Well, we are now three quarters of the way through the competition, the sun is still blazing down, and the competition is hotting up (no pun intended). There have been some surprises during the matches, but more of that later. Also, the silly old bloggers have put together a surprise competition, which you can enter via the website. First correct answer will get a prize. Attendees at the tournament, their families and friends are not allowed to enter. This is for those unfortunate enough to be at home in the rain and cold. Perhaps something to do as the nights get longer. The teams only have two games each today, so there is a lot of time between games for all but the spectators.
First game today: GB Ladies versus Spain. The current world and European Champions looked a little out of sorts this morning. The Spanish Ladies took the lead early on, and GB were always playing catch-up. The final score, 3 – 3, was probably a fair representation of the game, but GB can do better.
Next up was the U21 Mens game against the French. The spectators were fearful of this game, but not the players. Possibly the best GB game of the weekend, the boys took the lead against the tournament favourites, leading 4 – 2 halfway through the second half. All players were working hard, then a shot at the French goal, a save, and a sprint, and the French were behind 4 – 3. Then another sprint, 4 – 4. GB did not give up, but one well worked goal, and another break gave the French the win by 4 – 6.
The men’s game against the Swiss, the GB men won the match 6 – 4. The half-time score was 4 – 3. However, due to one of many ECA administrative problems, the match was voided, and was replayed again at the end of the day. This means that the GB teams have started the competition under floodlights, before the sun came up, and have now also played under floodlights, after the sun has gone down again, albeit on different days.
The pre-lunch game saw the GB U21 Ladies playing Spain. The final score was 3 – 1 to the girls, with Nicole punching the air after scoring the third. The Spanish girls were very disappointed in a very Latin fashion.
In the Charles Dickens book “A Tale of Two Cities”, the first words are: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” How apt for the Mens U21 team. Following the close, entertaining games against the Germans, Italians and this morning, the French, this afternoon they played the Spanish U21 team, and lost 2 – 4 in what can only be described as a very poor game for the lads.
GB Ladies beat France 6 – 2 in a pretty much one-sided match. The ladies were focussed, and went for the match from the very start. The French must have wondered what hit them!
U21 Ladies lost to Poland 4 – 5 in a very close, end to end game. However the girls had done enough to progress through to the semi finals.
GB Men then played Italy Men, Gianluca et al. A really physical affair, the men were really up for this, with strong performances from them all. A 5-3 win for GB left us thinking that they were now in the semi finals, with a game to play. But, as mentioned above, the organisers struck, voiding the earlier game against the Swiss, and so it was all still to play for.
Because of the varies of the structure, The men had to play France again, but with the crucial game for progression to the semis being the re-scheduled Swiss match, the men could be forgiven for taking their foot off the pedal a little, but keeping their focus. The French won by 9 goals to 2.
Half an hour after the French game ended, on again paddled the GB Men. The sun had set, the floodlights were on, and the Men were psyched up for this night time encounter. If the GB Men were to win, then they would be in the semis.
The atmosphere was electric, with British and Swiss Spectators filling the stand and making lots of noise. Lots of other spectators (neutrals) were also there for this match.
This was another end to end game, with GB leading 3 – 2 at half time. The Swiss scored to level the match 3 – 3, but GB went on to win this late night encounter 4 – 3, and to go through to the semi-finals and a match on Sunday morning against the Germans.
So, a very long day for all involved, with a variety of emotions, and a lot to look back on later.
And…..it’s the final tonight of the player’s Where’s Wally Competition. Don’t know who is in the lead, but Jack went out secretly last night to do a reccy of the area.
Note: this was put on hold – as the teams got back to the hotel so late.
Now for the Silly Old Bloggers Competition:
Who am I?
I was born in Buckie, Scotland, several years ago.
I have an in depth knowledge of splitting the willow and tossing the caber.
I went to school up there, and college at the Institute of Advanced Spoon Bending in Aberdeen. Kicked off the course in Natural Philosophy.
I worked for a submerged communication company before moving away from the Granite City.
I am of indeterminate age.
My parents came from Whitley Bay and Enfield, and moved north for work in lighting.
My star sign is Aquarius.
I hate public transport.
The prize? That’s under consideration – it depends upon the mystery person co-operating once they find out that we are writing about them………
The GB Spectators
(New Shot Clock?) (A skinned lion)