So after the first tournament of 2014 in the Tasko Cup, DreadLAX was ready for its first outing in the summer season with both men’s and ladies’ teams playing in the Silesia Cup. This is the third time the guys side has entered and after third and second place finished they were hungry for the big prize, the ladies had not played together (or met) but were confident of a good showing in the first ever turn out for the Ladies side of the organisation.
In true DreadLAX fashion most of the men’s team arrived on the Thursday, two days early to allow for acclimatisation. We checked in and made our way to a bar we have frequented on the previous visits to Wroclaw. We settled in and chatted away the afternoon and into the night. Gradually all of the Thursday group were present and correct and we moved on to a club later in the night to show the locals how it was done on the dance floor.
After a late night by most of the group we awoke to a whole day to ourselves in Wroclaw town centre. An advance party ate breakfast and headed back to our favourite watering hole for a coaching session while everyone roused themselves for the day. Some of the first time visitors to Wroclaw explored the town centre while a core group remained in the bar getting to know the locals, staff and each other over some local beers. The rest of the ladies’ team arrived during the afternoon and after a quick turnaround in the hostel joined in the fun in the bar.
During the evening we were also joined by some of our Polish friends from previous events and we all reacquainted ourselves before once again moving on to find a club in town.
It was an absolutely fantastic day and the tournament hadn’t even begun yet!
Saturday morning was a struggle for some people but both teams arrived at the ground in plenty of time for their games and we cleared up the admin weekend, dished out the kit and prepared for a few games of lacrosse!
The girls would play every team there with a winner crowned on Sunday afternoon whilst the boys had a group of three to play before a play in game leading to the semi-finals. The other teams in attendance were from Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, The Netherlands and off course the international flavour of DreadLAX.
The guys beat both the Riga team and one of the Polish teams to top their group whilst the girls finished the day with three wins from three to set up a decider against the Riga team on the Sunday. The men’s team had to finish the day with a play in game against our old friends the Rotterdam Jaguars (whose women’s team also provided five of this year’s LadyDreads!).
After the rough morning and two games to loosen up the men’s team was confident of a win but knew the Jaguars had a good team present including a number of former and regular DreadLAXers.
The good guys came out on top to set up a game in the morning against the Polish league leaders Grom Warszawa at a rough 10:45am. Before we had to worry about that though there was Saturday’s party to get to grips with. The organisers had quite a night planned for us.
We met outside of DreadTowers, where most of the tournament has assembled in the town square armed with a ready supplier of beers, and headed around the corner to a tram stop to be met by most of the other attendees and waited for the tram to arrive.
The tram pulled up and everyone piled on and started the party. There was beer flowing, lots of inter-team bonding and even some crowd surfing down the tram by one of the LadyDreads!!
After a tour of the city we pulled back up at the stop and jumped off to head to the bar, still with many a beer left to finish off before we could head inside.
The venue of this year’s party is a bar steeped in DreadLAX folklore as the bar where 3-Man was first discovered by us, a game we have since made our own all over the world.
As we still had a few crates of beer left our hosts negotiated with the bar staff that we were allowed to hang around outside playing some flunkyball until we finished when we’d head inside.
We lined up for a couple of games of flunkyball, if you’ve never played you need to get along to the Silesia Cup next year as it’s a fantastic post-lacrosse drinking game. You essentially throw a ball at a bottle to earn the right to try and finish your drinks, it got messy and we got through a lot of cans.
After a good few vodkas and lots of chatting to ‘the oppo’ people started to disperse. The DreadLAX contingent showed a few of the other teams back to the 24 hour bar to carry on the party with some of the bar staff.
Sunday morning was rough.
We arrived at the ground in time for our semi-final against Grom but looked poor from the beginning. The game was quite scrappy and we never really got into our rhythm and went down to a loss, once again failing to bring home the trophy!
Grom played well and their goalkeeper Kacper put in some great stops from close up to make our lives even harder. The result set up an all Polish final with Grom taking on the hosts, the third place playoff would be against the Head Hunters from Slovakia.
During the gap in between games the guys had time to bust out the water balloon catapult and make their presence felt, even disrupting the DreadLAX ladies’ warm up by giving Kelsey and early shower. After that it was time for the girls’ last game of the tournament against the other undefeated team, Riga.
After the girls had played it was time for the guys to take on the Head Hunters for the final podium position. After the morning’s performance morale was low so we decided to mix it up a bit and give some run outs out of position, so we started with 3 of our midfield running pole and two poles looking to make something happen in attack.
The first half went poorly, we went into the half six goals down having demonstrated that position specialisms do have their place in the game! After the final team talk from Coach Saunders of the weekend we went back out to play the second half and see what we could take from the game.
The difference was apparent immediately with Chris Turner turning it on for his return to faceoff, Ollie Bailey once again firing on all cylinders and the defence not letting anything through. After the twenty minutes were up DreadLAX had won by a goal in one of the most unorthodox games anyone is likely to see.
The final was a good game to watch with both teams going all out. The home team came out on top which was great to see.
The aftermath of the tournament saw some impromptu games of flunky ball break out either side of the closing ceremony, lots of danger can and arrangements made for the last night in town for DreadLAX.
During the ceremony the DreadLAX ladies picked up two of the awards, with Hannah Walters named as best goalie and Victoria Peregrine best attacker.
As always the trip was a huge success and the hosts were as perfect as always. This year was our best yet despite the men dropping down the place as it saw our first ever ladies’ team take to the field!
We’ll be back next year for sure and in the meantime we have Vienna to plan for the guys and Turkey in September for both teams!! Keep an eye out for updates and get in touch if you’ve heard enough to jump on board next time out!!