Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Bison Come Back

Bison in white

Simultaneous penalties are a chance to get-to-know one's opponent a bit better
Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Sunday 29 January at the Basingstoke Arena
Basingstoke Bisons 4 Slough Jets 4
Bisons win in a shootout
English Ice Hockey Premier League
#4 on the rinkhopping list
This match in one sentence
Bisons went behind four times, equalised four times, and got a win from the shootout.
So what?
A four-point weekend and a mid-table position for Bison after an excellent away win at Milton Keynes on Saturday.  Jets take three which is enough to edge them up a place in the league table this week, to second.
Something random

I am so pleased to report that the Bison Zamboni goes clockwise and so my northern hemisphere theory is holding up.   There was also a sighting of a two-legged skating Bison in jeans with a bucket of pucks.  This kind of thing happens all the time in the world of ice hockey.  However, a four-legged skating pantomime Bison would be really impressive and I hope they can work on this before my next visit.
The drama unfolds
I am gradually getting to grips with this sport although some of the reasons for the stoppages and penalties elude me as yet.  I do know that if one player is off the ice because of a penalty, and there are 5 skaters v 4 (excluding netminders) for two minutes, this is called a powerplay.  If there is a score, then the penalised team is restored to full strength.  My first clip caught an example of this, the game’s first goal as Jets took the lead.  0-1

The pass is from Doug Sheppard, and the scorer is Darius Pliskauskas with just over 7 minutes gone.  Nicky Chinn was the Bison in the sinbin, for “icing”, whatever that is.  The match was pretty even – with 7m49 left in the period Slough netminder Gregg Rockman made a great stop from a one-on-one break, Chinn took a different penalty (for hooking) and then there was a flashpoint behind the net that sent one player from each side for two minutes of quiet contemplation.  Ryan Watt (Jets) and Tony Redmond (Bison) were the guilty slashing parties, with the former getting two further minutes for the initial trip.  The equaliser came from the powerplay with less than 3m to go in the period.  Joe Miller scored from an acute angle and the score was deserved on the balance of play.  There was time for Chinn to fit in his third penalty of the evening and he used his two minutes to stick pins into a model of the referee.  At least that’s what I assume.  1-1 at the end of the first period

Ryan Watt put Jets back into the lead after a minute of the second period, assisted by Dan Davies.  1-2

With the clock showing 15m42s left of the period, Plinkauskas was the next person to create a powerplay opportunity for the other side.  The call was cross-checking, but I couldn’t distinguish it myself from tripping, hooking or pontificating.  I suppose these officials know what they are doing.  Within seconds the scores were level.  It has been credited to Daniel Volrab but it was an unusual goal in that his shot was deflected up and over the netminder in a gentle loop before dropping behind the line.  2-2

Three minutes later Bison lost the puck in … right midfield, midrink, midcourt, whatever … and Watt sped away with it and passed to Pliskauskas, who finished neatly with a powerful shot across netminder Stephen Wall.  2-3

After two minutes of 4-on-4 (slashing again, I am told) Bison equalised.  Even I could appreciate the timing and pace of Viktor Kubenko’s pass inside the defence to Tony Redmond who duly finished.  Six minutes to go in the period.  3-3

Here’s a clip, which opens with Rockman’s third save in quick succession as Bison pressed, and ends with 1m20s on the clock.  3-3 at the end of the second period

At some point after the end-of-period buzzer, another penalty was called against each side.  Roughing and high sticks respectively.  Pliskaskas got out in time to assist Watt to give Jets the lead yet again with 14m28s to go.  3-4

With six minutes left, and seconds after I had stopped filming, Marcel Petran smacked in a shot from distance for the fourth equaliser of the night.  4-4

Here is some third period action in two clips.  The period ended with Bison on the attack, frequent restarts, and Dan Davies bizarrely getting a penalty with five seconds left that would give Bison a powerplay for the start of overtime.  4-4 at the end of the third period

As it happens, Jets saw that powerplay out easily enough.  Here’s a clip from the 5 minutes of overtime.  Bison had the better of the territorial stats but no-one could find a goal.  4-4 at the end of overtime

I accidentally pressed stop so my coverage of the shootout is split across two clips.  Bison win on penalties

People that know about these things gave the honours to Kurt Reynolds (Bison) and Ryan Watt (Jets).
A snippet from the programme

From The Newcomers Guide to Ice Hockey (Thank you!)

