Match day 2 of the 2017/18 Cambridge Korfball Association Division 1 held a tough prospect in store for this season’s somewhat inexperienced University first team – a trip to face the league’s reigning champions, Cambridge City 1. Uni fielded largely the same team to that which faced Phoenix in their first fixture. The team was once again led by captain Bethany Mason, with a debut handed Alex Chaffey in place of the absent Emily Young.
As with their previous match, Uni started the better team. Both divisions exhibited slick passing moves in attack and backed this up with a lot of hard work in defence. Hajime Shinohara top scored for Uni in the game, exploiting flaws in his markers game to repeatedly put up shots, dropping off from under the post. At the half Uni led by an unprecedented 6 – 3.
City were obviously rattled by the half time deficit. At the start of the second half they brought on two of their senior players, including former devoted Uni coach Carla Bennett, to quell the rampant division marshalled by sharp shooter Sam Galvin. The second half also brought the introduction of Ben Stoddart-Stones for Uni, a graduate from the club’s thriving academy. Chaffey impressed on debut but was also replaced to hand experience to another newcomer, Hermione Burn.
The second half was an incredibly tense affair. City caught up and levelled the score at 7 – 7 and were held at this for longer than the average lifespan of a gerbil. Ultimately though, City’s half time substitutions paid off and Uni once again faded in the latter stages. The more experienced City side finished 13 – 9 winners.
Uni captain, Bethany Mason had this to say after the game: “We were frustrated not to take home the points, but it was good that we remained calm when they were getting flustered around us. We played our game. We didn’t buy into their frustrations. We’re looking forward to facing them at home later in the season.”.
Another huge effort from the Uni side and a spirited performance. Were it not for the additional experience of some of City’s senior players, Uni may well have chalked up their first win of the season. Uni have a short break before their next game on 5th November, when they will face the City second team.