Larwood Invitational Cup Report

Larwood Invitational Cup 2016 – November 27th 2016  – (Video footage delayed due to broken computer)

The sporting world rejoiced as it was offered a last gulp of Volfsball so late in the year. The much delayed Larwood Invitational was here as six teams from around the world (London and the Wirral) assembled on a damp but firm playing field.

The format would be two groups of three playing in a round robin. The top two would qualify for the semi finals. Commissioner Larwood drew the teams and the wondrous athletes took to the field.

Also here is the Volfsball Mannequin Challenge starring Buddy the Dog.

Group 1

Stoke Newington Irish – Connolly, Roach, Rodgers

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Muswell Hill Supermoons – Larwood, Saunders, Steer

Supermoons- Larwood, Saunders, Steer

West Wirral Snakehips – Marland, Wareing, Utley

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Group 2

 

Harringay Choppers – Bell, Rowland, Flannery

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Camden Kongs – Tuck, Cavanagh, Reed

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Ealing Stonehewers – B.Stanier, G.Stanier, A.Stanier

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Group 1 – Stoke Newington Irish v Supermoons

 

Thom Saunders was on loan to the Moons from Balham Choke Hazard for the day, and Matt Steer returned from injury, but it was Captain Larwood who led the way with seven points and five blocks as the experienced Supermoons led throughout.

The Irish looked impressive on their debut thoug, with Captain Dean Saunders showing off a powerful arm. (This game was incorrecty scored 11-7 on the day). Moons 11 v 6 Irish

 

Group 2 – Camden Kongs v Harringay Choppers

Aggressive offense from both sides at the start, Rowland slamming some singles for the Choppers against a jittering Volfsball stand, then Tuck and Cavanagh replying, 5-4 to the Kongs early doors.

Flannery (Choppers) and Tuck (Kongs) were on song for their respective teams, Flannery with his powerful laser shot. Tuck with his delicate arc, 9-8 with a third left.

Tuck continued with his impressive accuracy nine from 12 from the field. With just five seconds left trailing 13-11 the Kongs were forced to attempt a three pointer and missed. Later inspection revealed they were only trailing by one point. Kongs 13 v 12 Choppers.

 

Group 1 – Snakehips v Supermoons

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The first game for one of the favourites the West Wirral Snakehips. Matt Steer proved accurate for the Supermoons and Rob Marland almost perfect for the Snakehhips,as the first third ended 5-5.

Moons continued to press defensively in the second quarter leading 8-6. During the break there was debate about Steer entering the no-go zone when landing after blocks and a penalty and possession was awarded to the Snakehips to start the final third.

Marland racked up an impressive ten points for the Snakehips but the Moons booked their place in the semi-finals with a 13-10 victory. (This was scored 12-10 on the day, one of many scoring errors – common in Volfsball).

 

Group 2 – Camden Kongs v Ealing Stonehewers

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Lovely passing play from the Stonehewers didn’t results in points, while Thom Tuck was becoming lethal from with his looping shot. Officials on tthe sidelines were again making mistakes with scoring, awarding the Stonehewers points when they didn’t have them. David Reed and Thom Tuck scoring prolifically 7-4 up, although this was scored 6-6.

The Kongs were proving lethal with their one point accuracy and despite the pretty flowing play from the Stonehewers. Kongs led 12-8, but some shonky scoring meant the game was called 11-10 with a third to go, but it was one way traffic. Kongs progressed into the semis with a 16-8 victory (15-10 on the day).

 

Group 2 – Harringay Choppers v Ealing Stonehewers

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The last group game, the winner to qualify for the semis with the Choppers needing just a draw due to points difference. The Stonehewers were impressive early on with their trademark slick passing and Ben Stanier finding a bit of accuracy. Ben Stanier hit the first Volfsball of the day as the led the Choppers 8-4.

 

The second third saw the Choppers adopt a more conservative style of play hitting the looping one pointers as they clawed their way back to 10-9.

Incredibly just one point was scored in the last third, the Stonehewers winning 11-9, after a session of misfiring shooting. The Cup holders Harringay Choppers were eliminated.

 

Group One – Stoke Newington Irish v West Wirral Snakehips

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Another match to decide the second semi finalist from group one. West Wirral Snakehips needing a win or a draw to qualify. The Snakehips experience told early doors, as they hit a series of ones to lead the match 6-3 at the first interval (again this was incorrectly scored 5-3) on the day.

The second third saw the Irish find shooting form, with Neil Connelly exhibiting particularly hot fingers. They clawed their way back to 10-8, could this be the upset of the tournament?

But the Snakehips Captain Rob Marland ripped the Irish defence apart with a series of one pointers, the league’s top scorer amassing a total 13 in the game as the Snakehips progressed to the semis with a 15-9 victory.