“The puck must enter the attack zone (beyond the blue line) ahead of any of the attacking players.  It’s really as simple as that.”

I watched an entire game without realising there was any kind of rule of this type at all, so that’s progress for me.
What Next?
Watch @GrahamYapp on Twitter for any announcements.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Police Called to Shootout in Sussex

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 28 January 2012 at The Jubilee Ground
Three Bridges 2 Gresley 2 after extra time
Gresley win 7-6 on penalties
FA Vase Round 4 replay
#449 on the lifetime list and I am here, as is @TravellingFan, to continue the unfinished business from last week’s Derbyshire draw.
This match in one sentence
In a close and occasionally controversial game, ten-man Three Bridges took the lead in the second half of extra time but could not hold on, and the visiting captain saved the fourteenth penalty of the shootout.
So what?
Three Bridges win a lot of friends, but it is Gresley that go into the last 16 with an away tie at St Ives Town of the United Counties League.  Three Bridges now have a league fixture pile-up but enough games in hand to go to the top if they can win them all.
Something random
Elvis Gresley (see last week’s post) was in attendance.
The drama unfolds
We had a better surface and no disruptive wind today, but Gresley started where they had left off last week and it took an astonishing save by Simon Lehkyj after 10 minutes to keep the game scoreless.  He dived with a strong left arm to divert over a shot from Marc Goodfellow.  An immediate second save at full stretch was irrelevant due to an offside flag but Lehkyj would not have known that.

My scene-setting clip, starting at 15 minutes in, ended up telling the story of a critical part of the game.  Camera, Action!  Three Bridges are in gold-and-black.

To sum up, Three Bridges had settled and were starting to create goalmouth action of their own.  However, Goodfellow got to the byline before being fouled by James Grant (make a note of that) for a penalty.  Both players, and one other from the home side picked up yellows for the altercation that followed, before Lehkyj saved Royce Turville’s spotkick.  All this and still 0-0.

Gresley had chances – another Goodfellow shot over the bar, a Turville header – before Three Bridges took the lead.  A deflected shot fell into the path of the unmarked Tim Rivers who had time to write his autobiography, “How I scored twice in successive games against Gresley”, before planting a shot in the bottom right corner with half an hour gone.  1-0

We then had an unusual stoppage.  All I can say for certain is that there was a conversation between Lehkyj, his captain Nigel Brake and the ref.  The ref had a word with the home bench.  Someone from the home bench came over to speak with the Gresley supporters immediately behind Lehkyj’s goal.  The implication was that someone had “crossed a line” but I couldn’t say more than that.  The home official was not well received by the Ambassadors for Gresley, it has to be said, but then someone from the visitors’ bench popped over for a word.  I wandered over in that direction for the rest of the half, which was then curiously “flat” and not altogether pleasant, apart from an immediate yellow card for Bridges’ Charlie Cooke and yet another brilliant save by Lekhyj just before the interval.  1-0 at half-time

After an intriguing and partially amusing announcement along the lines that there would be no alcohol outside the bar, "an FA ruling because of what happened in the first half ... that includes the man walking past me with a pint in his hand!" we started the game again.  Gresley pressed again from the restart.  Their first chance fell to full-back Jordi Gough and was reported as a UFO by a British Airways pilot taking off from Gatwick.  It was almost three-quarters of the way through the game before the scores were level.  Before that, Three Bridges should have gone two ahead but a Gresley defender made an important block.  Here’s a clip.

Then that man Lehkyj made a superb save to tip over a shot from Dean Oliver, but injured himself in the process.  He decided to continue but Turville’s header from the resulting corner was right in the corner and he had no chance this time.  1-1

Three Bridges hit back and Abu Touray shot narrowly over.  The referee, who had a busy afternoon all round, appeared to give a penalty to the home side before spotting that the assistant had flagged for an earlier offside.  Home hearts sank further as Lehkyj left the pitch to be replaced by Rob Woodward, who immediately made a nervy clearance before making a good block with his legs.  It was good to see Gary Hateley make a point of coming across to shake the hand of his opposite number.

