The British Student Korfball Association held their regional qualifier last weekend on the 23 November, and the UEA 1s made their way to the finals at Northerns with a number of confident and inspiring performances.
Coming in to the tournament as potential favourites after beating Nottingham 12 – 9 in last year’s national championships, UEA did not fail to meet expectations in Leeds this time around. Their first game, against host team Leeds, was a solid 4 – 0 victory, with goals coming from two penalties, scored by Mark Varley and Joe Skeet, and two in open play from Lizzie Reeves and Bexx Thornberg.
After the best possible start, UEA gained momentum and took that through the rest of the pool games, beating St. Andrews 7 – 1 , Sheffield 3-1 and Sheffield Hallam 7 – 4, with hat-tricks from Alicia Nolan and Joe Skeet against St. Andrews and Sheffield Hallam respectively. Two of the goals against Sheffield Hallam also came from two players making their regionals debut: Claire Green and Andy Keel scoring some fast-paced running shots and a turning feed. The resounding defeat of Sheffield Hallam ended UEA’s morning on a fantastic high note, leaving them undefeated and at the top of their pool.UEA continued their route to the final in the afternoon games in the same confident style, winning their first game against Edinburgh. With two goals each for Matt Lunn and Skeet, and one apiece for Thornberg, Varley and Heather Stokes, some incredible defending saw UEA to a 7 – 2 victory.
Their next opponents, Nottingham, were dispatched with ease as UEA maintained their high scoring streak and outstanding defending, with a clear 7 – 4 win.Advancing ever closer to their place in the final when the tournament comes to Norwich in the New Year, UEA made it look effortless against Lancaster, securing a 4 – 0 win, with another two goals from Skeet, an additional goal for Varley and one from regional’s debutant Joe Pengelly.
After defeating all of their opponents in outstanding style, UEA are unsurprisingly going into the final leg of the competition as firm favourites on home ground. This year’s BUCS Korfball championship is being held at UEA’s very own Sportspark on the 7 and 8 March 2014, with an open invitation to anyone at UEA who would like to come and support the team in the final leg of the tournament.