I may have mentioned before that I am part of the Winchester Goalball club. To understand what Goalball is go to Goalball UK’s website: www.goalballuk.com
Early Saturday morning I was up and getting ready for the second tournament this season, this time luckily for me it was only in Reading. I usually travel the day before.
We arrived within plenty of time at the venue and remembering that it was always freezing I wore approximately four layers of clothing. The first game for our club was our younger novices. I found it quite hard watching the game, I now feel for the parents and supporters who accompany our team to tournaments.
The time came for me to go on court, reluctantly I removed the fleece and club hoody that I was wearing revealing my match shirt displaying the number six. Looking back on the games they now seemed as though they passed in a flash but I know when on court depending how the game is going- weather you’re winning or losing they will either be painfully slow or no sooner has the whistle blown to indicate the start of the game it is over. I don’t remember ever attending a tournament and winning our first game on court until now J (score 6-4) This set the ball rolling for the rest of the day.
When Winchester Kings weren’t playing we supported the Winchester Knights (younger novice team) The time soon came for our second game of the tournament, I am going to explain one of the rules of the game now- feel free to read on if you’re a fellow goalball player as you’ll already know this. One of the many rules in the game is that if you are winning 10 goals above the opposition know matter what time is left on the clock you win the match. As a team in the past we have experienced the feeling of being thrashed by 10 goals, it is a feeling of devastation and is hard to dust yourselves down from. This time we played so well that we destroyed the apposing team. We came away with a 13-3 win.
I don’t score at tournaments very often, because of this, every time I do, I look so serious and then when the ball goes in the goal I have the cheesiest grin of surprise on my face. One of the parents observed on Saturday. One of these goals was purely by accident. The centre player passed it to me, I didn’t hear it then just before it went out I suddenly heard the bell in the ball and leapt to my feet and lobbed the ball thinking nothing of it “ah well that’ll go out” It didn’t, it only went in the goal. Complete and absolute surprise as this meant that we had one our game by 10 goals.
The day continued and so did our winning streak, we won our 3rd and 4th games with scores of 6-4 and 8—5. Because the games were so close second and first place of the tournament were equal on points, it then went down to goal difference which was again equal. When this happens to find out the winners of the tournament it is decided by goals scored, we scored 33 compared to 29 goals. A very close end to a fantastic fun day. We came away victorious- winning a gold medal!