I don't think SIFL could have started much worst. After nominating myself to be the designated driver, which made sense owning a seven seater, albeit with two very small occasional seats having to be utilised. The only problem is the two small people in our team keep growing, and in this tournament it was more than height that these two players grow. Anyway before we get to that we had to get there first.
Lets roll back to Friday. The Nissan had recently been making a rather disconcerting clunk when pressure was applied to the clutch. After a visit to the local garage in which we thought the problem had been fixed, that evening the dreaded clunk was back worst than ever. After inspecting the pedal myself I could see what the problem was, and after googling temporary fixes for the problem found nothing except the £183 part purchase to replace the broken component. After an hour of procrastinating on my knees with a torch I eventually sorted the problem with a Hair bobble. Disaster averted.
5:40 Saturday! Yes really we had to get up, and nearly on time we picked up Stan, Lily, Liam and Steve. And then en-route to pick up our coach Jim, That was my first mistake right there, I regrettably gave Jake the job of inputting Jim's postcode into the Sat Nav.
Anyway to cut a not so long story short he put the venue postcode in instead and Poor Jim ended up having to make his own way there making me feel very guilty indeed.
Somehow or another after a 2 hour plus journey we made it to Shropshire on time. And split the teams Jim picked his all star Ironman team of himself, Rob, Jake, Liam and Stan and what a team it was. Dean 2 was compiled of the rest of us which was Steve, Greg, James, Matt, Dave and Lily.
First up were Dean 1 against a very good and experienced Skimmers side, It was apparent from the outset that Jim had picked a very balanced side and although very close Dean deservedly won 6-5. With Jake and Jim's athleticism, Rob's handling skills and Stan and Liam defence this looked like a team that could go far.
Dean 2 was straight on and with relatively a team that had not really played together before looked a shadow of it's sister team. However we had some positives, Lily scored an incredible point to save our blushes eventually losing 5-2 to the organised Aces.
Dean 1 had Mince next in their sights but they did not seem quite to have gelled, they tried a couple of plays that just did not seem to come off and ended up on being loosing side.
After that disappointment Dean 2 eventually got their first win after a bit of confusion from the scoring official beating Derby 6-3.
After that Dean 2 Lost to the eventual winners 7-0 which was probably our best game, since they were beating everyone else by double figures.
However the day just got better for Dean 1, Beating Airwolf 11-0 and Stuft 13-0 in just 10 minuets.
Dean 2 also started to gel as the day went on after a disappointing performance against Worcester we notched up wins against Airwolf and and our crossover against Derby winning 10-1, there was no confusion with the score on this occasion. Then in our bowl final we narrowly lost to Stuft by a single point after extra time, it was a really tight game and again with Lily getting on the scoresheet again getting her 4th score of the day.
Dean 1 won their cross over beating Worcester 9-3 and set up a thrilling final against Unleashed, a team that have been won this event for four years. However our brave boars were not going to sit back and let Unleashed take them to the slaughter. Dean were straight off the mark with a score from Jake set up from Rob. Unleashed soon looked to be settling down and got the score to 4-1 but with two points in succession from Rob to bring it back to 4-3 and one from Liam it was once again all square at 4 a piece. Some great defence from Stan and tight defending once again from Liam made it really difficult for Unleashed to unleash there experience Rob dived for a score at the far end but was contested by Unleashed and called out. Unleashed looked to be shellshocked at this moment and seemed to be calling fouls at every opportunity. They eventually broke us down and scored two quick points and for all our hard work we got one back but lost 6-5.
This has got to be the stand out performance since Jon set up DUF in 2011. We have come so far and everyone should be so proud of what they have achieved. A big thanks to Jon, Jim and everyone let the journey continue.