Friday, 26 November 2010

FINALS NIGHT GROUPS ANNOUNCED: 2nd December 2010

3 matches (best of 3).
Winner of group qualifies for final to play fellow group winner.

Group Patches
SWAT
The First Timers
Danger Moose
The Awful Dodgers

Group Chuck
Ball Busters
Ausweichen Kugel
The Opium Addicted Chinamen
The Postmen

Saturday, 20 November 2010

"All we need to do is turn up" (Steven Barrett 2010)

.........might have been an overly confident statement Manager Barrett would have made in the bar last Thursday buoyed by the clean sweep of results achieved that night.

In reality..the tension was getting to him.....the fixture list had been analysed....permutations had been permutated....he even thought about complaining to the fixture secretary about the fact that arch rivals Dick 'n' Balls had been drawn to play Group A duffers 'Taking the Michael' TWICE....a stiff letter had been drafted (on cardboard) and signed by disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.

The teams had been selected based on the perceived strength of the opposition. Key players had been hassled to abandon important business meetings, cancel vital operations and dump any partners who interfered with their attendance. No stone had been left unturned. Manager B was confident he'd done everything he could do to enhance the A.Dodger's chances of making final nights.

So what happened in the run up to first game? Our two biggest hitters had work commitments and after I'd sent a very detailed fixtures list to everyone else I has confronted by statements such as "Who are we playing?", "What time do we start? I haven't left the office yet!" and "Do we have to wear those bloody flat caps again?".

It's difficult running a Dodgeball team. Which is why Manager Barrett's drunken claims the previous week proved to surprisingly prophetic. Whereas the Awful Dodger's may have been lacking in the super skills, fitness and sometime gamesmanship of SWAT. We have a strong and reliable squad bound together by commitment, camaraderie and the opportunity to drink cheap beer and play 'free' ping pong at the end of the evening.

Something Dick 'n' Balls and Bad Balls Inc. clearly lack. With three places up for grabs amongst five teams for finals night, no-shows from two of the contenders meant that the Awful Dodger's job was made easier. But we still had to win a few games.

So how did we do? With the format reduced to a one set winner takes all (unless you draw) format. There was no room for complacency.

Set 1: v The First Timers
On paper the match against the First Timers was going to be our closest game and therefore a 'must win'. The First Timers were lying 4th in their division with a finals night place to secure for themselves as well. With this in mind and a strong start needed a strong side was sent out. But was it really necessary? The First Timers were either lacking key players or the standard of the Group A was as expected shockingly poor in comparison to the opposition we had faced in our own league. A disciplined, if unspectacular performance from the team saw a comfortable victory. We were on our way! There weren't many highlights in this game and I ashamed to say that I harangued the referee at one time to send off some poor girl who had dropped a catch off my own throw and forgotten to walk. Oh dear...that's Bad Boys Inc. territory, but I couldn't risk British stiff upper lip compromising our chances.

Result: WIN

Set 2: v The Hothams
Lying bottom of Group A and having previously been trounced by Group B whipping boys, The Jammie Dodgers, this was always going to be a formality. It would be easy to degrade the Hothams for their lack of Dodgeball ability, but The Awful Dodgers are not about that. The fact that they had turned up week in, week out to get thrashed and clearly still enjoyed it, is to be celebrated. The Hothams squad also includes one of the most diverse age ranges of all of the teams which leads me to suspect (until further research) that they are a family team.
Sideline observer and wannabe Awful Dodgers 1st Team coach, Jason Coggles, commented that this match was "one of our worst and most painful victories to watch". Tough words Jason but you were not faced with the same moral dilemmas that faced the players on court.
They were: "How hard should I throw a Dodgeball at a woman who is old enough to be my mother?"
"Is this another 'Jammie Dodgers' defeat in the making? and
"How many times do I have to catch the ball to let Jeff back in only to see him DROP ANOTHER EASY CATCH?"
Hats off to Jeff (and by this time most of the Dodger's had already discarded of their ever shrinking Primark Flat caps) that performance will probably go down as one of the singularly most terrible showings in a set by one player in Awful Dodger's history.

RESULT: WIN

Set 3: v Danger Moose

With the Opium Addicted Chinamen having lost their first match, a couple of victories under our belts, and the two no-shows from close rivals, one point is all we needed to finish 3rd in the league and guarantee a finals night performance. However, defeat would have put us in the awkward situation of facing a last match 'must win'.

