hung in until the additional experience told. The weekend finished with the Christening of Thunderbaby 1, Matilda Morris in Newquay, where pasties were ate and Cornish Rattler was drunk.
The final weekend of the month took us down to Taunton, which would be a real test of the very inexperienced 4ths and the unbeaten 2nds. With Club Captain Dan on full motivational duties and another Korfball debut, bringing our Thunder and Korfball debuts into double figures for the month it was time for the teams to perform. The 4ths were awesome and won through 8-7 after a late come back from Taunton they hung on. 4 goals from Rohanna and Jay giving Beth a heart attack by launching a speculative long shot just after the ref said ten seconds to go and the instruction was not to lose the ball. Thankfully the final whistle went after the ball hit the back wall.
The 2nds after a tight start up to 6-6 managed to get 3 ahead and always kept that distance to win 14-11. Ella scored 3 finishing off Beths awful shots and Clare popped in 2 pens and a short shot.
So after 11 games in October we have won 8 and lost 3. Not a bad start for team Thunder.
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.
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.
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.
Bristol Thunder’s victory in the first round of the EKA Cup meant they were in the draw for the second round. This round sees a full 60 minute game, however with handicaps still in place.
The 2nd round matches are this weekend.
Thunder were drawn against Harrow Vultrix. Despite also being a relatively new team they are placed far below in the rankings, which means the game will start with Harrow Vultrix having a 10 goal lead on Bristol Thunder.
Follow us on Twitter (@BristolThunder) to see live match updates. The match kicks off at 1:15pm on Sunday 18th November 2012.
Thunder’s first team lost one of the highest scoring games the South West has ever seen. This was Bristol Thunder’s first ever Regional League match after being promoted last year, the opposition was Bristol City Korfball Club. Trailing 18-12 at one point in the second half, Thunder clawed their way back to 20-20 only for Bristol City to score in the last minute to win 21-20.
City’s long shooting ultimately won the game but great credit to Thunder not to give up. The Thunder crowd (thanks guys!) cheered loudly as the 40th goal went in to level, unfortunately however, it wasn’t the last play of the game…
Well done to all the first teamers who made sure we didn’t give up fighting. Next time!