By Seppe De Wit
The fifth edition of Valentines Cup (VC) brought success for captain Alex Greenhalgh. After two earlier attempts to get the Green Team to the gold medal, it all finally fell into place for him and his team. Following a big pool play, it came as no surprise that Greenhalgh’s and Tom Heynes’s team won their groups. The two managed to draft several top European players as well as some really decent second string players. Neither of them lost any of the five group stage games.
Group Two, the “group of death,” was much more tense. The Sand Team of Jonathan Parent performed unexpectedly well with Mikel Poisse as leading keeper. They won against the two favorites of the group Royal Blue, captained by Fabian Brunt, and Hot Pink, by Howard Orridge, and again against the Orange Team from Lewis Dixon who were tipped as outsiders for the pool. Even though they played strongly, they lost out of nothing against Fluorescent Green team due to underestimating their opponent. This gave the Royal Blue Team a chance to come back in the ranking. At the end of the group stage, they faced off against each other and the Sand team took away the victory. Brunt’s team had no reason to be sad, though: both the Sand and Blue more than deservedly went through to the semifinals.
Jurassic Sharks (Airforce Blue) vs. Children Of The Forest (Sand)
The Sharks controlled the game and got out of range quite quickly. But when Anjit Aulakh took a red card, the Children of the Forest began a rapid comeback. Right at the moment the Sand Team got back in range, the Sharks caught the snitch, preventing the Sand from redeeming their comeback.
Green Team v2.0 (Bottle Green) vs. Stop Being a Massive Brunt (Royal Blue)
The Green Team were the stronger team throughout the whole game thanks to exceptional beating skills from Mette Sundal and Leon Bürgers. But the Blue Team managed to hang on with strong drives from Nathan Wilputte and Christopher Lawrence. After 18 minutes Brunt’s team hopes were smashed when Jordan Trevor caught the snitch in about 10 seconds.
The Final: Jurassic Sharks vs. Green Team v2.0
The final was a face off between the two best beater line–ups of the tournament, Aulakh and Lucy Q of the Sharks against Sundal and Bürgers of Team Green. The latter pair got the upper hand in the beginning of the game, gaining their team an early lead. But due to sloppy quaffle play around the hoops, the Green Team allowed the Sharks to stay in range. After a very tense game where the second line-up of both teams rose above themselves, playing better than they ever have before and making the game even more tense, Trevor crowned himself hero of the Green Team. Again very quickly he went in for the tournament-winning catch.