By Theo Durban
On the weekend of October 29th the Falcons (the FXU Dodgeball team) attended The Bristol Open; their first competitive dodgeball tournament of the year. With some major rule changes within the sport and hard-hitting opposition, it was always going to be a tough one. Going in as the reigning champions meant that the team felt driven to keep their composure and repeat last year’s success.
The qualifying group stages proved to be a challenge as the Falcons were met with a range of international players from Scotland and Wales, but gave the first years in the squad a real taste for how competitive dodgeball has become in the UK. They faced off against the Cardiff Dragons and Leicester Minotaur’s first team in their first two matches, sadly losing both using the experience to gage the new speed and intensity of the five-ball game. The final group game was against Bristol Spartans where the team came away with a solid win after they regrouped and gained some composure on court.
The Falcons then began the plate semi-final with a sense of determination after narrowly missing out on qualifying second in their group by only one point to Cardiff Dragons. The semi-final was against Carmarthen, a relatively new team and the team were able to effectively control the game to their advantage and came away with another win which meant they had qualified for the plate final!
The final was incredibly close, a rematch between the Falcons and the Bristol Spartans who were determined to get revenge after the Falcon victory in their group games. The intense game saw both teams making some incredible catches and big hits to finish 8 – 8, leading to a very tense one-minute overtime. The Falcons played exceptionally well, especially as they were a player down during the second half, being lead from the front by captain Owain Hughes. The overtime lead to another draw, which meant that it all came down to sudden death where the first team to lose a player forfeit the game. Focused on the win, the team kept calm and got a three-ball hit on one of the opposing players making the Falmouth Falcons the Bristol Open 2017 plate winners!