Superleague Day 3 review
On 22nd April 2018, the PACE A team continued their Boccia Super League Campaign. The super league is a four day competition, featuring the top six teams in the country. Currently, PACE A are in the relegation zone and are amongst the favourites to go down. The standard of play in the league is exceptionally high and PACE A have not picked up many wins in their debut Superleague season so far.
Day 3 pitched PACE A against arguably the strongest two teams in the competition, Southern All-stars and Paul’s Place, both are former champions of the Superleague.
PACE A brought Mitchell Robinson into the starting line-up in place of Alex, with Mitchell taking over the captaincy.
Starting Lineup; Mitchell Robinson (C), Jamie Keat & Reshad Saraj
Subs; Alex Dukes, Ramandeep Mann
PACE A have a bad habit of starting competitions on the back foot and not playing to their full potential at the very beginning. Despite all efforts to achieve an optimum state of readiness, it was clear that the team was nervous and emphatically lost the psychological battle, which cost them the match. PACE A were unable to capitalise on any of the key moments, missing their first balls and even fouling a jack. This doesn’t build confidence and momentum began to slip away as early as the second end. Substitutes were made, bringing on Alex and Ramandeep for Reshad and Mitchell, but unfortunately the game couldn’t be saved and PACE A suffered a crushing 16-0 loss.
It was decided to keep the same lined-up as the first match and concentrate scoring big points on PACE’s end by playing the edges of Boccia court. Thankfully, PACE A played much better in the second match, this was closely fought to the very last end. Paul’s Place is one of the strongest teams in the Super League. On their ends, they very rarely play to short range, if at all. However, PACE A were able to compete with them on their ends throughout the match, and on one occasion score a point thanks to a fantastic long range short from Reshad. Going to the final end, it was 4 – 3 to PACE A with Reshad throwing the Jack ball. With only one point separating the two teams, there was intense pressure on Reshad to nail his first ball. The shot wasn’t perfect and Paul’s Place managed to squeeze one on to the Jack Ball for their first point, and knocked a second ball closer later in the end to claim the vital point needed. The final score was 5 – 4 to Paul’s Place, an incredibly disappointing result for PACE A who were within touching distance of the 3rd/4th place playoff.
Their last match of the day was against Jorvik Boccia in the 5th and 6th play-off. PACE knew they had to win this match to have any chance of survival on the last day. Luckily, Jorvik were down a player due to illness, meaning PACE A had a huge advantage going into the match. PACE avoided the potential pitfall of being complacent due to having the extra player by putting in a professional performance, making sure Jorvik had no opportunity to gain a foothold in the match. The final score was 6 – 2 to PACE A.
With beating Jorvik, PACE have a slim chance of survival. However, PACE’s A journey to the Super League have certainly had their setbacks but the team persevered and overcame them. Day four of the competition takes place running parallel with the National League Finals, on June 30th.