Last week (Monday 4 April) the UEL Tigers team came to the NewVic sixth-form centre in Plaistow to challenge the sportsmen and women of Newham to a tournament of dodgeball and rounders. Having never played dodgeball as a team before (with one or two members playing it for the first time in their lives) the fast-paced game came as a bit of a shock to the system. However, true to their name, the Tigers – a team comprising of both UEL staff and students – fought by tooth and claw to duck and dive their way through the quarter and semi finals.
The semi-final was a nail biting round which boiled down to a last-man-standing scenario, with Liz Williams (from Docklands Campus) battling against the opposing team. Liz stood her ground against three players, but was eventuality caught out by an undodgeable volley of balls. A respectable second place was awarded to the Tigers with an official Newham sporting medal for each member of the team.
Next up: rounders. Having trained in Stratford with their experienced coach, Liana Mathurin Brown, in the weeks preceding the tournament, the Tigers were on more familiar ground this time. The team breezed their way through the quarter final, then through the tougher semi final and couldn’t believe their luck when it was announced that – oh yes – they were going to be in the final!
In a tightly contested last final match, the Tigers (who sported a lovely red) were pitched against the blue team. The Tigers won the coin toss, and chose to field first. This was a smart move, restricting the blues to a total of 6 rounders through well-honed fielding skills. It was then the moment of truth – the Tigers stepped up to the plate to bat. They got off to a flying start scoring 2 half rounders in quick succession. However the blues sharpened up their game, forcing the Tigers into a tight corner. With only 2 good balls remaining – and scores tied on 6 rounders each – it came down to the final ball. With a last hurrah, the UEL Tigers scored half a rounder, winning the tournament by a nose. The team was presented with official Rounders England medals and congratulated their worthy opponents on a very close second place. For the official news story see www.roundersengland.co.uk
The Tigers would like to thank England Rounders coaches Paul Farthing and Anna Maguire.