Due to a crazy shuffling of the teams which caught everyone unawares this match report is for the Blue team #wild. The team consisted of the most brilliant fellows know to volleyball: Dear Captain Millie, Monika, Maria, Abi and Emily. Despite a couple of subtle hangovers we were all on top form, proving that although we had never played as a team together that we were telepathically all on the same wave length. Our play on the whole was as smooth as a giant panda amongst penguins.
To the people of Stoke Bishops horror there was no car going to the tournament meaning either a 45 minute walk or a taxi. We opted for the taxi given the 7.45 meeting point at the bus station. There was however a bit of a hiccup as taxi was only for 4 people, not 5… Luckily my bicycle (which has saved me from many kerfuffles) was to hand, so I frantically cycled through Brizzle in the drizzle and we all made it too the bus stop. The bus stop was as you would expect- a café/ shop selling items at extortionate prices, and the typical airport style seating, or lack of which meant most people opted for the floor. Once on the bus excitement for the day ahead erupted into a combination of chin wagging and laughter. Either I fell asleep or the journey was incredibly short but we all arrived safely and on time and – Whooptido! To make things even better due to it being Abi Woodens 19th Birthday we were greeted with homemade cake, for the Londoners amongst you I am talking full on Hummingbird style. Scrummy. This pick me up was lucky enough to break some of the secret hangovers that had been lingering behind brave faces.
The first match was against the Cardiff ‘Jets’ (how American…) Having consumed cake we were buzzing and the day started well. Having done no practise serves we all fared remarkably well especially Maria who’s particularly uncasual serves proved handy during the Blues darkest hours. At half way the score was 20:17 to the ‘Jets’, a pretty strong start. Once again the oppositions experience meant they were able to consolidate victory. The final score was 33:20. (as you can see after half way the number of points we won took a little tumble) but we returned to the benches feeling competent in our ability and ever hopeful of a win later in the day.
After a long break, with even more cake, (rhyme unintended) we returned to face the Welsh once again this time the Cardiff ‘Falcons’. Our match’s international nature drew in many supporters and even a photographer. Millie’s levitation skills whilst serving were second only to the Buddha himself, there is photo evidence of this and also of what can only be described as ‘Egyptian’ style jumping from Abi. Our points in this match dwindled ‘un petit peu’ as we only scored 18 whereas the Falcons scored 36. How selfish of them not to share. We did not fare well against the teams from the ‘Land of Llewelyn’ but it was early days.
As the saying goes ‘third time lucky’, this was certainly the case. The Bemi 2nd Team were far more smiley to begin which calmed our nerves and brought out our best. Monika with the supportive setting of Abi managed to hit many ‘kill shots’. Bemi did not know what had hit them (Quite literally) We were storming ahead like a greyhound amongst pugs. Our eyes glistened each time we glanced at the score board as the gap, like the San Andreas Fault simply kept getting bigger and bigger. The final score was 38: 17 to us!!! We were, in the words of Blackadder himself: ‘as happy as a man who thought a cat had done its business on his pie, but it turned out to be an extra big blackberry’. Someone at this point excitedly exclaimed: ‘We could win the tournament!’ Now, let’s not get too excited…. (next time)
Another break gave us the chance to observe the varying sponsorships clubs had received: from Westbury Tile Warehouse or Julian Hodge Banking to Admiral Insurance. We must count our blessings for having a pub as a sponsor: for Molloys is of far more use than a Tile Warehouse- I wonder if they too have socials there?
We returned for a precarious game against the yellows, the atmosphere was that of when one plays the ‘do or die’ card in the board game ‘Escape from Colditz’ (which beats monopoly hands down). We gained a good lead but with some tricky serving from Simran the score was fluctuating throughout. It was a close game but luckily the blues conquered and took no prisoners we got 30 and the yellows got every ones favourite song ‘twentytwooewew’. Two games in a row- no biggie.
Normally the game against the Hornets is particularly memorable, however today it really is not- thanks to Tims email of the score we know the final score was 31:19 which unfortunately marked the end of our streak of brilliance.
Luckily at this point was lunch which is normally a good opportunity for chit-chat about serious dilemmas such as the falling oil prices and rising prices of freddos. However many people decided to undertake work…this was particularly distressing for fresher’s who were provided with a glimpse into the dark future. Millie, leading in style, said a few words after lunch to rally the troops- ‘lets have a good game girls’ these poetic and inspiring words one can only compare to the ‘Band of Brothers’ speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V.
Our next game was against the UOB 1st team, and at the beginning it was remarkably close, but this original marvelousness slowly evaporated. Abby despite a thumb injury set superbly through this game but unfortunately at one point due to division in the ranks Monika sent a ‘head shot’ her way. Naturally we all laughed before checking she was alive- she was. Regretfully the final score was16:36 to the 1st’s but one day we shall take our pound of flesh.
We had another break and were able to admire other team’s kit/ outfits/ uniforms. I do not remember being told it was fancy dress but one of the teams (I cannot remember who) were dressed as poisonous frogs in turquois and purple tops complete with one player who’s colours were the opposite of everyone else’s- either because the washing machine had played a cruel joke or she was their Libro- who knows. Bath on the other hand looked like they were playing in Bar Crawl T-Shirts.
The penultimate match was against the Bemi 1st team. Given our success against the 2nds we entered the game positively and rightly so as it was a close game. Unfortunately Abi’s thumb decided to fail her at this point so Abi kindly gave her role of setter to Maria, although she proved a more than competent hitter. Thanks to the video footage we have of the game we have slow mo evidence of some sexy sets from Millie as well as sassy hits from Emily. The final score of 20:29 proves that we were bloody close throughout the game.
By the final game we had given it our all and were on our last legs, especially Millie and Maria who both also played for the Reds as well as the Blues. We threw ourselves into the game played our upmost until the final whistle. The score: 18:38. It had been a very long day indeed but we all survived in one piece.
On that bombshell we ventured home and retired to bed, or to the phenomenal medic’s ball (judging by the photos…) Although we may not have won, we did all have a wonderful day and played our very best. I leave you to ponder on the words of William Wordsworth: ‘Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive; But to be young was very heaven.’
Player of the Match: Abi, for soldiering on despite injury.