Cardiff Korfball team, a unique mix of boys and girls, were very well prepared to perform their best against 17 other teams from all over the UK and Scotland at the 2nd Team Nationals held in Nottingham.
Despite losing the opening game 3-1 to the home favourites, the team never looked like giving up. Their massive effort proved to be the key to success in the following matches. The solid defensive performance didn’t allow the opposition to score more than one goal in the remaining three matches of the group stage. Jemma Winterbottom, playing her first korfball tournament, managed to score in every match as Cardiff successively sealed victory over Bristol Uni (2-1), Sheffield Uni (3-0) and St. Andrews Uni (2-1) to confirm their well-deserved place in the top eight of the tournament. Winterbottom’s performance was backed up, among others, by the experienced team captain Jane Hutchinson, who not only organised the play, but also managed to score two goals.
The team spirit escalated after the 3-2 victory against Sheffield Hallam. In spite of trailing twice by a single goal, Cardiff were able to fight back, thanks to goals by Jemma Winterbottom, Jane Hutchinson and Jordan Evans who finished a cheeky free pass that surprised the opposition.
Thenext team to come was Edinburgh Uni, who in the end proved to be stronger and won 5-3; the result sent Cardiff into the game for the bronze medal. This was unbelievably close, Cardiff were winning by three goals at half-time against Leeds Uni. It was a scrappy game with lots of penalties and free passes. In the end, the penalties were the decisive factor, as Leeds managed to tie the game by a controversial goal in the last minute.
Pat Merton’s goal in the penalty shoot out unfortunately wasn’t enough to seal the victory and Cardiff finished the tournament in the 4th place. A great achievement