We were looking a bit thin poolside when I arrived at 5.30pm at K2 Crawley, we only had 8 players, but after a few minutes Callum arrived and a few email exchanges with Roger and he was on his way with Ant, they both arrived as we were getting out of the water from playing our first game against Hastings. In Rogers absence, Marc had frustrated their shooters in the usual manner by saving their well directed shots. The first few minutes were closely fought, both sides scoring a few goals, but our continued good use of the drop zone defence and balanced attack saw us through to the final whistle a few goals ahead.
We had a 3 game breather before our 2nd game against Crawley B, which gave Roger time to warm up. He wasn't looking very sharp as he had spent most of the day drinking Bucks Fizz and other intoxicating liquors. But as they say, looks can be deceiving and he quickly showed that the Bucks Fizz was his performance enhancing drug, plucking the ball out of the corners with one hand like a ball girl catching a tennis ball at Wimbledon. Our youngsters continued to make breaks and score goals, against the advice of Callum to conserve energy for the inevitable final against Crawley A. Levy exploited there inexperienced marking, scoring a few goals from breaks after we swiftly turned defence into attack. Ant received the ball in the middle of the pool and delivered a 90 mile an hour shot past the keeper’s ears using a bowling action not seen in the water since Crawley last one this tournament in 1991. With a few minutes to go, Dis made a dash down the right hand side and was awarded a well earned 5m. After his long swim he just managed to pass the ball over to Oliver to take the penalty, which was saved by the Crawley keeper. We won comfortably and were commended after the game by one of their players for the spirit in which we played the tournament, particularly the way we eased off against this young Crawley B team.
We were in the final for the second year running, against Crawley A. Having just played the previous game, we only had a few minutes to catch our breath and discuss tactics. The 1st half was a close encounter, James scored with his trademark flick, Callum scored a few long shots and Trevor frustrated the opposition further with a long shot that trickled over the goal line, causing one of the Crawley players to give there keeper a bit of a tongue lashing. Crawley responded with a few goals from their centre forward, but there comeback was extinguished by our solid defence and the end of the 1st half. In the second half we soon broke the back of the Crawley team, stealing the ball from there centre forward time and again. They were beginning to tire, we knew this because Steve had made an un-answered break down the wing, only to be far to sporting by putting the ball over the cross bar in a drop goal style like shot that would make Jonny Wilkinson proud. Chris put away a long shot pulling us further into the lead which we held until the final whistle.
After winning the final we convened upstairs for a well earned beverage, only to find the bar still not open. When it did eventually open, we were denied further by the fire alarm as we were told to evacuate by the confused bar staff. We gathered outside to await the fire brigade, which gave us opportunity for a rare team photo. The fire truck arrived soon enough and put a halt to Crawley’s stalling tactics. We re-convened in the bar and were presented the Igaz Invitational Shield. Well done team
Team (from left to right)
Callum Bailey, Steve Pentreath, James McCormick, Chris Ayers, Andy Disley, Trevor Tiedt, Anthony Metelerkamp, Marc Guimerà Busquets, Oliver Norton, Roger Metelerkamp, Levy Andrachnikov