Season Finale

Larwood Invitational Cup & Shoot Out Shield

The last Volfsball of the season, a moment for celebration as the third successful season of the world’s greatest sport comes to an end. The oldest cup in Volfsball, the Larwood Invitational, was to be fought for, as well as the formerly postponed Shoot Out Shield.

Unfortunately the Larwood Invitational turned out to be a damp squib as only six players attended, one of the lowest turn outs in Volfsball history. Could this spell the end of the sport? We’ll find out next year.

In attendance were commissioner Marek Larwood and Richie Hart for the Supermoons, Natalie Wood for the Prism Wardens and Tom Bell, Paul Flannery and Gillian Duffy for the Choppers. Players agreed teams would sub in for others when needed and play a round robin with the Cup winner being the team with the best results.

Supermoons v Choppers

A great chance for both these teams to add to their trophy cabinet. The Choppers having won the competition back in 2015 and the Moons runners up twice before. However both Tom Bell and Paul Flannery were limited with back injuries and Gillian Duffy had yet to play a game.

For the Moons Natalie Wood subbed in as their third player. It was the Choppers who started stronger, Tom Bell and Flannery splitting the points as they led 4-2 in the first third.

Flannery started the second third strongly with a couple of blocks on Richie Hart, however a devastating 15 seconds of play saw Hart hit two Volfsballs and a single to completely change the nature of the game. The second third ended 14-6, the Moons in a strong position when points difference could decide the title.

Hart continued his stellar game in the last third, amassing 16 points from 19 shots. Gillian Duffy played well in her debut for the Choppers, and Flannery made five blocks but they lost out to the Moons 20-9.

Hart hits second Volfsball for Moons

Supermoons vs Prism Wardens

Duffy subbed in for the Moons while Flannery and Bell joined Natalie Wood on the Prism Wardens team. The Wardens were sporting a smart new Purple kit everyone commented on how lovely it looked.

The Prism Wardens came right out of the blocks fast, Tom Bell scoring within seconds, but the Moons had found a secret weapon in Gillian Duffy who hit her first two shots. The Moons were up 5-2 when Larwood hit the Moons third Volfsball of the day making it 10-2 after the first third. A win would give the Moons the cup that had eluded them the previous two seasons.

A low scoring second third saw both sides try audacious headers, but fail to connect on simple shots, 11-3 with three minutes left.

The Wardens fought back, despite Tom Bell taking a Richie Hart shot straight in the balls. Natalie Wood’s three offensive rebounds helped give them shooting opportunities but the Moons hit more singles, final score 13-6 (scored 12-5 on the day).

The Moons had won the Larwood Invitational largely down to the three Volfsballs. Another trophy in their great season to add to the Champions Shield and World Championships.

Tom Bell takes one in the balls

Prism Wardens vs Choppers

A dead rubber meant that both teams started to attempt more outlandish shots. Flannery and Wood were the only two to score for their respective sides meaning it was 1-1 at the break. Richie Hart had to leave at 3pm, which was lucky for him as he received a berating from Captain Natalie Wood for three consecutive DoppleVolfsball attempts.

The game was put on hold while sides waited for the Stonehewers to arrive to sub in. Alex and Greg Stanier would play a quarter each alongside Wood and Larwood for the Wardens, while Ben Stanier would play for the Choppers.

1-1 and two quarters to decide the cup runners up. The teams were going point for point, Natalie Wood finding shooting form for the Wardens. They were 5-4 up when Larwood hit his second Volfsball of the day a lovely spinning pivot over Ben Stanier to give the Wardens a 10-4 lead with three minutes to go.

It was time for Ben Stanier to kick into action for the Choppers, hitting singles and rebounding, coupled with Tom Bell starting to connect the Choppers came back to 11-9, but time elapsed and the Prism Wardens secured the Runners Up spot.

Natalie Wood scores for Wardens

Shoot Out Shield

Finally it was time for the first ever Shoot Out Shield, essentially a penalty knock out. Each team would have three shots from outside of the middle circle and the outside of the outer circle, whoever scored the least would be knocked out of each round until there was one winner.

The great thing about the Shoot Out Shield is that one player can represent a whole team which was the case for the Prism Wardens (Natalie Wood) and the Supermoons (Marek Larwood), the other competitors with full squads were the Harringay Choppers and the Stonehewers.

Round One

Moons to start, and Larwood nailed a kick with the first shot, Natalie Wood did the same for the Wardens and the Stonehewers scored a Volfsball, and incredible first round, and the Choppers went for a single. This Moons and the Stonehewers steadily added to their score finishing the first round with 6 and 9 respectively. The Choppers trailed the Wardens 2 to 3, Bell hit the single on his final shot, tying it up, giving Natalie Wood the chance to progress if she could score on her last shot. She did and the Choppers were eliminated.

Moons – 6

Wardens – 4

Stonehewers – 9

Choppers – 3

Tom Bell distraught as Choppers eliminated.

Round Two

Natalie Wood had an incredible start for the Prism Wardens hitting all first three shots with kicks scoring 9 points and putting the Stonehewers and Supermoons under pressure. The Stonehewers eased their position with a Volfsball, the Supermoons scored a kick but were forced to shoot Volfsballs to get themselves back in the competition. They failed and the Prism Wardens were surprise finalists against the Stonehewers.

Moons – 3

Stonehewers – 6

Wardens – 9

Round Three

Could this be the upset of the year as Natalie Wood of the Prism Wardens faced the team of the team of the season the Stonehewers? The Stonehewers had their best start hitting two kicks and a Volfsball in their first three shots, the exemplary kicking game of Wood in the previous round had gone and she was forced to try the difficult task of shooting Volfsballs from the outside area. The Stonehewers added yet another cup to their arsenal, but well played to Natalie Wood for taking the Wardens to the final.

Stonehewers – 12

Wardens – 1

Stonehewers with their cabinet of trophies.

Last league match of the season

Stonehewers vs Nobodies

With the Stonehewers having stormed the league it seemed only right to play one more match to finish the season off. Larwood, Bell and Wood turned out for the Nobodies, and at one point were leading 2-1 deep into the first third. Gregory Stanier hit a Volfsball and soon the score was 8-2. Gregory hit a kick later on in the game, but by this time everyone was trying outrageous shots to get in the top ten plays of the season. It finished 14-4.

It was time for the presentation ceremony. The Stonehewers picked up the Shoot Out Shield and the All Comers League Trophy. Also Ben Stanier was awarded the Volfsball MVP for an incredible season in which he set new records for scoring and Volfsballs.

The Supermoons received the Larwood Invitational Cup and finished runners up in the league.

Supermoons with Larwood Invitational Cup

The day was finished with a friendly – Old vs Young first to 11. Ben Stanier, Gregory Stanier and Natalie Wood lining up against Marek Larwood, Tom Bell and Alex Stanier. The young bucks stormed into a 5-2 lead and were mocking the older generation, who promptly pulled back to within 6-6. Alex Stanier remarked a Volfsball would win the game, commissioner Larwood immediately obliged – 11-6 to the senior team, sending the young whipper snappers away with their tails between their legs.

A great end to a wonderful season, thank you to everyone who took part and came to watch. See you in 2018.

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