For Lions second home match of the 2018/19 season we played hosts to Exeter City 2, with the game marking the first ever competitive meeting between the sides. Exeter had been promoted into SWKL1 for the first time, after winning the SWKL2 title last season. As is usual when playing against a team for the first time, both sides started cautiously, attempting to work each other out.
After an exchange of goals and the first change of ends at 1-1, Lions took control, quickly moving into a lead that they were to never relinquish. The rest of the half was dominated by Gloucester, with goals coming from across the starting 8, plus the changers, who to an individual, came on and rapidly established themselves in the match. Half-time score was an commanding 14-4 to the Lions.
The second half continued in a similar vein, with all 8 changes being utilised by Captain Tom, ensuring that the Lions remained on top throughout. Whilst the number of second half goals was less than the first, victory had never been in doubt; final score 25-7 to Lions, their third win on the bounce. The goals were evenly spread across most of the squad of 12, whilst those not registering much on the score sheet (Tom, Lois & Emma), topping the assist stats. Top scorer was Leni with a fantastic five. MVPs were Leni and birthday boy Petr.
Team: Tom (c), Stu, Lois, Leni; James F, James B, Hannah R, Emma; Ben, Petr, Kate, Jen
Gloucester Lions 2nds 1st game of the 2018 / 19 season saw them travel to Thornbury for Super Sunday, to take on Exeter Uni 2nds. 7 of the starting 8 were players from last season with the addition of Martin Munro making his 2nd team debut. Lions started quite well and could have taken the lead, but a missed penalty from captain Dave Kinghorn proved costly as Exeter Uni raced into a 4-0 lead.
Gloucester Lions looked rusty and Exeter Uni as expected had plenty of energy, Ash Imm who was making his Lions return just over 3 years after breaking his leg during a game came on as an injury replacement for James Gavaghan and did well for a player who hasn’t played in so long. Another 1st half substitution saw Liam Fletcher make his Lions debut, congrats Liam and well played.
Laura Willoughby revelling in her new role as vice-captain led from the front getting the Lions on the score sheet, Lions also had 3 goals disallowed in the opening half meaning that at half time the Lions found themselves 5-1 down.
2nd half for the lions started better and Laura Willoughby definitely had her shooting boots on, 5 goals in total for Laura and 1 disallowed, great going for the 1st game of the season! Exeter Uni just seemed to have so much energy and their movement caused Gloucester some problems, Shelly Hampshire and Martin Munro had great games at their end for the Lions and both were named MVPs. Big shout out also to Hannah Clarke and Kat Tily, as we had no female subs all4 ladies had to play the whole game and all 4 played well.
Towards the end of the game Gloucester Lions opted for a bit more of a let’s just go for it approach, it didn’t really work although it did force Exeter into a couple of errors and give Gloucester some more shooting opportunities. Alex Hamilton putting up some great shots towards the end and Dave Kinghorn finding the basket once. In the end missed penalties and disallowed goals were the difference between the 2 sides, with Exeter Uni coming out as winners, 8 – 6. Lots for the Lions 2nd to work on and some elements to be proud of. We move on to Exeter 3rds next looking to get back to winning ways.
Team: Dave K (c), James G, Laura W, Kate T, Martin M, Alex H, Shelly H, Hannah C
Gloucester Lions 1 commenced their 2018-19 South West Korfball League 1 campaign at home against Taunton 2. The previous three competitive meetings between the sides had seen the Lions victorious on all occasions. The early season cobwebs were clear to see from both sides, with lots of single shot attacks and Lions being buzzed out on the shot-clock after a couple of early attacks. Both sides finally found their shooting boots, trading goals to see a 3-3 score halfway through the first half. Lions then inched ahead by two goals, which they were to not relinquish for the rest of the game. Despite Lions veteran Lois Haddock suffering an injury and having to be substituted off, the team went into the half-time break with an 8-3 lead, with substitute Kate Williams more than filling Lois' shoes on the court.
Captain Tom Richards made couple of changes at half-time, introducing Ben Kirby and Jen Huson into the game. The second half was a more free-flowing affair, with Lions all-time top scorer Stu Hall finishing almost at will, with Taunton also finding the korf more regularly. Whilst more goals were traded, the final scoreline reflected a fairly comfortable win for Lions, who were not troubled in the second half by a tenacious Taunton side. All 12 of the match-day squad took to the court, with everyone effectively contributing to the win. Honourable mentions must also go to Lenny Mapp (who socred a brace) and Martin Munro, who both made their Lions 1 debuts, after transferring from Bristol City and Oxford City respectively. MVPs were James Frost and Hannah Richards. Stu top-scored with 6, whilst Kate led the contribution by the ladies with 4.
Team: Tom Richards (c), Stuart Hall, Hannah Richards, Lois Haddock, James Frost, James Baker, Lenny Mapp, Emma Grant, Jen Huson, Kate Williams, Martin Munro
Gloucester Lions 1sts got back to winning ways in this South West 1 League match.
A victory never really looked in doubt after the Lions took an early 2-0 lead and from this point forward the Lions looked comfortable in possession and retained the ball well. The goals were spread across 6 people in the time with Stuart Hall (3) and Hannah Johnson (3) both scoring some nice long range shots.