Confident in his squad Manager Barrett retired to the bar and pint in hand, witnessed one of the most exciting games of Dodgeball the Awful Dodger's have ever played in. Placed 2nd in Group A having only lost two matches, Danger Moose should have been too much for us.
Did they underestimate the Awful Dodgers and field a weakened side or was the standard of Group A really that poor?
The AD dominated the early proceedings before it became clear that they had failed to eliminate Danger Mooses star player. A succession of catches by 'Chief Moose' left the teams back on even terms and when Jason saw one of his shots simultaneously dropped, caught, re-dropped and regained by TWO of the opposition, the balanced swung in the oppositions favour. It was then that Jeff, no doubt shamed by his prior shocking performance, stepped up to the plate and dragged the team back into the game with a vital catch followed by a couple of key hits.
In the dying seconds the game was 2 on 2 and the cry went up that a Moose had been hit. The referee didn't spot it, a draw was declared and the Awful's trudged off caught complaining about being robbed.
Meanwhile, on the sidelines, Manager Barrett was safe in the knowledge that the point gained was enough to secure a finals night place. Something he'd neglected to tell his team! It was good to see the competitive fire still burnt bright in the souls of the players.
Had that not been the case I would have no doubt, thrown my pint aside,  stormed on court pointing at my (non-existent) watch, whilst my ever reddening face yelled at the referee. Just like Man. Utd. supremo 'Sir Whiskey Nose' himself.

RESULT: TIE (and finals night qualification)

Again, preferring the bar, I sent the team out safe in the knowledge our goals had been achieved.
Again, they didn't know it!

Set 4: v De Capita
Third from bottom of a poor league De Capita, the only company side in the competition, should have been easy pickings. However, despite only turning up with four players De Capita's management had shown some vital tactical skills by negotiating with Group A 'SWAT' wannabes Ball Busters to borrow a couple of players for each of their matches. The result was an unjust defeat for the AD. The most notable events of the game were Laurent gaining Dodgeball karma but hitting someone else in the happy sack following his pain against SWAT and fittingly Vi, being the last Dodger standing as she had been in our first ever outing.
In my humble opinion, the victory for De Capita was a hollow one. As a previously lower league side, if they make finals night as a result of their ringers, do they seriously expect Ball Busters to lend them the same players again? Methinks not.

RESULT: LOST

Bring on finals night!!

Monday, 15 November 2010

One Set Wonder Night Fixtures - Key games highlighted

Approx Time
PITCH A
Score



7.00pm
Ball Busters v Dick & Balls
1-0
7.04pm
The Postmen v SWAT
0-1
7.08pm
Rolling Thunder v Bad Balls Inc
1-0
7.12pm
Taking The Michael v Can’t Dodge This

7.16pm
First Timers v Awful Dodgers
0-1
7.20pm
The Hothams v Jammie Dodgers
0-1
7.24pm
De Capita v Opium Addicted Chinamen