My three clips from this half have Gresley on the attack just as the police are arriving to keep an eye on us, Three Bridges hitting the bar, and Three Bridges on the attack as the whistle goes to send us into extra time and wipe out my chances of an evening ice hockey game!  1-1 after 90 minutes

The first half of extra time was uneventful except for a second yellow card for a certain James Grant of Three Bridges, so they duly went down to ten men as the red card was waved.  1-1 after 105 minutes

This clip shows how Three Bridges took the lead early in the second period with a goal by Touray.  Cue celebrations!  2-1

The next clip starts with an astronomical diversion as the twilight deepened and the planets are exposed.  Venus, looking like a very bright star, is just to the left of the tree as we look, The Moon looks like The Moon, and then the second slightly less bright “star” as I pan left and slightly up is in fact the planet Uranus.  Fortunately, I remember where I am in time to cover the corner leading to substitute Rob Spencer’s dramatic equaliser.  I claim the world’s first www coverage of an FA Vase goal and Uranus in the same clip.  2-2

Normally I’d go straight to the shootout but I’ll insert two clips for you to make your own judgements.  I was filming in case of a late, late winner.  Firstly, Joel O’Hara of Three Bridges fouls Danny Holmes who reacts strongly before getting up and waving away attempts to apologise.  Secondly, a few moments later Holmes is booked himself for a horrible tackle from behind.  From a distance, I thought it was on O’Hara (but will happily correct the post if I turn out to be wrong).  2-2 after 120 minutes

To the shootout.  The first four penalties were all good, with Gresley shooting first.  Here’s the rest, which ends with the last word once again going to Honeymoon Hateley.  One Gresley player even seems to offer the chance to Hateley to take his kick!  I hope Charlie Cooke will quickly get over his moment of despair.  Gresley win 7-6 on penalties


Hard to look beyond the two goalkeepers, who decided the outcomes of this game.  A sympathy vote to Simon Lekhyj whose work both last week and this got us to the extra-time and penalties.  However, it’s a results-driven industry and the well-tanned Gary “Honeymoon” Hateley gets the nod for his last game-winning touch.
A snippet from the programme
From the coverage of last Saturday’s draw:
“Despite the very windy conditions, both sides contributed to a cracking cup-tie, although at times we found ourselves with a rearguard action and were indebted to great performances in the heart of our defence by Andy Howard and Callum Donaghey, a couple of crucial last ditch tackles/clearances by Charlie Cooke and Nigel Brake and a breathtaking goalkeeping display by Simon Lekhyj… Lekhyj proved the hero more than once in the final minutes, but Hateley also made crucial late saves to deny Touray and Brake to take us into today’s replay.”
What I learned today
Gresley are developing a consistent record in this competition – if defeat comes their way, I hope that a small tanked-up proportion of their excellent travelling support won’t spoil the day.  They are a resilient side playing good football and well worth following.
What Next?
No idea!  Follow the @GrahamYapp twitterfeed for details.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Lions Use Their Escape Claws at Leicester

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 21 January 2012 at the John Sandford Sports Centre, Leicester
Leicester Riders 75 Milton Keynes Lions 77
British Basketball League
I am here because of its proximity to my earlier hop to Gresley, and I reckon this is the 10th venue on my lifetime courthopping list.  For historical reasons, Lions are the BBL team that I follow more than any other.
This match in one sentence
Riders will be rueing their sluggish start, otherwise Lions would not have had chance for the penultimate play that took the points in front of a sellout crowd.
So what?
This was only the second defeat of the season for the home side.  They are 3rd on 8-2 while the Lions are in mid-table with a 6-7 record.
The drama unfolds
In the words of a Riders supporter during the first period, “We’re getting killed here.  This will be a cricket score.”  Both teams have signed veterans to steady their ships recently – first appearances for Robert Youngblood for MK and Yorick Williams for Riders.  Both are well known to BBL watchers.  Youngblood’s first points were a slam-dunk that got the Lions fans to their feet.  Demarius Bolds and Howard Crawford were again very solid, and Nuno Pedroso looked comfortable as the visitors went to a nineteen point at the end of the first quarter.  This is almost unheard of, and this clip has the closing minutes.  Lions are in yellow.  10-29 at the end of Q1

Lions got into foul trouble in the second, rapidly running up a 0-5 foul count with 6m30 left and giving Riders lots of opportunities from the free-throw line, as well as slowing the game down.  A personal foul was called against an incensed Lions’ Bolds, always the centre of attention and leading to a few minutes on the bench and a few wise words from the assistant coach in his ear.  Riders gradually reeled the Lions in and the first half finished on a ten-point margin, down from sixteen only two minutes earlier.  The clip again has the closing moments.  35-45 at the end of Q2

