2019 World Championships

World Championships

A slightly overcast day saw six teams compete for the greatest prize in sport the World Championships of Volfsball. Balham Choke Hazard, Kilbonez, Muswell Hill Supermoons, Pitshanger Panthers, Tooting Tramsmashers and the Woodfield Warriors were all in attendance. The reigning champions Supermoons lost stalwart Lee Bannard to a car prang earlier in the day, and recent star signing Max Whittle was off on holiday, so it was up to commissioner Marek and his brother Correy Larwood to defend the crown along with a sub. Indeed the Tramsmashers and Warriors also both needed subs to complete their squads.

Teams were drawn into two groups of three, with the top two progressing to the semis. First up in it was the hotly timed Pitshanger Panthers against the Tramsmashers.

Group 1

Panthers v Tramsmashers

Thom Saunders joined Richard Somerville and Jack Clayton for the Tramsmashers. A cagey start saw both teams struggle with shooting, the Panthers seemed focused on getting Volfsballs but misses saw them finish the first third 2-1 down.

In a static game a Jack Clayton Volfsball suddenly gave the Tramsmashers the lead, they were up 10-3 with Ben Stanier yet to hit a shot and Dopple Volfsball Lewis Thorpe yet to even take one for the Panthers.

It was a dismal start for the Panthers who failed to score in the next third putting their World Cup hopes in jeopardy with a 12-3 loss.

Group 2

Kilbonez v Warriors

Fresh off their Speed Volfsball Cup success a hungover Kilbonez squad faced the Woodfield Warriors. Another tense start, the Warriors drafted in Ben Stanier as their sub, but it was a lovely kick from the flair man Dom Herd that gave the Kilbonez a 5-3 lead. 

Ryan Howes threatened to take the game away for the Kilbonez with a Volfsball but Ben Stanier replied and the Kilbonez held on to a slim 10-9 lead with three minutes to play.

This great game continue to deliver with Hew Ingram hitting a Volfsball for the Warriors to start the final third. However Tom Pitts soon replied and it was enough to give the Kilbonez a narrow first victory 17-16.

Group 1

Moons v Tramsmashers

Moons got off to a flying start with Correy Larwood scoring his first ever Volfsball. James Hunt was on loan from the Choke Hazard and also proved his worth with four points as they stormed into a 10-4 lead. 

In the fastest paced game of the day so far both sides continued to attack and drawing the third, with the score 13-7. Neither team many any inroads in the final third as the Moons won 15-9.

Group 2

Kilbonez v Choke Hazard

KIlbonez needed a win to make the semis but face a formidable force in the form league side the Choke Hazard. Mandy Saunders had come out of retirement to play for the Hazard, and led the way in scoring with three points in a 6-2 first half.

A resurgent Kilbonez side forced their way back to 8-6 but then a costly defensive error allowed the Choke  Hazard to score a barrage of successive singles to push them back to 12-6.

Mandy Saunders hit a Volfsball as the Choke Hazard won 21-6 and put a foot firmly in the semis. Choke Hazard hit with 17 of 24 shots, shooting with a very high 70% accuracy.

Group 1

Panthers vs Moons

It was the final game of Group 1. Due to the Tramsmashers having a plus three goal difference it meant that they were through no matter what the result as a Panthers would have to win by eight points to have a superior goal difference to the Moons and knock them out. Ben Stanier one of the greatest ever players of Volfsball had been eliminated in the first round in previous years with favourites the Stonehewers and then the Panthers. This year the Panthers were favourites yet again, could the curse continue?

In a tense game both teams were not showing their best form of the day. Toby Davies was guilty of goaltending (blocking from the no go area) but James Hunt missed the ensuing free shot. The Panthers were up 3-2 after the first third.

More cagey play in the second third with Toby Davies committing goaltending yet again. Marek Larwood missed a second penalty for the Moons and they were 7-4 down with the final third to play. 

The Panthers were far from their high scoring usual selves and ended up winning 12-9 but were eliminated from the finals on points difference.

