Our first home match of 2012 would be against our biggest Elite Series rival, Gislaved. We had spent the whole week in preparation for this match and were ready for revenge, as they had beaten us in the Elite Series premier match 1-3: 17-25, 18-25, 25-20, 22-25. The Lagan Floorball team came to help support our team for this match, complete with drums and vuvuzelas. We wound up having just shy of 500 fans, which I’m pretty sure is a Sunnerbohallen record. The gym was packed and full of energy as we began warming up.
In set 1, Gislaved jumped to an early 2-8 lead, but we managed to come back and fight point-for-point with them, finally winning 25-23. Set two had a similar trend, with Gislaved starting out strong, but this time they never allowed us within 3 points, allowing them to take set 2: 19-25. So far in the match, we had been forced to earn many of our own points, while we were able to help Gislaved off the hook with some of our own unforced errors.
During the 10-minute break, our team recomposed and came back to the court strong, leading throughout the set to win 25-21. The fourth game was ours, as we led at 8-4, 16-11, 21-19, finally having match point with a comfortable 4-point lead. Unfortunately we were unable to close this set, similar to our match against Engleholm, and Gislaved was able to force a 5th and deciding set after winning 25-27.
The biggest different in the 4th set was that we had to make 21 of our 25 points, while Gislaved only had to make 17 of their 27 points; meaning we gave them 10 “free” points from serving and hitting errors, while they only gave us 4 “free” points. If we were able to minimize our own mistakes, then there is no doubt in my mind that we could have won the match in 4 games.
The 5th set was back-and-forth, with neither side breaking away until about 10-points, where Gislaved went on a solid run, and finally took the match 11-15. This was a real heartbreaker. Despite the support from our fans, and the huge amounts of energy they brought to the court as our “7th man”, we could not mentally close the match. On the bright side, because the match went to 5-games, we were able to gain one point. It was a great game and a lot of fun, however disappointing the end result was. Hopefully we can learn from this match and turn it around in our favor next time we are in this situation.