7.28pm
Danger Moose v Ausweichen Kugel




7.32pm
Ball Busters v SWAT
0-1
7.36pm
Taking The Michael v Dick & Balls

7.40pm
Rolling Thunder v Ausweichen Kugel

7.44pm
De Capita v Bad Balls Inc

7.48pm
First Timers v Opium Addicted Chinamen

7.52pm
The Postmen v Jammie Dodgers

7.56pm
Danger Moose v Can’t Dodge This

8.00pm
The Hothams v Awful Dodgers
0-1



8.04pm
The Postmen v Dick & Balls

8.08pm
Rolling Thunder v Can’t Dodge This

8.12pm
The Hothams v Opium Addicted Chinamen

8.16pm
Taking The Michael v Bad Balls Inc

8.20pm
Ball Busters v Jammie Dodgers

8.24pm
Danger Moose v Awful Dodgers
Draw
8.28pm
First Timers v Ausweichen Kugel

8.32pm
De Capita v SWAT




8.36pm
Danger Moose v SWAT

8.40pm
First Timers v Jammie Dodgers

8.44pm
The Hothams v Ausweichen Kugel

8.48pm
Ball Busters v Bad Balls Inc

8.52pm
De Capita v Awful Dodgers
0-1
8.56pm
The Postmen v Can’t Dodge This

9.00pm
Rolling Thunder v Opium Addicted Chinamen

9.04pm
Taking The Michael v Dick & Balls



Each match is one set only. Two points for a win, one for a draw, none for losing, La Losers!
Each match will be 2.5 minutes long and will end then. The team with most players left will win 3 points, the losers receive nothing! If teams are tied they receive one point each.
PLEASE KEEP TRACK OF WHAT GAME IS PLAYING AND WHEN YOU ARE ON. WE HAVE A TIGHT SCHEDULE THIS WEEK SO WE NEED TEAMS READY TO PLAY WHEN THEY ARE DUE

Saturday, 13 November 2010

"Walkover and a Winter Wonder catch!"

"Dodgeball's fly, are you dipping?
On the court, don't be tripping,
A beautiful sight,
We're happy tonight,
Watching a 'Winter' Wonder catch"
On announcement of the Awful Dodger's final team line-up for the last group fixture's of the season, Dodgeball pundits all over the country raised eyebrows and questioned the chances of our success in any of the evening's fixtures.

Noting that the Dodger's usually favour the muscular presence of J.Blackmore (injury) J Murray (work commitments) and the precision of T.Cuthbert (gig) and L.Robin (work) and the tactical genius of J.Coggles (gig) the 'experts' opinions seemed valid. The less said about Rob's excuse (needed for the work football team) the better!

What could not be denied of the squad tonight was that they had heart, enthusiasm, girl power and commitment ...and in my case, a very bruised knee.

The team for Thursday was:
A. Bono, V.Luu, K.Winter, S.Barrett, E.Pearce and our regular ringer and CBBC presenter J.Turner (get yourself  and any kids down to the Vaudville Theatre, London this chrimbo http://www.pottedpanto.com/)

Match 1: v Dick 'n' Balls

The team were pumped and ready to 'suck it to' Dick 'n' Balls. The warm up even included me unexpectedly getting a lot of head(shots). However it seemed apparent that D'n'B had put in limp no-show. We'd won by default!!! However, after a friendly against Auschweichen Kugel, it became clear that it wasn't time for any 'premature celebration'. We had a real game to win.

Result: Awful Dodgers 2 Dick 'n' Balls 0 (Walkover)

The 'victory; against DnB was a welcome bonus as it was a game we would have probably struggled to win with even our strongest line-up. Having already qualified for finals night it appeared they were above turning out against the so-called lower lights of the league. Ausweichen Kugel on the other hand proved to us that their 2 wins over us were no fluke by beating us a 3rd time. The friendly was most notable for the appearance on the opposition of the 'Awful Dodgers' top transfer target Karen Jeff who will hopefully be appearing for us next season to replace Vi.
Karen: We're not usually that bad!!!

Match 2:  v Can't Dodge This

Lying 2nd bottom of the league, but having achieved something we'd failed to do in beating the Jammie Dodger's twice, 'Can't Dodge This 'weren't to be underestimated one bit.

This assumption was to be proved worryingly accurate as they quickly went 1-0 having clearly learnt some valuable lessons from their first Dodgeball season. It was now time for the Awful Dodgers to show some mettle. The 2nd set proved to be hardly fought and probably one of the most exciting games of Dodgeball the Awful Dodgers had played.

When you're on court its always hard to see what other people are achieving, so forgive me in glorying in my application of one of Dodgeball's finest underhand tactics, 'hiding a ball behind your back'. Having seen Vi last week become the first Dodger to pioneer this move last week with the 'red ball' being the owner of a significantly larger arse I decided to try this move out with a full size ball. The result? This treat worked a treat as I eliminated CDT's best player who briefly complained that I'd "cheated" before realising that it was perfectly within the rules.
Game on and having been eliminated myself shortly afterwards by a stinging nut shot I had a grandstand seat to bear witness to one of the finest moments of the A.Dodger's first season.
The final seconds were ticking away and the dosger's were down by one when much to the team's horror Vi took a potentially game losing hit. Crikey!
As the ball looped towards the flow and the witnessing Dodger's realised they were slumping to a season ending defeat, in a fraction of a second, it became clear that there was still hope. The cry went up of "Catch It".

