By Harry Low
Ireland marked their first ever appearance at Attila by claiming a bronze medal in Eindhoven. Losing just once in 10 matches and scoring 60 goals in the process, the team – a mix of new and experienced players – almost sprung a surprise to claim a debut title.
James (1) Lizzie (1)
Ireland opened up against the University of Bonn. A flurry of shots went up but none dropped. Stew wasted no time in letting his frustration show, promptly laying out an attacker. Enter James and Lizzie – who scored with her first touch – to bag the two goals needed for an opening game win.
Terry (3) Lizzie (1) James (1) Dave (1)
The second game started equally slowly as the against UEA, but before long Ireland had raced into a four goal lead amid a fug of alcohol fumes thanks to goals from James, Lizzie and two from Terry.
A brief panic ensued as UEA scored two in quick succession before Dave scored off a missed penalty and Terry completed his hatrick with his second looper under the basket to secure a 6-2 win.
Harry (4) Dave (2) Lizzie (1) Abby (1) Sam (2)
Next up was the most emphatic victory of the weekend as Ireland reached double figures against the Leeds side. Harry scored four runners (including two against a man recovering from a broken arm), Dave and Sam popped in two goals each and Lizzie and Abby rounded off the win.
Stewart (1) Sarah H (1) Abby (1) James (1) Sarah K (1) Lizzie (1) Terry (1)
Ireland saved their best for (second) last on Saturday. As soon as Terry launched the ball to Stew from the throw-off and he sunk the shot, you fancied it was going to be a game to remember and so it proved as seven different scorers saw the Irish to a famous win against previously unbeaten Amsterdam. The ladies (Lizzie, Abby and both Sarah’s) outscored the gents (Stew, James and Terry) as Ireland recorded a 7-1 win.
Stewart (2) Aisling (1) Harry (2) Dave (1) James (1)
The Saturday action was rounded off with victory over a Dutch side featuring seven ladies and one guy. Stew and Harry bagged two apiece as Dave, James and finally Aisling capped off a fine first day.
Sarah H (1) Abby (2) Sam (1) Lizzie (1)
Ireland’s reward for an unbeaten Saturday was the first fixture of the morning on Sunday. Take one look at the corner of Hall 2 half an hour before kick-off, and you would have been greeted by a scene of desolation. There were broken bodies left, right and centre. And when Hebbes went 1-0 up, and two players went flying on wet puddles on the pitch inside five minutes, we feared the worst. But a five star performance followed as the girls (Abby, Sarah H and Lizzie) outscored the guys (Sam) once again as the team in green triumphed 5-1.
James (1) Sarah H (2) Sam (1) Harry (1) Sarah K (1)
The Sarah show saw Ireland to a seventh successive win against Skunk, scoring half of the team’s six goals between them. James, Sam and Harry also found the korf as the winning run continued with a 6-2 victory.
Super Beste Vrienden 6-3
Sam (1) Abby (2) Harry (2) Terry (1)
After beating Bristol on the obstacle course in a fiercely contested race, Ireland lined up against Aisling’s Super Beste Vrienden in an entertaining quarter final match. Abby and Harry added two more to their tallies as Terry and Sam also got on the scoresheet to see Ireland to a 6-3 win.
Atilla Old Huns 4-5
Sam (2) Lizzie (1) Terry (1)
The most intense game of the weekend was a semi-final match against pre-tournament favourites Huns. Ireland consistently fell one goal behind and kept equalising, through Sam (twice) and Lizzie to make it 3-3. When Atilla’s old boys and girls team scored again to make it 4-3, Ireland sensed danger. Then, after his defender over-committed, Terry seized the moment to run towards the post. After being fouled in mid-air and winning a penalty, what followed was arguably the weekend’s funniest on-field moment. As captain Forde rocked back to take the penalty, the intercom, which had been struggling to emit anything other than muffled fart sounds all weekend, let out its most exquisitely timed parp. The trump did not trouble Terry, though, who sunk the penalty to make it 4-4. A frantic final five minutes saw the Huns score just before the end for a 5-4 win halt the winning streak at eight games.
Abby (1) Harry (2) Sarah H (1) Lizzie (1) Terry (1) James (1)
The battle for bronze against a bright Birmingham side drew a raucous crowd watched on as Ireland chalked up a ninth win of the weekend. In a match which saw the Frear sisters face off against each other, it was Ireland who raced into a lead. The joint-highest scoring match of the weekend followed amid a flurry of action with goals for Terry, Sarah H, James, Lizzie, Abby and two for Harry. The 7-4 score line reflected the end-to-end nature of the match with Ireland worthy winners.
Thanks to Arie who came to support on Sunday to as well as our fuhrer (captain) Terry, vice-captain Sarah H and each player who pulled on the green jersey over the course of the weekend. And lastly to the tireless organisers who laid on a great show and even provided a splash of spring sunshine.