On Saturday 2nd of March Bangor’s Dodge Ball team embarked on an epic adventure. Their first competition, Dodge Smash, was held in Birmingham. No one was keen on a 6 o’clock start so blankets and pillows were essential supplies until they reached Birmingham.
A tough first match against one of the best teams, the Manchester Bees, didn’t help the team’s confidence. They lost (2-14) but Bangor were still so buzzed to talk tactics to make sure they improved.
In their second game they picked up the pace and managed to score some points but lost (3-9). They showed some grit and determination and things started to go their way. Would they continue to focus on improving and put up an even better fight next game?
A few tough oppositions later and they still weren’t up a single point, but they gained a lot of experience and knowledge.
After a few games against some tough opposition and numerous line faults, they eventually got led to a decent game. A number of hard-earned bruises in this game with their players injuring their wrist in the process (don’t worry, he’s fine). Once again, they fell short losing (12-0). The stand out moments were from their captain Tom showing some great movement to dodge those balls flying towards him.
An amusing highlight shortly afterwards was Tom getting faked out by an opposition without a ball! The rest of the team put up a fight against one of the tournament favourites. It wasn’t enough as they fell a brutal (18-0).
Soon enough it was the big one – Bangor rivals, Aberystwyth. Alex, Kieran, Anand and Rory worked on taking down the opposition whilst Tom and Adam keeping their eyes peeled for some solid catches. After some inspiring dodging skills, they took the game 9-3, this was their first ever official victory and it couldn’t be any sweeter. Onto their final two games.
They took a win against Aberystwyth and built upon it with a warrior-like performance against Derby. Every game coming down to the wire with the overall result tied at 4-4. A game changing catch by Lisa really helped turn the tides as energy was in short supply at this point. Could they continue this form into our final game against the home team?
They saved the best ‘til last, facing off against the tournament favourites, with little energy they had left, they fought as hard as they could but Birmingham’s affinity for catching couldn’t be beat.
In the end they finished with a record of 1-1-7, a score that saved them from last place and is more than they could have asked for considering it was their first tournament. The high spirits, ability to adapt and the determination of the team was something that scores can’t accurately represent and are not to be underestimated.
Congratulations to the University of Birmingham for winning the event. Until next time!