My third clip came earlier in the period, finishing with 6 minutes to go and the score at 42-51, still a nine-point margin after an even phase of the game.  Lions called a timeout with 3m50 to go and the score at 48-53 as the tide was definitely turning.  Riders got as close as two before Bolds seized a rebound and then drove the whole length of the court for two, and Pedroso scored just before the buzzer to make the margin six points.  Nevertheless, Lions were looking nervous and Riders were looking confident.  Rob Paternostro, the Riders coach (whom I last saw being animated and passionate for Birmingham Bullets a few years ago) was, er, animated and passionate again.  56-63 at the end of Q3

MK slowed the play much more than I have seen them do at home this season.  One pass inside from Youngblood to Crawford was faster than anything seen all evening and got gasps of appreciation.  With eight minutes to go, it was 60-67.  Lions had another timeout at 66-70 with seven on the clock, and there was no score for another minute.  However, Riders’ execution was better and they got to within one score again with a full five minutes left, at 68-71.  Here’s a fourth-quarter clip.

Lions still led by four at the three-minute mark but the final clip tells the story of an astonishing last minute.  The first score in the clip is a steal leading to a drive and two by Cameron Rundles, and so Riders took the lead for the first time in the game at 75-74.  The final score shows the ball being worked to the right for Adrien Sturt to drop in a three, as calm as you like, leaving time for only one play which the Lions were able to repel.  One of the best climaxes to a game that I have seen.  You were fortunate, Lions, but I guess you’ll take the road win.  Final score 75-77

Despite that closing three from Adrien Sturt, I have to choose Daniel Northern of MK Lions.  Not only 16 points, but also 18 rebounds.
A snippet from the programme
Flinder Boyd explains his unexpected departure from Riders in a letter to the fans …

“I wanted to thank you for welcoming me back for my second stint in Leicester.  I’m going to miss being a part of the club, but my departure isn’t basketball-related, it’s for personal reasons.”

Well, that’s cleared that up, then.
What I learned today
Driving in Leicester when you don’t quite know where you are going could officially be described as “interesting”.  I still refuse to have a satnav.  It’s much more social to have other drivers shouting helpful advice.
What Next?
Not sure, watch @GrahamYapp on Twitter for details, but definitely thinking about Three Bridges v Gresley on Saturday next in Sussex for an FA Vase replay.

Drawing in Derbyshire

Pew-type fittings to ensure equal width allocation for the bums-on-seats
The faithful have arrived and the pews are packed

This is a step 5 mascot called Elvis Gresley.  Class.

Between songs, Gresley fans offer encouragement to the visiting goalkeeper.
Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 21 January 2012 at The Moat Ground
Gresley 1 Three Bridges 1 after extra time
FA Vase Round 4
Both these clubs are title-chasing in their step 5 leagues – the Midland Alliance and the Sussex Division One respectively – and Three Bridges in particular have a ridiculous number of games in hand now.
Venue #448 on the lifetime list and I am here because Gresley were the first unvisited and reachable home club to declare “game definitely on” on my Twittery timeline.  Quasi-randomish rather than truly random, but that’s life.  Nice to meet up with Steven aka @TheTravellingFan for the first time so you can catch his take on the game from the link on the right.
This match in one sentence
Gresley had the better of the game and the weather conditions after a disastrous start, but Three Bridges are no pushovers and it will be a fascinating replay.
So what?
The replay is next Saturday, and the winner will go into the last sixteen.
The drama unfolds
Gresley goalkeeper Gary Hateley had missed two games for a honeymoon.  His understudy Tom Gutteridge had two clean sheets but nevertheless the man with the David Dickinson tan was back.  He had a nightmare start – he brought down Abu Touray to concede a penalty after only five minutes.  Fortunately Touray was heading away from goal otherwise he might have had a red card too.  Tim Rivers slotted home the penalty.  0-1

My scene-setter clip catches a header by Gresley’s Michael Nottingham and the sterling work of the raffle-ticket seller in the background.  Gresley are in red.

The locals were unhappy at their side’s poor showing in the first twenty minutes, and they did not look like a side who could have despatched King’s Lynn and Gornal Athletic from this season’s competition.  They gradually turned up as the half went on.  James Jepson turned up on the left and his cross was beaten out by Simon Lehkyj in the Three Bridges’ goal.  Both Mark Goodfellow and Dean Oliver had efforts blocked in quick succession.  My second clip is from just after the half-hour, a half-chance again for Gresley.

