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The Carter shield got under way this weekend with the first event of the year, Dodgeball. Grizedale, Bowland, Cartmel and Pendle were drawn in group two; with Lonsdale, Fylde, Furness and County drawn together in group one.
The afternoon’s entertainment commenced with a battle between local rivals Fylde and Furness. Furness made a surprise start against one of the Carter shield heavy-weights by taking a 1-0 lead with three players remaining. Fylde fought back bravely to win 2-1 leaving just one Furness girl stranded in both games, before Kieron Waterson nonchalantly removed the final opponent.
Lonsdale crushed County with the minimum of fuss, with Josh Duggan and Lee Osborne taking prominent roles in the 2-0 demolition job. Lonsdale played two games in quick succession with the second coming against Furness. Lonsdale won seemingly effortlessly 2-0, with Nick O’Malley and Reece Dizenzo leading the way taking a catch each and with Dizenzo especially hitting opponents for fun.
Fylde beat County 2-0, not without a struggle. Fylde took a 1-0 lead quite comfortably and seemed to have the game wrapped up when they had four players up against the one remaining County girl. However she had other plans when taking out both Kieron Waterson and Nik McCarthy before her brave fight came to an end, against the two remaining Fylde players, seeing Fylde go joint top of the group with Lonsdale before the play-off for top spot later in the day.
Up next was County versus Furness in the battle for third and fourth positions in group one. Although Furness were in fancy dress, County also wished to bring a bit of Comedy to the party; with the game just about to start, rather than helping his team mate get off to a quick start in the race to the balls, a County palyer held his team mate back by his shorts, partially removing them. Furness were not distracted in their task and won comfortably 2-0 to finish third in the group with six points towards their Carter shield total, to County’s three points.
The final game of the day saw the battle for top spot between Fylde and Lonsdale. It was left to Maria Madin to save the day for Lonsdale in the first game, as when there was three Fylde versus the one remaining Madin took a fantastic catch to remove a Fylde player and bring back Danny Worthington for Lonsdale in a two player switcheroo. Madin and Worthington took out one player a piece to send Lonsdale 1-0 up. In the second game Lonsdale looked to have it wrapped up with four players to Fylde’s one. However Hannah Scopp of Lonsdale threw a loopy effort, which the one remaining girl of Fylde caught, seeing the two player switch in action again. The returning Fylde player immediately removed O’Malley, before also taking out Madin, seeing Osborne stranded alone for Lonsdale. However Osborne had no fear, dodging everything Fylde had to offer, before taking out the two Fylde players, seeing Lonsdale top the group, with three 2-0 wins.
Group two commenced with an absolutely massive match with last year’s two finalists in Dodgeball, Bowland and Grizedale. Grizedale fought bravely without Jack Kenny, with Neil Rylander having the task of keeping Grizedale in the game on two occasions, however on this occasion one man was no match for the fantastic team effort of Bowland guided to victory by Dean Crabb. Bowland made surprisingly light work of Grizedale, cruising to a 2-0 scoreline.
Cartmel versus Pendle was an interesting encounter, with a comedic ending. The first two games were cagey affairs, with the sides sharing the spoils, forcing a decider with the score at 1-1. In the final game it was left one versus one, before a somewhat forgettable moment for the Cartmel player as he bounced the ball towards his Pendle opponent, he lost control of the ball and in desperate attempt to save the ball crossing over to the Pendle side, stepped out of bounds, and handed the game to Pendle.
The next game saw Grizedale versus Cartmel and the arrival of Kenny, who had an immediate impact on the game. Although Cartmel put in a spirited performance, especially last man standing Alex Hockin, they were no match for the catching ability and sheer power of Kenny and Rylander, and succumbed to a 2-1 defeat.
Bowland battered Pendle into submission in a dominant display of Dodgeball, courtesy of a combination of some fine catches by Erin Royle and fierce throwing of Dean Crabb, resulting in an easy 2-0 win for Bowland.
Grizedale then edged passed Pendle in another close encounter to guarantee their place in the semi-finals at the expense of their nearby rivals Bowland completed the set of three whitewashes as they destroyed Cartmel 2-0 in the final game of the day.
As Bowland topped their group they will play the runners-up from group one Fylde, while Lonsdale meet Grizedale in the other semi-final, in what is sure to be one of the more eagerly anticipated events of finals day, with all four teams having a serious chance of securing their first win of the year and an ever important 15 points towards their Carter shield total.