In year's to come when they make 'The Awful Dodger's: The Movie', Kyla Winter's role will probably be played by Keira Knightly's prettier younger sister and even then, this scene will be be filmed using a stunt woman. It will also be in High Definition, 3D Slow Motion and possibly even smellivison.

However I saw it in real time and it was very impressive! Kyla launched herself forward to grab the ball milliseconds before it hit the ground. The clock hit zero and the Awful Dodger's were back in the game!

The deciding set was another entertaining affair and through  mixed of euphoria and discipline the AD's saw of a slightly dispirited CDT to achieve a vital 100% record for the evening.

Well done everyone!

Awful Dodgers 2 Can't Dodge This 1

Monday, 8 November 2010

Awful Dodger's light up T47 prior to Fireworks night.

Be warned. I'm going to attempt as many firework puns in this e-mail as is humanly possible. This could blow up in my face. Someone might get burned.

Match 1: v Opium Addicted Chinamen
What better way to start a bonfire night evening than to play a team claiming to be representative of the country that gave the world gunpowder? With the OAC one place above us in the table everyone knew a win was vital and we had been plotting for victory. The Dodger's exploded out the traps whizz-banging to a one nil lead in record time. At one point a saw some excellent teamwrk from the Dodger's when two of our boys expertly took out one of their girls with a co-ordinated attack. She'd been scorched by a 'Guy Fork'(s)!!!!
In days of yore, when I walked to university everyday in Sheffield, I passed one of the city's most iconic  and ugliest landmarks. The Chinese Fireworks Company factory (pictured). Everyday I did the same thing. I crossed at the traffic lights to the other side of the road in order to keep a wide berth of the crumbling edifice in case something blew up.....(It was a strange place and you never saw the local factory workers around town...no doubt if you had walker into their staff bar as a stranger there would have been raised eyebrows....if they hadn't all brunt them off!)
Unfortunately it was this desire for self preservation that led the Dodger's flame to be doused in the 2nd set.
A lack of team organisation led to a slow start and the team were caught unawares like a man guarding 36 barrels in a cellar underneath the House of Lords. The AD's own little sparkler, Kyla Winter, was left to glow for a few brief seconds before the OAC turned up with a metaphorical bucket of sand and extinguished her resistance.
The third set saw some the phoenix rise from any dying embers in the form of a key catch from Tristan Cuthbert. We had our first win in 6 games.



Awful Dodgers 2 Opium Addicted Chinamen 1







Match 2: v SWAT
It was never going to be easy against that Towering Inferno of SWAT, but despite the result and some encouraging play from our own firefighter 'Fred Adair' we put ourselves into a position to take a set of the league leaders. Unfortunately things started to go wrong when Laurent took a shot in the 'Roman Candles and Catherine Wheels' only to leave emergency substitute and team captain, Steve Barrett, to "piss on his own Bonfire" when he dollied up an east catch to the a SWAT team who were burning out. Sorry!

Awful Dodgers 0 SWAT 2

Match 3:  v Bad Balls Inc
If Laurent had 'Bad Balls' after his unfortunate mishap in the 2nd game, he certainly didn't show it in the 3rd.
Pitched in a vital game, against a team who had it a hot streak of form, the rocket arms of the Awful Dodger's heavy artillery  fired with deafening ferocity in our most competitive game yet. Bad Balls Inc were a decent side, but they didn't reckon on our secret weapon! My knobby knee!
Once ("accidentally, Steve!"....AD lawyer) in the side of the head of the star player (and Ron 'Weasley lookalike) of BBI the games turned. With time running our and the Dodger's on top we showed some rare tactical nous and played time out.....well that was until Jason Coggles went for a glory shot in the dying seconds and nearly got caught. Much to the disgust of his fellow last man standing and team captain. Fortunately the red hot fire of Jason's launch singed the palms of the waiting catcher and the Dodger's had sealed another vital win.

Awful Dodgers 2 Bad Balls Inc. 0

Back to the bar for toffee apples and candy floss. Good luck next week!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Laurent Robin: Mini Interview

Name: Laurent Robin.
Nickname: ? (oh, Mysterious....Ed.).
Showbiz Age: 26
Place of Birth: Toulon, France.
Nationality: French.
Special Move: The flip and toss.

Awfully Dodgy Questions:

Dodgiest thing you've ever eaten:

Frog legs in a parsley and garlic sauce – never again. (but I thought you said you were French? Ed.)

