Following the romance of Valentine’s day, Northern Storm headed south to take part in the Leeds Korfball tournament. This would be a return to the first days of the Club after making a previous tournament appearance at Leeds in the first few months of the club’s existence. Optimism was high as everybody knew how far the club had come in those months and looked forward to what was going to be an exciting day of korfball.
The day got off to a very tough start. Storm’s first opponents were Birmingham Uni, fresh off their victory at the Southern Regionals and looking ahead to the University National Championships in a few weeks. Birmingham were further boosted by the return of some strong alumni players. Although Storm got off to a good start, experience began to show and Birmingham were able to take advantage of defensive mistakes to take the lead. A missed Storm penalty with the score at 1-0 could have made the difference had it just managed to drop inside the korf but in the end a Giannis Sarrigiannis goal was not enough and Birmingham ran out 5-1 winners. Storm did not have to wait long for another chance to prove what they could do but again came up against tough opposition in Leeds Uni 1sts. Bragging rights were also on the line as Storm debutant, John Bagnall, was coming up against his own girlfriend in this game. A strong start was rewarded when Mary Clarke zipped past her defender to score a running-in shot to put Storm in the lead. However, some strong Leeds shooting allowed them to pull 3 goals back to take the lead. Another Giannis mid-range shot set up a nervy final few minutes but despite some strong play, Storm were just unable to find that cutting edge and find the crucial equaliser. Despite being on the wrong end of a 3-2 defeat, a much improved Storm performance gave the entire squad a boost heading into their next game against Sheffield Hallam 2nds. Storm could not have got off to a better start in this one as with less than a minute on the clock, Helena Corner stepped up to sink a long-range veer to put Storm in the lead. The Storm-Edinburgh connection then linked up again literally seconds later as Helena found John for another veer shot which marked his Storm debut with a korf. At the other end, Hallam managed to sneak another one in with 5 minutes still to play but some very strong defensive work meant that Storm were able to see out the game to claim their first victory of the tournament. With one final game to play of the initial group stages, Storm were aiming to finish as high as they could for the all-important ranking games of the afternoon. Storm’s last game of the morning came against Leeds City 1sts, the final game in what could be considered the tournament’s ‘group of death’. Storm went 1-0 down but a Jack Sanderson penalty levelled the scores. Another strong defensive performance kept the scores level for quite some time and Storm were unlucky not to take the lead. However, City were able to grab two more goals to win the game 3-1. The defeat hurt but only left Storm more determined to win both of their afternoon games to finish as high up the rankings as possible and they did just that.
The afternoon games were extended to 15 minutes which meant more concentration and effort would be required to take home the victories. Storm’s first game saw them taking on a strong Leeds Uni 3 side which included several Leeds Uni first team players. Korfs were exchanged like for like in the opening period of the game with a Giannis mid-range shot and a John penalty meaning the scores were tied at 2-2 after 10 minutes. Some good attacking work led to Storm winning another penalty and Giannis did not disappoint, putting it away to give Storm the lead. Yet another very strong defensive display managed to keep Leeds out and allowed Storm to seal the victory. This left Storm facing Hallam 1 in their final game of the tournament. Storm took control of the game early on and never really looked like relinquishing their stranglehold. Early goals from Helena and Ruth which were added to by Giannis meant that Storm took a commanding lead. The highlight of the game though came with 10 minutes gone when John took the ball in feed before Fran came in to run the block. John spotted the defender out of position and gave Fran the ball before physically turning her round to take the shot and korf, her first in Storm colours. Her confidence was then so high that she managed to grab a second minutes later and sealed a dominating victory for Storm, leaving the final score 5-2.
Overall Storm finished the day in 17th position out of 20 but having won half of the games played, everyone left feeling pleased with how the day had panned out and looking forward to future tournaments ahead.
P: 6 W: 3 D: 0 L: 3
Overall position: 17/20
Fran, Helena, John 2
Ruth, Mary, Jack 1
On the weekend of the 25th of January, Northern Storm headed up to Scotland for the 2014 Edinburgh International Korfball Tournament. With 26 top level teams from 4 different countries playing, it was set up to be a baptism of fire for the 6-month-old club, but optimism was high and we were looking forward to creating a few upsets!