This victory moves the Lions up to mid table in the South West 1 League and although it looks like they may not be Champions again this year, there is still a lot to play for!
This was a game where Gloucester Lions 2 dominated most of the stats but lost in the one statistic that matters. The performance was much improved from the week before and despite failing to secure their first win of the season there were signs that it won’t be too long before that elusive victory.
The first half saw the Lions retaining possession well, working the feed position and collecting the majority of the re-bounds. Goals from Mike Squire and Kath Watson saw the teams go in level at 2-2 at half time, but the Lions were slightly disappointed not to be in front after a couple of penalty decisions didn’t go their way.
Despite dominating the second half in terms of the number of shots made, the more efficient shooting from Bristol City saw them grind out an 8-3 win. The third Gloucester goal again coming from Mike Squire.
Another great performance from the Gloucester Lions against one of the more established sides in the League. The Lions kept within a few goals of Taunton for most of the match and even pulled within 3 goals in the last few minutes thanks to some timely skill from Hannah Johnson and Ashley Imm who were voted by the opposition the female and male MPVs for this match.
In the end Taunton held out, but Captain Ben Kirby praised the Lions’ performance and noted that the Lions have scored the second most goals of any team in the League so far, only 4 fewer than Horfield who currently lie second. The mood in the Gloucester dressing room is positive and the team are looking to improve their League placing in the next few matches.
Team: Ben Kirby (c) (1), Tom Richards (2), Stuart Hall (4), Ashley Imm (3), Lois Haddock (1), Hannah Johnson (2), Mary Lee (1), Sarah Chopping, Kath Watson (reserve)
MVPs: Hannah Johnson and Ashley Imm
Lions second team succumbed to a last minute flourish from an experienced Taunton Soul’s side, in this close run home fixture at the Severn Vale Sports Centre, Quedgeley. After falling behind early doors, the Lions responded well to a tactical reshuffle, which saw them marking the opposition much tighter and taking the game back to basics. Three minutes from time, the score level at 6 - 6, a deserved draw looked on the cards until Taunton pulled off two stunning distance shots in quick succession.
MVPs: Adam Watson and Sarah Chopping
A focussed and skilful display by the Lions produced their first Regional League win of the season. A double hat-trick from Captain Stuart Hall and five from Hannah Johnson contributed to a clear victory for the home side. The match was fast and physical, with both teams putting in 100% effort in attack and defence, but in the end Oxford’s resistance proved ineffective against the Lions’ superior skill and organisation.
Captain Stuart Hall’s pre-match team talk advised the Lions to relax and enjoy it and a comfortable win certainly provided enjoyment to Gloucester’s team and supporters alike. Tom Richards, Ben Kirby and James Frost added one each to the goal tally, but the whole team should be praised for a great performance, especially James Frost, playing his first full match after returning from injury.
Team: Stuart Hall (c) (6), Ben Kirby (1), James Frost (1), Tom Richards (1), Hannah Johnson (5), Lios Haddock, Mary Lee, Emma Martin
Gloucester Lions 1 started their season with a great performance, only losing out by two goals. The game was hard fought with Lions storming to a two-goal lead. The first half was fast and furious with both teams scoring some excellent goals and keeping the referee on his toes and his whistle busy!
Lions scored a very presentable 11 goals in the match, including a great set play goal from Tom Richards and an unconventional running-in shot from Stuart Hall. Unfortunately, Bristol rallied towards the end of the game and just crept ahead by one goal and with a great long shot right on the final whistle they took the game by two goals. All in all, both teams played excellently and Gloucester Lions were unlucky not to take at least a point from the fixture.
Team: Sarah Chopping, Emma Grant, Hannah Johnson (2), Mary Lee (1), Stuart Hall (5), Ashley Imm (1), Ben Kirby (c), Tom Richards (2), Karina Lang (Sub)
MVPs: Hannah Johnson and Stuart Hall
A close match dominated by good defensive displays was edged by the University team. The Lions opened the scoring with a goal from Kath Watson who exchanged well off the feed to finish neatly. The University replied with two quick goals taking the advantage.
The Lions were working the feed position well, gaining free passes from the over-excited University team playing though the attacking player. Unfortunately they were not able to capitalise due to some good defensive work. Kath Watson continued to combine well with the Lions players in the feed position and her persistence paid off with two further goals coming from exchanges with Russell Flagg in the feed position. The University pulled a goal back to draw level at 3-3 at the half time break.
The Lions came out and dominated the early exchanges, pulling into a 5-3 lead with Katrina Lang scoring a penalty and a superb long shot. The next 10 minutes saw the Lions retain the ball well and keep the score at 5-3. The game changed on the arrival of the University of Bristol big guns. The more experienced additions gained control of the ball and worked the University into a 5-6 lead. The Lions fought hard for the equaliser but they ran out of time and were left disappointed at just missing out on their first points of the season.
Team: Kath Watson (c) (3), Matt Laurence, Gemma Whittaker, Russell Flagg, Julie Parton, Adam Watson, Mike Squire, Katrina Lang (2)
MVPs: Kath Watson and Adam Watson