The Artful Dodger was a famous pickpocket (have you ever stolen anything): 2 cigars that I never smoke. (How?....Why?,,,,there's a story here? Ed.)
.
Dodgiest film you have ever seen:
Can’t tell you about the film but the dodgiest actor: Will Ferrell

On a scale of 1-10: How dodgy are you?
6.9 but I am working on it.
(Good to hear. Keep hanging around with James 'Blackdog' Blackmore and I'm sure your stock will rise!. Ed.)

Friday, 1 October 2010

Andy Stedman's Early Season summary

Having seen all of the teams in action here's Andy's views on the teams's in our league.

Dodgeball UK London League – Season 3 Summary so Far!

 

With every team now having played fixtures in Season 3 of the London Dodgeball UK League (of London), the competition is starting to take shape and it’s an exciting one. Most of the teams seem more adept at apr├Ęs-dodgeball than the game itself, with Carlsberg pitchers being sunk and Jagerbombs even being requested to be stocked at the T47 Bar. Two teams (we won’t mention names) even turned up on the ‘wrong’ week, a thinly veiled excuse for alcohol consumption  and games of air hockey. Luckily for The Postmen and the Opium Addicted Chinamen, they have both had good starts on court to make up for their embarrassment off it!

Group B
Group B has been dominated so far by the scarily excellent SWAT. Comprised of bionic humans from secret labs in Erinsborough, these guys have broken the world record for the fastest ever throw with tall-guy Steve Rice especially coming to the boil. Teams are going to have to work on some tactics to beat this bunch of professional softball playing dodgeball bullies!
Opium Addicted Chinamen could have the right idea though with their magnificently eye-catching  outfits a possible distraction, and when they are turning up on the correct evening they could perhaps put egg on the face of Rice and his team-mates and fry them with a crispy performance. Okay, that was bad, I apologise...
Down at the lower reaches of the group table so far are the enthusiastic Jammie Dodgers, who have been undergoing intensive training outside of normal dodgeball hours which I think is taking the biscuit a bit. With one win under their belts so far they are not out of it, and if there was a prize for team kits they’d be up there. Imaginative team names however... ahem...must do better!

 
Level with them with one win are the fitness fanatics of Can’t Dodge This. They are so dedicated to tactical improvement that they can often be seen plotting  outside the T47 main doors whilst a haze of cigarette smoke wafts in from that area. With a mixture of Saffer, Northerner, Irish, Bolivian-Scottish village-idiot and god knows what else, smoke signals are obviously the only universal language they have to communicate. A very sporting team, good losers and probably just as well!

 
The other new team in this group is the Awful Dodgers. Decked out in their wonderful Oliver Twist team kit they unfortunately play like a bunch of Nancies rather than the Artful one himself. They can’t even pick a decent team, let alone a pocket! Captain Steve Barrett is losing hair rapidly over his team’s performance and shouldn’t consider himself out of danger of getting sacked from this role. They won all three matches in their first week, then proceeded to lose all three in their second week. A for points, it’s a case of “Please Sir, can we have some more...”

 
Completing the group are three old-timers, all in with a shout of doing well in this competition. Bad Balls Inc have reverted back from last season’s embarrassingly sycophantic name of Stedders Fan Club, probably after discovering I have many fan clubs and one more really made little difference to me or my refereeing decisions (okay I lied there, my mum is my only fan really, but it made me feel good about myself). Their form has remained the same though, patchy and in need of trimming into shape. D*ck & Balls have started fairly well, despite being swatted away by SWAT. Their form could make an upward swing though as the season gets more exciting towards its climax. Ausweichen Kugel (German for “dingleberry” I believe?) put out a weak team in week 1 and got thrashed, but last night won every game with their main players back in the tunnel...
All in all it’s now about who can beat SWAT and scrape into the top four. Definitely the best group for team costumes, Group A have some catching up to do in that department.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Awful Dodgers live up to name instead of reputation

Apologies for the delay on this match report. Dedicated followers would have already noted that I have updated the results page, which would have provided a more than adequate explanation for my lack of enthusiasm to post this weeks report.

Warning: This posting is not for the feint-hearted. Sensitive Awful Dodger fans should look away now.