They were so nearly level after 40 minutes, as Goodfellow’s low driven cross only just eluded Royce Turville and Rob Spencer coming in.  Three Bridges held on until the break.  0-1 at half-time

The blustery conditions worsened to order over the interval and if Gresley had made the original choice of ends then their captain is a genius.  Or a meteorologist. The equaliser that had been coming duly arrived after 50 minutes as Spencer fashioned an unmissable chance for Turville from 8 metres directly in front of goal.  1-1

Three Bridges thought they had equalised almost immediately but, as my American friends would say, there was a flag on the play.  It was a lino’s, for offside.  The game settled into a windswept regular pattern.  Gresley pressing and looking likely to score with Jepson prominent in midfield, and Three Bridges looking potentially dangerous on the break but never quite finding the right final ball.  Here are a couple of clips.

Lehkyj distinguished himself by doing just enough to claw the ball away, more than once.  One such occasion, together with an unsuccessful appeal for a pen, is caught on the next clip.

There were no more goals, so we went to extra time.  1-1 at 90 minutes

Gresley continued in the same direction for the first period.  Here are three short clips to sum up.  A Gresley shot goes high and wide.  Tim Rivers hits the bar to remind everyone that Three Bridges are still around.  A Gresley shot goes closer.

However, there were no goals.  Had Gresley missed their best chance? They now had to face a final fifteen minutes facing the wind.  1-1 after 105 minutes

To their credit, Gresley did manage some attacks during this time, but Honeymoon Hateley had the final say with a double save, as shown on this final clip.  1-1 at the end of extra time

All this counts for nothing as we move to Sussex next week.  On the final final whistle, a Gresley player kicked the ball away in frustration and a Three Bridges player punched the air.  All to play for.
A snippet from the programme
The progamme is called “Taken as Red” and this blogger approves of that for a start.  The chairman thanks Harry Southern in an insight into how clubs run at this level …

“It takes a lot of hard work to run the Social Club and I can consider myself lucky having Harry at the club.  Unpaid for over thirty years, thanks from the board and the supporters, Harry, I take my hat off to you.”
What Next?
A quick sprint to Leicester for some British Basketball League courthopping action – Leicester Riders v MK Lions.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Storm over Hertfordshire

A seven-foot drama student in a meerkat suit makes a highly effective Goal Keeper (GK),
or failing that, a team mascot
Rachel Dunn nails another one for Storm

Unlike my recent ice hockey tangents, this was the nearest we got to a fight all evening
To play in the centre, you have to be both fit and flexible
Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Thursday 19 January at University of Hertfordshire Sports Village, Hatfield
Hertfordshire Mavericks 47 Surrey Storm 62
Netball Superleague
My first ever visit to a netball match, so this goes at #1 on my new Courthopping list.  I am here because of a school trip – the young netball players of St Paul’s Walden School (hello everybody, this is what I do when I am not counting your dinner money) were here en masse with parents and friends.  I only hope that Assistant Coach Mansfield of Surrey Storm will still be speaking to me if she ever reads this!
This match in one sentence
After a close first quarter and a fairly close second, Surrey Storm imposed themselves in the first few minutes of the third and the result was never in doubt from that point on.
So what?
Much too early to say with certainty as this is the first game of a new season, but they should be chuffed to bits in Surrey with this win.
Something random

Fair play to the Sky TV presenter who involved the young supporters before conducting the post-match interview.  Looks to me like they had a great time.
The drama unfolds
I have captured four clips, one from each quarter, to give a sense of the occasion.  The first quarter was keenly contested, and very even for most of it, with Storm just beginning to edge away to a 10-13 lead as it ended.  Here are the final moments.  Surrey Storm are in the pale blue - some would say turquoise.

In the second, Mavericks pressed hard to get on level terms but Storm coped with the demands and in the end doubled their lead to go in 22-28 up at the midpoint of the game.  Again, here are the closing moments of the quarter.

Whatever was said to the Surrey side at half-time had an effect.  They raced to an eleven-point lead in no time at all and frankly from that point on, the result looked never in doubt.  Some people around me who had clearly played the game purred with pleasure at some of the moves.  They finished the quarter sixteen up at 34-50.  Here’s the clip.

