St Tropez – The Paintball – Sat & Sun
With our plans corrected; we now had Al shooting cross-field from orange to try and give Wade some help to control and dominate d side in most plays; we headed into our Sat game against 2easy Warsaw. These guys must really be getting sick of seeing our faces. It’s just bad luck for them, but in 2010 we played them twice and smashed them up both times, and the same happened in 2011. Either way, you can’t second guess a team like that, just because we’ve beat them before a lot doesn’t mean squat after a long off-season, lots can change. Besides, they came into this event seeded one place above us so on paper are the marginally better team. Turns out paper means shit all. We came out of the game with a 4-2 win, but it seriously felt like we had to work for it! We were at 2-1 up with a couple of minutes left on the clock and managed to get a penalty on our last man. Lost that point obviously and started the next with 4. Our penalty point practice against Relentless the previous weekend paid off once again and we managed to get a quick g to even the bodies and won the point pretty swiftly after that. Went into the last game with 90 seconds on the clock and intended to just hold out, but their guys threw themselves at us and one ended up getting a 2-4-1, automatic point in our favour ended the game there and then. I think that was their strongest showing all weekend, having already dropped their previous two games, and as I say, they really were out to prove something, but just couldn’t manage more than the 2 points in the end.
It’s worth noting that we wouldn’t have came away with the result from that third game without our pit crew and snake side assistance from Relentless plus Tony and Drew from Nexus. It’s always a massive boost to have friends there helping you out and cheering you on when your heads even think about dropping, and even more help to have an old Tigers captain in the pits to offer a word or two of advice and a pat on the back.
Last season we were criticised for not focusing high enough at events, and just setting our goal as making Sunday, rather than expecting Sunday and aiming for the podium; with that in mind we were elated to make Sunday this first event, but made sure that we all knew that the goal wasn’t attained yet and we had to get our heads in it for those knock-out games…
Sunday came ridiculously quickly, mostly because we were up at some silly hour in order to play first game of the day. Got into the pits and were joined by Drew, Jay and Tony from Nexus, along with some of the Relentless boys (you know who your friends are when they’re willing to get up at silly o’clock too, when they don’t play for another few hours – personally I’d have sent back ‘Zzzzzzzzzzzz’ if anyone had text me that early asking for help. Ha). So yeah, we were playing the Ugly Ducklings. Words cannot truly describe how incredibly much I am beginning to absolutely loathe this team. It’s almost beyond comprehension how we kept seeming to draw these guys last year and they beat us every time, with us only seeming to be able to scrounge a few points. It wouldn’t be so bad if on the face of things they came across as a strong team, but all they really do is have 4 guys who can shoot a LOT, and one kid who scuttles off down the snake and plays distraction. They look like absolute goobers and the worst thing is one of their players (and I’m still not even sure if this is a language issue or whether he’s actually just a dick) keeps coming up to us afterwards and being ridiculously condescending; the last thing you want to hear after getting beat by these guys is that we’re “getting better each time we play” and that “it’s always great fun to play [us]” – Hey, go blow a goat buddy! So, yeah, the night before I’d said on no uncertain terms that we are not to have this ‘bogey team’ bullshit in our heads and that we take some points right off the bat and we do it with force, leave a mark and make sure we mess people up to give them something to think about the next point. Or at least that was the plan.
First point we came out strong, killed the snake point kid off the break and then controlled the snake side, with nobody getting past orange. We lost Rich out of BC and Wade from somewhere on the d side but ended up with a 3 on 1, with the last guy making his way down the doritos. Anyway, a series of absolute screw-ups occurred and this guy got gifted the point. They won the second point pretty soon after as our heads were still in the first one, thinking how we’d thrown it away. We cleared our heads at the change of ends and won the next two points, evening it up at 2-2. I narrowly avoided 2 penalties in one of those points, after bonus balling the shit out of their last player and shouting and swearing at him for trying to spin; think he got the message though, and the crowd seemed impressed at the least. Change of ends again and we lost the next point; facing into the sun which was rising at an awkward height right above the bad guys heads’. 1min 20s or so on the clock we went out with a fresh game-play (thanks Clint!) and smashed it up, I got a quick kill on god, Al dealt with his mirror in orange, and I scuttled up the field, killing house as I went to queen, then going and stabbing their d corner, and shooting out BC too as I hit the buzzer. Even again at 3-3 with 9s left on the clock. We played out the short point and strangely enough neither team scored in 9 seconds. For the overtime point we decided to use the same break we’d gone with when it was 3-2 and it turned out that was a really bad call. The whole game we’d been chasing their score, and then at the times when we’d evened it out, we’d lead with the same break as before and they’d have adapted and then won that point. The same thing happened in overtime, we should’ve gone all or nothing, or at least changed something, but instead we lost two bodies off the break, a third shortly after, and that left just me and Dec in s corner. The bad men ambled down the doritos, dealt with me and Dec got messed up shortly after. So that was the end of that.
Fucking Ducklings got the better of us once again. No matter what anyone said in the pits, or once we’d all cooled off later, it doesn’t console you after knowing that there were times in that game where we should’ve had the upper hand, and could’ve controlled the outcome and swung it in our favour. Ducklings went out next round to Hellwood, 4-3. You can’t help but think, what if…
I helped out Nexus and Relentless in the pits for the rest of the day and watched some games too. Thankfully Relentless came away with a good result and it wasn’t all gloomy for the Brit teams. We’d certainly like to think that we can break this silly jinx we have going of getting past the first round in Sunday, but at the least, we came away with 9th from this event, and that’s our best ranking since 2009, when the team had it’s experienced roster, and before I joined the team. So, I guess it wasn’t a bad first event to captain, just, not a great one, and that’s where we’re going to sort it out for Germany!
Yeah, so, St Tropez. There you have it. I can’t think of a witty remark to end this, and since you’ve read this far, I feel obliged to give you some sort of present, a cookie maybe or a pat on the back or something… Can’t offer any of those really, but here’s a picture of Tony Brandon, sure that’ll cheer you all up.
I like to pick on Tony because he’s chunkier than me, and his mum calls him puffalump. True fact.