November started with the 2nds and 4ths heading down to Taunton to play two tough matches that might put a dent in both teams progress for the season. The 4ths stormed into a considerable lead but Taunton chipped away at to leave THunder only one up with seconds to go. Beth telling the team to hold the ball, Jay launched a huge long shot, nowhere near the basket as it hit the back wall but thankfully the final whistle was blown before the game could restart. 4ths won 8-7. On the 2nds and another top game, with Ella finishing off alot of Beths rubbish shots, Harvey marking his boy into submission and Dan controlling the other end. 4nds won 14-11.
The firsts entered November with a game against Nottingham, we welcomed back Angus and Ramzi from international duty, whilst Ruth was resting her dislocated finger. They also welcomed players back from International duty and their added experience made the difference as they ran out 22-16 winners.
The third team took on Bristol City 2 and although they traded goals for much of the first half a couple of tactical changes by them at half time led to a 19-9 win for our rivals across the City.
After the Nottingham game the 1st team played the next 5 weekends, scored 81 goals, conceded 40 and took 5 wins to leave them top of the Regional League and 2nd in the Promotion division going into 2015. This included a tight win against Southampton and a more comfortable win in Manchester to get two of our longest away trips out of the way.
The 2nd team end 2015 2nd in SWKL1 with one loss to Bristol Uni who have taken the league by storm, but we have kept our goal difference up and therefore a close win in the reverse fixture might make the difference.
The 3rd team performances have improved week on week and that first win in SWKL1 is not far away and this will hopefully give confidence to move up the leagues. The crunch match against the 2nds was fun, competitive and a great advert for Thunder and Korfball.
Forth team, what can I say other than WOW and AWESOME. We have been legal every game and have only lost one 4th team game this season. They go into 2015 2nd in SWKL2 and putting real pressure on the more established teams in the league.
We have welcomed Rohanna Morris and Zoe Rose back from maternity leave this season aswell as welcoming back many of last season squad after summer sabbaticals.
We have our own Youtube video – Korfaholic
and we have had Korfmas at El Puerto, thanks to Clare for organising and Sam for being Secret Santa
This was the spiel that got us nominated
Bristol Thunder Korfball Club were founded in 2011 and in three years have grown from 7 players to 40. This season the first team won the Western Regional League, involving clubs from Cardiff, Oxford, Basingstoke, Southampton, Gloucester and Bristol, This enabled us to qualify for the Champions Trophy which involved a playoff of 5 clubs for promotion to the England Korfball Premier League, the club came 2nd to unfortunately fall short.
Our 3rd team gained promotion from South West 2 to South West 1 and we created a 4th team to allow more people to experience Korfball in Bristol.
We did not win but were up against a Football and Basketball team, but it was great publicity for the Club and a lovely dinner with the Who’s who of Bristol Sport for Beth, Dan, Kevin and Sianne.
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.
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.