The European Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships 2009 London events started a week ago with teams from all over Europe converging throughout Friday. 40 teams (120 players) and only one team didn’t show.
Friday – Meet & Greet and London’s First Polocat.
Thursday night for Bill, James, John and Me was a refs meeting which start at 8pm and finished at around midnight… with Mike rolling by from Downham court. Mike had been making the netted goals in the dark ready for the weekend (more on this to follow).
My Friday involved ‘borrowing’ a few more of these posts and finishing off the goals. On my trip to pick-up these posts i bumped into the Coneheads from Glassgow, Olli from Germany and my house guests from Rouen… these guys were my saviour! So we grabbed a post each and headed for throwins at Downham where I finished off making the netted goals.
While this was going on the courts were being made down in Southwark:
Meet & Greet – It was a massive turnout for registration and the polocat at Tour De Ville… With food and beers on offer.
photos by Agata
Polocat – From what i gather the polocat winner cleaned up. The polocat involved going to 4 different courts around London and performing tasks. The more crazy/outlandish/giving beer to the people manning the post the more points you were awarded. Also there was a hunt for a golden mallet.
Wee Scott won the polocat. By the end of the polocat he managed to find the mallet, spray his bike gold, set his bike on fire and ride the bike on fire while being completely naked. words from MAX “basically he’s won”
The prize was some Rapha gear and a set of disk covers drawn my Max’s brother.
photo of rik en route to his post.
photo by slamm
Saturday 7am – Monmouth for coffee to meet Bill then off to the court. Surprisingly we werent the first ones there Garlic Boy (Louis of Les Debutantes), Complaining as usual. :)
As the minutes went by more players were turning up. Then the players briefing and a run through the rules.
bill explaining exposed bar ends
photos by Kev
Oh and the nets on the goals were scrapped by the players show of hands.
What can i say, the day was a blurr of some amazing and some not so great games. The games on the first day were ten minutes long and were being played on 2 courts with 8 teams being knocked out by the end of the day. The teams that were knocked out played a mini tourney on Sunday. Also during the day we had a newcommers session held by playsport london. Some tourney snaps:
Marc from FFF paris
photo by Kev
And… Yes all London Teams made it through to the next round, including the throwin team the Downham All Stars.
Thanks to shop14 for organising the after party.
Sunday – Final Day
Another early start and another day of games and reffing.
Since i was so engulfed in the game play rather than the quality my game reports would involve tapping, fouls and back chat rather than great passes and amazing shots. BUT… the game play had quicken and the goals were coming thicker and faster with 15 min games. More finished before time than the day before. I think it was clear to a lot of people which team would be taking the trophy home. The battle for 2nd position was still very unclear.
The teams that it could have gone either way for were: (in no particular order)
Dans te Gueule, Puceau,
…each game has a story, and the lead up to the final started with
Malice vs Dans de Gueule, Puceau – Malice 5-2
which was in the losers bracket… they were waiting for the losers of the next game…unfortunately i could only hear the banging of the barriers over the shouts and screams from the court i was reffing so my write up is non existent. sorry.
photo by slamm
L’Equipe vs Torros – L’Equipe 1-0
1 minute into the game there was a collision which lead to a time out and an injury to L’Equipes Lucas who played on till time ran out. This was a closely fought battle and as you can tell by the score kept the spectators on the edge of their seats.
So this win guaranteed at the worst a second spot on the podium. Bearing in mind L’Equipe had won all their games.
The semi finals third place and a place in the final was up for grabs:
Malice vs Torros – Malice 3-2
Both teams were on top form not one player not giving 100% with lots of controversy and a called goal and plenty of crowd participation led this to be one of the games of the tourney. James Brown already a crowd favourite throughout the whole day, displaying some amazing speed and eye of the needle shooting and some wall like defending from Vidal and midfield feeding from both Iain and Matt lead JB to shoot some of the most amazing goals of the tourney concreting their place in the final.
photo by slamm
L’Equipe vs Malice – L’Equipe 5-3
what can i say you’ll have to watch the footage:
photos by kev
Placing and prizing:
photo by Agata
1. L’Equipe (Geneva)
2. Malice International (London)
3. Toros (Munich)
4. Discordia/DTGP (paris/london)
5. FFF (Paris)
6. Cosmic (London)
MVP: James Brown (Malice)
Photo by slamm
Brooks style award: Candy coloured clowns (Karlsruhe)
Crowd fave: Dublin
photo by Kev
I think i’ve waffled on too much as it is… but the weekend was great the tourney was brilliant roll on the euros 2010!