Bitburg review by Shaun Hasell of London Nexus
With the 2011 season now well under way, it was off to Bitburg in Germany for the second Millennium event of the year. We had spent the last 5 weeks training for Germany at our home training field at Bricketwood in London and also up at the CPPS in Stafford. A combination of factors meant we didn’t get much time to practice the new field layout, and things didn’t exactly go to plan at the CPPS event, where we finished a lowly 5th. So we were unsure on how we would perform at the Millennium event.
The event had been moved down the road from the airfield to a sports complex, the fields looked good and the sun was set to shine all weekend. After spending Wednesday night in Dover, we had a ridiculously early start followed by a 5 hour journey from Calais to Bitburg. We then trained against TonTons on the Thursday afternoon just like we had at the previous event in Paris. As with Paris, the training was hard and I think we only managed to win a handful of points against them. However it was this kind of beating which inspired us to play so well in the Paris prelims, so it was now down to us to pick ourselves up and make sure we played better in the prelims again.
We had drawn Breakout Spa, Outrage Valance and Rammstein Instinct, which were all teams we had played in Paris. First up was Breakout Spa who had knocked us out of Paris in the quarter finals. It was a hard game and they went 3-0 up, we made a few adjustments to our lane shooting and which bunkers we were breaking to and managed to claw it back to 4-4. With the momentum on our side, we all felt like we could steal the win, but unfortunately Breakout pulled themselves together to edge the final point and we lost 5-4.
Next up was Rammstein Instinct who we had played and beat 5-1 in the prelim group in Paris. We put in a better performance than our first game and beat them again 5-2. The field layout for this event was proving to be quite a leveling factor, and after two games everyone in our group had won one and lost one, so going into our last prelim game it was a case of ‘win or go home’. Our final game was against Outrage Valance who we had also played in our prelim group in Paris and beaten 5-1. The guys really rose to the occasion and we took control of the game shooting people of the break, controlling the lanes and making smart moves. We won 5-2 again. Despite losing our opening match this put us top of our group and into Sunday club for the second time this year.
We were waiting on the results of other matches going on and as we sat in the stands watching the rest of the CPL games play out, it worked out that we would play Frankfurt Syndicate on Sunday morning.
The game started with a very close first point, but going to Syndicate, they quickly added to the score and were 4-0 up before we had any sort of reply, we won a couple of points back but Syndicate managed to win the match 5-2. We were all gutted as we so badly want to make that top 4 finish, but we’re not quite there yet.
With the event all wrapped up on Sunday, and the team not due to head home until Monday morning, we took the opportunity to have a few drinks in the hotel bar on Sunday night. We have a great group of guys on the team, and the banter is always relentless. Jason Wheeler refused to join in the drinking game that had been planned for almost a month, preferring instead to sweet talk his new ‘headband friend’ Kyle Spicka from the Ironmen. Later on we went to hang out with my good friends Drammen Solid, where the fun continued long into the night. Jay Ford challenged someone to a dance off, which he won convincingly – he was on fire! There were a couple of tired faces at breakfast the next morning, but thankfully we had a five hour drive back to Calais ahead of us to catch up on the lost sleep.
We would like to say thank you to all the people who help us do what we do, because without them it is not possible. DYE Paintball, Bricket Wood Training Ground, Celtic Paintballs, SupAir and CustomPBTV – you are the best in the business. Also a huge thank you to everyone who cheered for us from the stands or followed our progress online. Next up is our home event – Campaign Cup in London, this is where we want to do well and get a good result. We have a couple of weekends off now but we are going to be training hard in the run up to UK paintball’s main event.
Thanks also to Photomonkey for the awesome photography as usual.