Saturday morning we arrived early to check out the opposition and get fired up for our first match against the University of East Anglia. The match got off to a flying start as 2 quick Kyle Crombie goals caught UEA off guard and allowed Storm to surge into the lead. This unfortunately shocked the strong UEA team into a response. They stepped up their intensity and punished a few errors to eventually run out 5-2 winners. Edinburgh City were next in line, and they got off to a quick start taking an early 2-0 lead. Storm then locked the defence down, but were unable to build on this in attack with the score remaining the same until full time. The next opposition was Edinburgh Uni 2nds (Bbz), and Storm were out for revenge following last month’s matches. Kyle Crombie scored a lovely long shot to get things started, but then Bbz scored a penalty and a long shot of their own to take the lead. Everyone could sense that the next goal would be crucial and a period of intense pressure followed with strong attacks coming from both teams. Unfortunately Bbz made the breakthrough to pull clear. A last minute penalty from Ben Smith wasn’t enough to bring Storm back into it and the final whistle went at 3-2. Despite the slow start, Storm’s performances had been growing in both quality and confidence, so the day’s final match against Manchester Warriors 2 was eagerly anticipated. The defence was high pressure throughout, giving Warriors no room to work in and conceding only once. In attack Mary Clarke showed lightning pace to leave her defender and score a running-in shot, and Kyle Crombie hit form to rain in 3 more goals of his own to give Storm a commanding 4-1 victory and get their first win of the weekend!
Sunday morning was accompanied by an air of excitement, as Storm looked to carry their performance into the next round of matches. The first match was against St Andrews University. The two teams were very tightly matched throughout. Saints scored first, but Kyle Crombie quickly stepped in to level the match. Storm continued to press till the very end, but despite many well worked chances from Mary Clarke and Anthony Mannall, neither team was able to find a winner. In the next match Storm showed how much they’ve developed through the tournament as they held out a strong Nottingham University team. The defence were focused and high energy and the attack was fluid and created a lot of shooting opportunities. In the end only one goal from Kyle Crombie was needed, as Storm took a 1-0 win. Storm’s defence continued to impress in the next match against Dundee where they again completely locked the opposition out, refusing to concede anything. The attack was incredibly well organised, to a level expected of a fully developed team, rather than a fledging club in its first year! And after multiple chances to take the lead, Anthony Mannall stepped up to score a long shot and give Storm another 1-0 victory. The final group game saw Storm take on Glasgow for a place in the 17th/18th positional match. Despite having lots of shots and excellent movement in attack, they were unable to find the korf and slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat. Storms positional match to round off the weekend was against Oxford City. Clearly tired from a long weekend, Storm’s defence was weary and Oxford punished them to take a 4-1 victory, with only a Ben Smith running-in shot rewarding a still highly driven attack.
Despite finishing 22nd, Northern Storm’s passion, energy and sportsmanship clearly had an impact on the other teams as they voted to award Storm the Team Spirit Award for 2014. A great way to announce our arrival on the international stage! And we’re already looking forward to next year.
EIKT Team Spirit Trophy Winners 2014
Finishing position – 22nd out of 26
Won – 3, Drew – 1, Lost – 5
Kyle Crombie x 8
Ben Smith x 2
Mary Clarke x 1
Anthony Mannall x 1
Please see the ‘News’ Section
Today marks the day NSKC had its first dealings with the local press! Michael Robson doing an electric job as storms Publicity Co-Ordinator getting an article in the Chronicle.
Northern Storm has revealed its new official kit supplier today. The club has signed a 1 year deal with Kukrisports for the 2013/14 season. The kit consists of a combination of playing kit and leisure wear which is available to order on-line via the Kukri Team Shop, this can be accessed by clicking on the ‘Club Shop‘ tab on the Menu bar. Northern Storm Kit Secretary, Craig Davison, says ” I am delighted to have Kukri on board for the coming season and look forward to seeing the kit being put to good use ”. The kit is available immediately for individual orders and comes complete with Northern Storm’s official logo embroidered on the front of each item.
We hope you like it as much as we do!