With high hopes bolstered by last week's perfect set of the results the Awful Dodgers arrived a T47 with a strut in their step, a couple of keen debutants and I had the lethargy of a hungover man. Read below to seehow our our elevated title hopes came crashing to the floor like the ceiling of a Commonwealth Games weightlifting venue, or nearby bridge.

Its difficult to write this but it is my duty to report on both victory and defeat.

To paraphrase Rudyard Kipling.

"If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same..................
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Dodgeball Legend!"
Game One: v Bad Balls
Our clash with Bad Balls should have been an extension of last weeks good form setting us nicely for a top of the table clash against SWAT. However, my decision to throw the new kids in straight away left us exposed and we never got going. The worst thing about the defeat was the bad taste the Bad Balls left in our mouths. Especially Jason. After a sterling effort by Mr Coggles in the first set Jason was left fuming when a 'hit' he made on the oppositions 'self-appointed' best player was missed by the referee and said player failed to play in the spirit of Dodgeball and 'walk'. We have a new nemesis and JC is already itching for revenge in the return fixture. Karma, however, can always be trusted to make a swift appearance and in their next game when Bad Balls' cheat in chief received a hefty shot in the family jewels to everyone's amusement.
Honourable mentions to Jason and Caroline for being the last player dodging in each set.
In truth, we could have beaten this lot. We'll be going in full strength against them

Result: Awful Dodgers 0 Bad Balls 2

Game 2: SWAT
\We didn't expect much from this team in terms of favours and we weren't disappointed. SWAT are clearly the best side in the league made up of ultra competitive softball players. The main pre-match excitement was the anticipation of encountering their boss Dodgeball Mourinho.
In the bar before the game it looked for a momment that DM was ditching his coaching role to lead by expample and play with his team. However, this assumption was proved wrong when it turned out that he had decided to ditch the sharp suit in favour of showing solidarity with his team by wearing their colours.
As for the game, the first set was encouraging as our strongest side found themselves very quickly 4-2 players up. However, a mix of total shock amongst our troops and dogged resistance from SWAT meant that the tables were swiftly turned. the 2nd set went to form for another straight sets defeat. Depressing as it sounds, this performance was the most encouraging as it showed that when we're on our game. With a little discipline we can really push the top sides.

Result Awful Dodgers 0 SWAT 1

v The Jammie Dodgers
Oh, Oh Dear, Oh Dear.....This was depressing. I'm not sure that if its because the JDs are the worst team in the league whom we easily beat last week. Or the fact that after a poor start and team changes we got ourselves back into the match and had a chance to close it out but blew it. A lack of organisation let the JD's secure their first ever victory. Albeit because of a few missed decisions by an inexperienced ref, but we shouldn't complain, the JD's play to the true spirit of Dodgeball and are a decent bunch. It took me a good couple of jugs of beers to blot this from my memory. Embarrassing.

Result: Awful Dodgers 1 Jammie Dodgers 2

So what did we learn? I always like to take positives from bad days at the office.

This weeks were:
I will be taking on board Jason's recommendation to rotate the squad in between sets.
We can give SWAT a good game if we raise our game.
Bad Balls are beatable.
I won't be turning up hungover in future, I put my hands up, I was hopeless this week.
We help make the Jammie Dodgers night.

Until next time. A 3 week "mid-season" break will hopefully allow us to recharge our batteries and come back stronger.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Team News: 23rd September

Game order to be confirmed.

v SWAT
Vi, Jason, Steve, Alex B, John, Fred

v  Bad Balls
Steve, Vi, Jason, Laurent, Caroline, Jamie

v Jammie Dodgers (not our most inexperienced side, but the JD's are terrible, we should still have enough to win. Murray's in to assure there's a heavy hitter on court just in case things get messy!)
Laurent, Caroline, Jamie, Alex, John, Fred

Teams: subject to change.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Clean Sweep For Awful Dodgers!

For those sports fans  in boring desk jobs, who spend their work days vicariously living their sporting dreams through the news feed of the BBC Sport web-site, the 16th September 2010 was a sad day. Cricket legend, and pedalo hirer's worst nightmare, Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The people's champion all-drinking all-rounder is a sad loss to the the UK's sporting tradition.

However fame's finger is notoriously fickle and a vacancy was created for some new sporting legend to fill the void......its just so happened that on that same day, in the little known indoors sporting venue of T47 tucked under the railway arches of London Bridge station, some pretenders to the crown staked their claim.