If Mavericks were going to do anything to retrieve this, they had to work fast, so my final clip comes from early in the fourth where they held their own.  However the damage had been done and the final margin was fifteen, at 47-62.

For the inexperienced observer (me) it was hard not to notice the scoring percentage of Storm GS Rachel Dunn.  The official PoM award went to Storm’s Becky Trippick, and I can’t argue with that.  She wins a bunch of flowers and a giant box of biscuits to work off in the gym before next time.

A snippet from the programme
Karen Atkinson, former England captain and head coach for the Mavericks, answers a question about the exodus of top players to the ANZ league.

“I am in favour of the National Squad players going to play in the ANZ… it is the best league in the world and the only way they can replicate the pressures of competing in test matches against Australia and New Zealand … we are still striving to have every single game (in this league) played at the highest intensity under extreme pressure in order to replicate international matches.”
What I learned today - *Tongue-in-Cheek Alert*
I have never before watched a game of serious netball, so here for the previously uninformed are some quick headline points to keep you in that state.  I might be a bit confused about some of the fine detail.

The match has four quarters, which is good, as it means they won’t need to change the name.  Each is fifteen minutes in length.  Four quarters make a whole, and I have just written myself into one.  There is one point for a goal, when the ball goes through the hoop.  The pitch is divided into thirds with a semicircle at each end and a smaller circle to mark the centre.  The centre circle would be a good name for this.

There are seven players on the court at any given time.  All are labelled with a position that carries with it certain rules and restrictions.  For example the GS (goal shooter) plays in the forward third, and can go and hang around under the basket in the semicircle while the other players exhaust themselves trying to get the ball to her.  The Goal Attack (GA) is also allowed in there and the GS pretends to look pleased when the GA gets lots of goals too.  They are the only ones allowed to score.

Very few people are allowed in the magic semicircle.  Not even the Sky cameraman.
Or even Rupert Murdoch.
A player or two from the opposition either with the label GK (goalkeeper) and GD (goal defence) will be trying to stop the GS and the GA from scoring.  This involves standing on tiptoe but falling over just in time to allow the shot to proceed.  Sadly, the GK does not wear giant comedy gloves like they do in football.  The authorities need to consider this.

The Wing Attack (WA) can go in the central and attacking thirds except for the semicircle, presumably because GA and GS would sulk. The Wing Defence (WD) will be trying to stop the WA or in fact anyone from going anywhere.  There is also a C (centre) who is undoubtedly some kind of fitness freak who can go anywhere she likes except for the magic semicircles, preferably at speeds just short of a motorbike, but never on one.

There are complicated rules about feet but everyone seems to know what they are so that’s fine.  Basically you can only move around when you don't have the ball.  When you have the ball, you pivot on one foot like a demented flamingo for up to two-and-a-half seconds.  You have three seconds to pass the ball, or else something terrible will happen.  After each goal the game restarts from the centre.  Somebody must know the rule about which team restarts.  There's also a rule about the ball having to be caught in each third as it goes up and down, so no lobbing it hopefully from one end to the other.

There are two referees called umpires.  They get upset about contact but no-one gives them a hard time.  This is very refreshing, it has to be said.  There are no line judges, but fifteen people sit at nearby tables keeping count and working out all the stats.  Another hundred and fifteen televise the match for Sky.  No fights, no Zambonis, but all good.

All joking apart, enormous respect to these two teams who put on a great spectacle, well received by a sizeable, young and enthusiastic crowd with several school parties.  The game is fast at this level.  I gradually learned to watch the build-up play as well as the shots.  Compared with basketball, there is less variation in the actual way in which the ball goes through the hoop.  Therefore there is more to appreciate about the way in which the teams get the ball into the shooting semicircle to create the scoring opportunity.  It is a pass-and-move game requiring physical speed and speed of thought.

Great stuff – I love competitive live sport between teams that are enjoying what they are doing, and I got a programme too so I am a happy hopper.  Recommended for a family sporting night out.
What Next?
Back to footy on Saturday, and, weather permitting, an FA Vase game somewhere random, or if weather is dodgy, somewhere close to Hertfordshire.  Could even be some basketball or ice hockey thrown in – I’m on a sporting roll, and look out for more tangents later on this year including some more courthopping and a pilgrimage.  Announcements appear from @GrahamYapp on Twitter along with other random stuff.