What a tournament!
Despite the best efforts of the weather forecasters to put people off, the sun shone on the Croydon tournament, all day!
Teams started eagerly arriving from before 9 am, as the Croydonites put out the posts and put the finishing touches to the pitches.
The first matches were set to start at 10.00 and when the control desk hooter sounded, close to 140 people started playing some korf. Refs reffed, players played, spectators cheered. There was lots of Korfball, lots of noise, and lots of people enjoying themselves.
At the end of the morning games, there was a surge towards the BBQ area where the famous Croydon burgers and sausages were on sale again. As the players ate their lunch, the afternoon pools were drawn up and distributed.
With the sun still shining, players again took to the pitches to play some more korf. Teams had travelled from far and wide, including Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Kent, Manchester, West London, and the local Croydon area, as well as 3 teams from the birth place of Korfball - Holland. The teams came to take part, to make friends and to have a great day out; and they weren't disappointed.
After some hard fought, close matches, the grand final of the day was between The Gunthers (from Dutch club Velocitas) and local side Bec. Bec took an early lead, surprising some of the 100s of spectators, but The Gunthers weren't about to give up and fought their way back into the match. From 0-3 down, The Gunthers first drew level and then drew ahead. Bec were making them work for every shot and goal, and it was a tense yet exciting match. In the last few minutes, the score was 6-4 to The Gunthers but Bec scored again, to make the crowd go wild, and to make it go right down to the wire.
Bec didn't score again though, and The Gunthers finished the match 6-5 winners, to retain their title of Croydon Tournament Winners, for the 2nd year running.
In the Under 11 division, the young players in the teams worked hard all day. They played a round robin event, and it was the experienced Kent side Bearsted, who ran out winners.
Overall Winner: The Gunthers
Runners Up: Bec 1
2nd Division Winner: Bec 2
Runners Up: Pure Magic
3rd Division Winner: Croydon Time
Runners Up: Velocitas Mental Ward
4th Division Winner: Reading
Runners Up: Manchester University
Under 11 Winner: Bearsted
Runners Up: Scorpions 1
Next year we hope to return to our home ground of Lloyd Park, for another great tournament, on our usual date of the last Sunday of June.