Leander Vs the Hungarians: Round 2 – This time on our soil.

6 months had passed since the 16 lime green octopuses ventured to Budapest to take on teams from the land where Water Polo is their national sport. For some injuries to mind, body and soul had just about healed and the troops were raring to go for the second round.

Two of the teams we played in Budapest made it over for the return leg bringing with them their own supporters and totalling nearly 40 people. After a night of dancing, table tennis and luke-warm pizza it was time for tournament number 1 of the weekend a short format round robin. Leander and the two Hungarian teams (Vodafone, Seals) were joined by local team Southwell and a pick & mix team. There were some fantastic performances from all teams and it was great to have players young and old representing Leander, we had old boys – Niko & Scotney join and Matt, Stefan, Ash & Kaiden getting their first taste of traditional Hungarian style of play. Leander had one of our best ever turnouts of supporters there to cheer us on. At the end of the tournament, it was our local rivals Southwell who came out on top after some very close and hotly fought games. At this point, the teams descended upon the Nottingham beer festival to show the Hungarians some of the local tipples.

With sore heads, the teams regathered on Sunday for the final day of action. Leander taking on the Seals and Vodafone in two longer matches. Once again there was a great turnout and atmosphere between the teams and some intense passages of play. Leander came away with a draw and a loss but a lot of fun was had in the process and there were lots of spectacular goals and skills demonstrated too. As the tournament came to a conclusion & Ngoc secured the team photo we sent them on their merry way, via a few stops at local pubs, with the promise that a third round must be on the cards somewhere down the line!

Special thanks to Alex/Ernie/Craig for getting the teams over and the venues booked. Our incredible supporters and helpers who manned the table (I’m too scared to name names in case I miss one out), our awesome coach Pete and of course our visitors who came and played in great spirit throughout. It looks like next year’s trip will be to Croatia so we best get back to training.

By Jonny Higham


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