After a bit of a rest, the Hampshire Team Series returned today with round 1 held in a new location at Fleming Park instead of the usual spot in St Marys.
It looks like some gentle pushing of the event on Facebook had helped with a good turn out for the “regular” teams (Southampton University, Southampton City, Fleming Park, Priory and Summit) and first appearances from Winchester University and Matsumachi. With Priory fielding 2 teams I think this was the first time we had to split the entry into pools. We were drawn in a pool with Matsumachi, Southampton City, and Summit with the other pool made up of the 2 Priory teams, Winchester University and Fleming Park.
We kicked off with a 3 – 1 victory over Southampton City, with some nicely performed techniques from all concerned. We followed up with a 4-1 victory over Matsumachi and 3-1 win against Summit to finish up the winner of our pool with Southampton City in 2nd place. In the other pool the 2 Priory teams came out on top.
Having got fully into their stride, the team took a convincing victory against Priory 2 in the semi final including a nice ippon hold for James who was mixing it with the heavyweights while still recovering from a nasty cold.
Priory 1 took the other semi final ahead of Southampton City, setting up a Southampton University vs Priory 1 final. As both the teams have previously won the series, it was always going to be a close match.
Matthias and his opposite number kicked things off and immediately showed how the match was going to go, as both players put yuko and waza-ari scores on the board. Eventually however Priory were the first to convert the scores to ippon and took a 1-0 lead. Not happy with that, Ignas went out and very purposefully equaled things up scoring ippon in a few seconds with a nice clean sumi-gaeshi.
With the score even at 1-1, Andre was up and shrugging off an ankle injury from the semi final he found himself in another close match but persevered to take an early waza-ari lead. The contest continued in a very close manner with both players trying everything but struggling to score. Unfortunately a committed uchi mata attempt from Andre was judged to have been a dangerous head dive and he was disqualified leaving Priory leading 2-1.
That left James in the position he had feared as he faced his strongest opposition of the day. He got stuck in however and we were shouting huge encouragement as he countered a weak attack with a hold. Unfortunately the Priory player proved too strong, escaping and setting up a strong ippon throw to give Priory the victory for the first round of the series.
Final results :
- Priory 1
- Southampton University
- Southampton City/Priory 2
Well done to Matthias, Ignas, Andre and James for a great display of judo, and big thanks to the support of the other teams and officials for making it a good afternoon’s entertainment for everyone.
We will be losing some players before the next round in February so if you fancy a fun introduction to judo competition, watch this space!