'The Awful Dodgers' made their long awaited debut in the Dodgeball UK London Premier League (of London).

In the early days of Flintoff's career he acquired the nickname of "Freddie" deriving from a combination of a lazy journalist's loose grap of alliteration and his resemblances in baulk to the Hanna-Barbara cartoon hero "Fred Flintstone". The "Awful Dodger's had an answer. In James "Blackdog" Blackmore and Ladywell's own John "Monster" Murray they provided  two new sporting hero's with rocket arms and imposing physique. Jason Coggles, with his self imbued nickname of 'Twinkle Toes' even provided some artistic bedrock to the Dodgers squad with visions of Flintstone's infamous bowling run-up.

Flat Caps distributed, trousers torn and 'soot' applied we were ready for battle.

v The Jammie Dodgers
V.Luu, K.Winter, R.Sugden, S.Barrett, J.Murray, J.Coggles

Formed by an invitee to the Dodger's fold, whom so enthused by the idea of Dodgeball,  went off and formed her own team, the JDs provided the ADs with an instant grudge match. Trash had been talked. The Jammie Dodger's had threatned to cause the Awful dodger's to crumble in their presence.

It turned out that  Jammie Dodger's could not rely on luck alone. The JD's showed less resistance than a Rich Tea biscuit dunked in a scalding cup of tea than any glorified jam sandwich.

The Awful Dodger's ran out easy 2-0 winners in a game only notable for J.Murray's 'friendly fire' attack on the back of Twinkle Toes head. Thankfully own goals are not yet recognised in the Dodgeball rulebook.

Result: Awful Dodgers 2 Jammie Dodgers 0

v The Opium Addicted China Men
K.Winter, S.Barrett, J.Murray, J.Blackmore, L.Robin, E.Pearce

The OAD beat the Awful Dodger's hands down in one sense. Their silk gowns and chop- stick hair accessories put our Chimney Sweep Primark costume's firmly into place. These guys were taking Dodgeball seriously.

Fortunately, the drug of victory, was still solidly pumping through the veins of the Awful Dodger's and in a game, that often threatened to sway too and throw, was wrapped up by the Dodger's in another 2-0 victory. However, make no mistake, the Opium Addicted China Men showed definite signs of waking from torpor and are expected to improve. Our next meeting is eagerly anticipated.

Result: Awful Dodgers 2 Opium Addicted China Men 0

v Can't Dodge This
v V.Luu, J.Coggles, R.Sugden, J.Blackmore, L.Robin, E.Pearce

 C.D.T. (as well as being my worst subject at school) proved the most disappointing team in terms of costume. Printed t-shirts, face make-up and oriental gowns were sadly lacking from a team that should have promised over-sized baggy trousers. With captain Steven Barrett sitting this one out the sidelines the Awful Dodgers were briefly thrown into confusion by the lack of MC Hammer influence on the C.D.T. Our primary tactic of shouting "Stop" - taking out the entire team with dodgeball's as they froze - and then calling "Hammer Time" to witness them waking up bemused from their 1990 hip-hop coma - had been blown out of the water.

Instead school boy errors crept in, most notably, when Fred attempted an ill-advised catch around his ankles. His explanation in the bar afterwards?
"I was trying to create a distraction, giving my teammates an opportunity to attack, but they just shook their heads and tutted"
 was forgiven as more great team work lead to a comfortable victory. This despite one member of the C.D.T. repeatedly defying the very meaning of her team's name. Well played!

Result: Awful Dodgers 2 Can't Dodge This 0

3 wins out of 3 are figures Freddie wouldn't have sniffed at. A enormously encouraging show of teamwork by the inaugral Awful Dodgers. In tribute to Andy F, many celebration jugs of beer were consumed in T47's bar afterwards. At one point it looked like Mark Skyes (Chief cheerleader and dodgeball hooligan) would head the team towards the locally moored Golden Hinde, pull anchor, and sail for Gillingham.

Thankfully that never happened. Instead next week holds some truly tougher tests including a potential top of the table clash against SWAT and the opportunity to pit my wit's against the now infamous 'Dodgeball Mourinho'.



A historic moment. The Awful Dodger's line up for their first match















Jason and Vii prepare for battle.

Steve delivers a last minute pep talk