Speed Volfsball Cup

Speed Volfsball – May 20th

A hot May Day perfect for Speed Volfsball. A fast paced game, with no three minute thirds or stoppages like normal Volfsball, first to 11 points wins. The players were joined by a small film crew as a production company had come down to film for a BBC Ideas internet short. The legend of Volfsball was about to grow even larger. Surely Volfsball is only months away from becoming the most popular sport in the world.

Anyway, five teams were present – The Happy Friends, Camden Kongs, Muswell Hill, Supermoons, West Wirral Snakehips and new side the Pitshanger Panthers. They would play in a round robin format with whoever won the most games winning the title.

Moons vs Happy Friends

First up the Moons v Friends, the Stonehewers had split into teams for today (Panthers & Friends)  so Alex Stanier kindly stepped in to fill a depleted Moons squad alongside Captain Larwood. Rob Marland also subbed in alongside new player Chris Bickley who heard about the sport on twitter. The Friends were captained by Gregory Stanier joined by Hew Ingram and Andrew Woodward.

It was supposed to be speed Volfsball, two minutes in it was still 1-0. More like slow Volfsball. The first game lasted about 15 minutes, six more than a usual match, but featured a great defensive display from Alex Stanier and Andrew Woodward. The points trickled in and the Happy Friends won 11-7 (actual score was 10-8).

Snakehips vs Kongs

It was pleasing to see the Snakehips back on the Volfsball field, although an injured Hannah Wareing was unable to participate, she assumed a managerial role. Rob Marland was joined by super sub Chris Bickley and Andrew Woodward from the Happy Friends.

Everyone was praying for a quicker game. First shot of the game Rob Marland literally span the ball round the inside of the ring for a Volfsball. This was more like it. The 5-0 start put them in good stead, and Marland continued to add the points as they moved into a 10-4 lead.

But the Snakehips shooting deserted them and the ever reliable John Reed brought the Kongs back to 10-8. Marland then got the single, he accounted for ten of the eleven points in the 11-8 win.

Panthers vs Friends

The Battle of the Brothers as Ben Stanier took his heavily favoured Panthers team featuring Roman and Tobias, to face Gregory Stanier’s Happy Friends.

It was the Stanier brothers who led from the  front trading points for their respective teams as it started 3-3. Then Volfball master Ben Stanier scored a Volfsball, the Panthers never looked back and it was a convincing 11-3 victory.

Kongs vs Moons

Time for the oldest rivalries in the sport, and sadly one of the last times the two may meet as Captain David Reed is to move to York.

It was the Moons who surged into a 6-1 lead, thanks in part to new player Chris Bickley’s great offensive rebounding. Martin Cavanagh pulled the Kongs back to 8-4 with impressive accuracy from the field. But without John Reed shooting in usual form the Moons pulled away. Alex Stanier shooting a perfect 4 from 4 in an 11-6 victory.

Panthers vs Snakehips

Both teams were in good form in their first match victories, this looked like a game that could decide the title. Similar tactics were employed by both parties, passing round to get a shooting opportunity for their primary scorer – Ben Stanier and Rob Marland.

A great passage of play by Toby Davies saw him score a point and a Volfsball to put the Panthers up 7-3. It looked to be all over but the Panthers lost their shooting ability and Woodward, Bickley and Marland were combining to score points in a comeback. The scoresheet read 9-8 to the Snakehips (in reality it was the other way round) but registered scores on the day count.

Players gingerly attempted the one pointers, Rob Marland scoring to give the Snakehips a 11-10 victory (real score 10-10). But all was to play for in the cup.

 

At the half way stage the table looked like this. Everyone still in contention apart from the Kongs.

Kongs vs Friends

So far Speed Volfsball was not proving to be especially fast. Average game length was about ten minutes.

What followed was one of the most static games in Volfsball. Players barely moving as they went for single points. At 5-5 most players were attempting Volfsballs for the big win. Finally David Reed hit one, to give them a 10-6 lead, and after two more minutes of play the single was added for a Kongs victory.

Moons vs Snakehips

A faster paced game between the two sides. Snakehips brought in Toby Davies from the Panthers for a sub. However more passing between shots led to another long game at around 13 minutes. The heat was really taking it’s toll and shooting percentage took a real dip.

After much taunting from the sidelines about how long the game was taking the Moons emerged victorious 11-9, Larwood hitting eight of the Moons points.

Panthers vs Kongs

Players were crying out for a quick game. That’s exactly what they got as Toby Davies hit a Volfsball with the second shot of the game. Within two minutes they were up 7-1, David Reed then hit a Volfsball to make it 7-6. With the next shot Ben Stanier replied with a Volfsball – a 12-6 win all in two minutes and twenty seven seconds. The only example on the day of Speed Volfsball.

Snakehips vs Friends

Rob Marland Snakehips captain had to leave to catch a plane, so he left the Snakehips in the capable hands of super sub Chris Bickley, who was joined by Toby Davies on loan from the Panthers, and Jonny Iseli who was part of the film crew roped into playing. What followed was the longest match in Volfsball history at 14 minutes and 26 seconds.

There was pretty terrible shooting all round, but camera man Jonny Iseli was a bright spark for the Snakehips. However Gregory Stanier and Andrew Woodward slowly edged the Happy Friends into an 8-5 lead. The game continued amid jeering from the sidelines as the players not involved clamoured for the game to finish. One of the Friends points was not counted so they eventually won 12-5. Toby Davies broke the record for most shots in one game with 24, sadly only one of them scored a point.

Panthers vs Moons

The winner of this game would have three wins and top the table, exhausted teams all agreed that they would be awarded the Speed Volfsball Cup rather than another game involving the top two.

Both teams were passing it around well, as the high stakes seemed to have injected some energy in the game. Panthers led 3-2, Roman normally the passer of the team started taking shots and it paid off with a Volfsball as he accounted for seven of his teams 8-2 lead.

Another bout of miscoding gave the Panthers an additional point and they went on to win 11-3 (actually 10-3) lifting the title.

Final Thoughts

Another great turn out for Volfsball and a great win for the Panthers in their inaugural appearance. I think everyone would agree that the traditional three thirds of three minutes worked better than the first to 11 Volfsball. Nonetheless a great day for the sport.

Scores

Moons 8 v 10 Happy Friends

Snakehips 11 v 8 Kongs

Panthers 11 v 3 Friends

Kongs 6 v 11 Moons

Snakehips 11 v 10 Panthers (10-10)

Kongs 11 v 6 Friends

Moons 11 v 9 Snakehips

Panthers 12 v 6 Kongs

Snakehips 5 v 11 Friends (5-12)

Panthers 10 – 3 Moons

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