 

Group Results

 

Group One                                                                W       L       F       A  

Muswell Hill Supermoons                                    2       0     24     16

West Wirral SnakeHips                                         1       1     25     22

Stoke Newington Irish                                                    0       2     15       26

 

Group Two                                                                W       L       F       A    

Camden Kongs                                                        2         0     29      20

Ealing Stonehewers                                               1         1     19       25

Harringay Choppers                                                      0         2      21       24

 

 

Semi Final One

Muswell Hill Supermoons vs Ealing Stonehewers

 

A tightly contested game, the Supermoons put on a defensive masterclass with six blocks, two from each player in the first third. However their shooting was off and they led the Stonehewers by just 2-0 at the first break.

The next third was much the same, lovely passing by the Stonehewers, great team blocking from the Moons (now on ten blocks), but awful shooting, Larwood one from nine.

The pattern was much the same for the final third, one of the worst displays of shooting from both sides on the day and the Supermoons progressed to the final 6-5.

 

Camden Kongs v West Wirral Snakehips

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The World Champion Kongs faced the Snakehips led by season’s top scorer Rob Marland. It was Marland who led the way for the Snakehips while Cavanagh and Tuck scored singles for the Kongs 6-6 at the first interval already outscoring the previous game.

Both teams seemed to lose their way in the second third as shooting became more erratic. The Kongs leading 10-8. They looked to have one foot in the final 13-10 up (scored 14-11 in the video) with about 30 seconds left. With just ten seconds left Wareing (Snakehips) fumbled the ball with the Snakehips a point behind, but a vital interception by Marland gave the Snakehips a chance to equalize with seconds remaining. The last shot was blocked by Cavanagh but his foot strayed into the no-go zone, giving the Snakehips a penalty and possession with one second left. Marland hit the free throw to equalize but missed the jump shot which led to penalties.

 

Penalty rules – Three shots from the inside line then three shots from the outside line for each player. They can choose which shot to go for. Whichever team scores the most points wins.

 

Inside line shots

Tuck (Kongs) – 1pt attempt – HIT – 1-0

Marland (Snakehips) – 1pt att – HIT – 1-1

Cavanagh (Kongs) – 1pt att – HIT – 2-1

Utley (Snakehips) – 1pt att – MISS – 2-1

Reed (Kongs) – 1pt att – Hit – 3-1

Wareing (Snakehips) – 1pt att – HIT – 3-2

 

Outside Line

Wareing (Snakehips) – 1pt att – HIT – 3-3

Reed (Kongs )– 1pt att – HIT – 4-3

Marland (Snakehips) – 1pt att – MISS -4-3

Cavanagh (Kongs ) – 1pt att – MISS – 4-3

Utley (Snakehips) 1pt att – MISS 4-3

 

KONGS INTO FINAL

An incredibly tense round of penalties, the Snakehips gambled on the Kongs missing the ones, rather than attempt any high scores.

 

Muswell Hill Supermoons v Camden Kongs

It was now 4.15 on a darkening November afternoon as the oldest rivals of the sport met. Steer and Larwood, Tuck and Reed remnants from the very first competitive Volfsball game between the two teams a year and half before.

It was the Kongs who shot into a 3-1 lead, but the normally accurate Tuck floundered in the light and the Moons came back to 3-3 in at the first break.

Moons shot ahead in the next quarter Larwood shooting better in the dark than he had done in the light, while the Kongs squandered shots.. Moons took a commanding 8-5 lead into the final third. However in near dark conditions their shooting tailed off and the Kongs equalized in the last thirty seconds.

 

PENALTIES AGAIN.

Larwood (Moons) – 3pt att – HIT – 3-0

Tuck (Kongs) – 3pt att – MISS – 3-0

Steer (Moons) – 3pt att – MISS – 3-0

Cavanagh (Kongs) – VOLFSBALL – 3-5

Saunders (Moons)– 3pt att – MISS – 3-5

Reed (Kongs) – 1pt att – MISS – 3-5

 

Backline

 

Tuck (Kongs) – 1pt att – HIT 3-6

Larwood (Moons) 3pt att – MISS 3-6

Cavanagh (Kongs) – 1pt att – HIT 3-7

Steer – (Moons) 5pt att – MISS – 3-7

Reed (Kongs) – 1pt att – MISS – 3-7

Saunders – (Moons) 5pt att – MISS – 3-7

 

KONGS WIN LARWOOD INVITATIONAL

Larwood set the stall out early going for a kick with the first penalty and converting, things looked good for the Moons until Martin Cavanagh hit a Volfsball in near pitch black conditions. The Moons were left playing catch up and the Kongs won the Cup to go with their World Championship. A terrific season of Volfsball.

 

*Video footage to follow – my computer is currently broken.

**Der Goldene Volf tournament will be played in Liverpool on 27th December organized by Rob Marland – contact volfsball@gmail.com for details.

*** Please support Volfsball by buying loads of merch or donating on the link.

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