Choke Hazard v Warriors

The Choke Hazard were virtually through with their plus fifteen points difference, so the Warriors needed to win to progress to the semis and knock out the Kilbonez.

Nether side really clicked in the first two thirds with the scores at 5-5. The Kilbonez watched nervously from the sidelines. Teams exchanged points, and points were tied 9-9 with just seconds left. Super sub Ben Stanier stepped up for the Warriors and scored the difference maker with six seconds left. The Warriors were through to the semis 10-9 and Kilbonez knocked out.

Semi Final One

The group winners of Group one were decided on penalties as Tramsmashers and Moons were tied on points difference. The Tramsmashers won leaving the Moons to face the Choke Hazard.

Moons v Choke Hazard

A replay of the last two World Championship finals. The Moons drafted in Dom Herd as their third player hoping he could find his Volfsball form. 

The Moons took an early lead and actually led 4-2 although this was incorrectly scored 3-3 on the day. Again things were very close as the Choke Hazard went in with 8-6 lead on the second third.

The Moons were pushing for a final shot but a fumble late on meant that time elapsed with the Choke Hazard making the final in a tight 12-11 game (scored 13-10 on the day). The Choke Hazard making their fourth consecutive World Championship final.

Semi Final Two

The Tramsmasher signed up Tom Pitts as their sub and were straight out of the block into a 4-0 lead against the Warriors. Rich Somerville added a Volfsball to put them up 9-2 at the first third. 

Both teams struggled to score in the next third until in the last second of time Richard Somerville hit another Volfsball to give his team a commanding 14-4 lead. 

The Warriors had no answers and the Tramsmashers progressed to the final 16-6.

League Game

Kilbonez v Panthers

Before the final the two teams knocked out first played a league game. It was a lacklustre affair, both teams spirits crumpled by the ejection from the World Cup. A Toby Davis Volfsball the Amin difference in an 11-4 victory for the Panthers. 

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL

Tramsmashers v Choke Hazard

The Tramsmashers in brown lined up against the yellow of Choke Hazard. The Balham team had made all three previous finals, surely this was their chance to finally seize the crown. The first third was a defensive masterclass. Thom Saunders completely shutting down Rich Somerville with five blocks in the first three minutes. Nonetheless the score was tight as the team from Balham lead 3-2.

The scoring and blocking continued in the next third for the Hazard, as they powered into a 7-3 lead. One hand on the cup maybe, but Jack Clayton had other ideas, knocking down his second Volfsball of the day to turn the tables. A point from Thom Saunders returned it to even stevens 8-8 with just three minutes to decide the Champions.

The Choke Hazard had a slender lead of 10-8 when Jack Clayton’s foot edged into the no-go area in a block. The third penalty of the day, and this time James Hunt made no mistake hitting a kick and putting them 13-8 ahead. A quick one pointer from Mandy Saunders gave them a six point gap and the Hazard never looked back. Lifting the crown for the first time 15-9.

The crowd applauded two fine teams, who made an enjoyable final. But the biggest cheer was for the Balham Choke Hazard. Finally they had broken their duck and lifted a trophy after five seasons in the league. Thom Saunders, Mandy Saunders, James Hunt and Ben Saunders, all played a fantastic game and tournament. Their unparalleled elation reflected the magnitude of what they had just won. The greatest prize in sport.

Well done to everyone who played. But especially well done to me for making up the sport and spending two days editing and writing this report that only Alex reads.

Results

Cup

Group Stage

Panthers 3 v 12 Tramsmashers

Kilbonez 17 v 16 Warriors

Moons 15 v 9 Tramsmashers

Kilbonez 6 v 21 Choke Hazard

Panthers 12 v 9 Moons

Warriors 10 v 9 Choke Hazard

Semis

Moons 11 v 12 Choke Hazard

Warriors 6 v 16 Tramsmashers

Final

Tramsmashers 9 v  15 Choke Hazard

League

Kilbonez 4 v 11 Panthers

2 Comments

  1. Richard Tramsmashers (changed by deedpoll)

    July 23, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    We all read the reports Marek!

  2. Henning

    August 1, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    I have read the whole thing it is like being there when it was all happening.

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