We know you’ve been enjoying this season of Keeping Up With The Killers, and with the season finale just around the corner, it’s time to see what’s in store for the Killers in this weekend’s finale!
With the final league meeting of DPL 2016-17 around the corner, the Killer Bees are relishing the chance to compete at the highest level again.
Having made fortnightly pilgrimages to the Midlands since January and having battled the other nine league teams twice each, the Bees have defeated all teams below them in the league at least once en route and are comfortably sat in fourth place.
The Bees’ position is testament to the hard work and dedication shown by the men throughout the season and proves they are deserving of their place among the elite teams in the country. However, they have been unable to defeat the three teams above them, despite close results, including 8-6 losses against all three teams.
With the Bees set to play Minotaurs, Bedford Eagles and Meteors, their goal of defeating one of the three strongest teams in the country is again within reach. Despite having beaten all of the teams in tournament play this season, the Manchester team have been unable to inflict defeat on these teams in the Premier League. Having been within seconds of achieving this goal four times already this league season, the Killer Bees are determined to emerge victorious this weekend.
A victory this weekend coupled with a top four finish would leave the Killer Bees immensely satisfied with their debut season in the League and determined to improve next season.
One thing we do know, is this season of #KUWTK has had us on the edge of our seats. We for one already can’t wait for next season!
With the Dodgeball Premier League at its halfway point, it’s time for another episode of Keeping Up With The Killers…
At the second meeting of the 2017 DPL, the Bees faced Dirty Ducks, a group of graduates from the once all-conquering Warwick University, still plying their trade at this level. Lineups for both teams were different to usual, with the absence of both Ross McGuigan and Bru Cousins allowing Andy Lowther his first taste of Premier League action, whilst a number of the Ducks had appeared to have flown south for the winter, necessitating two guests to join the flock.
The Bees began in confident fashion and dispatched the Ducks 8-6, earning 13 points from the encounter. A match up with one time fierce rival Bedford Mighty Eagles was next. The Bees could not turn early leads into game wins despite their best efforts and suffered a chastening 12-2 defeat.
The final action for the Bees at the second meeting was a match with Hinckley Dodgeball Club’s Jammy Dodgers, the only surviving team from the first ever Dodgeball Premier League in 2010-11. The Killer Bees raced into a 6-0 lead before the experience of JD allowed them to bring the game back to 6 points apiece.
With the Bees down in the final game, it fell to Club Captain Rob Kearns to make two catches in the final seconds to earn a 7-7 draw.
At the third league meeting, the Bees were to face the three teams they had yet to encounter in the DPL. However, before any play could take place, league rivals London Storm came looking for aid from the Manchester club.
One of the London players had forgotten his official playing shirt; with the strict enforcement of apparel rules by the UKDBA, London would not be able to play without matching kit. Friends with many of the club members, the Bees wasted no time in donating their kit to London in order for them to be able to play as London Swarm and complete their match.
In Manchester’s first match of the day, having had their kits returned (slightly warmer and wetter than when donated) the Bees faced Leeds Snipers, rivals from last season’s NDL1 and a team to whom the Killers have lost only once in nearly four years.
The teams traded points throughout the match and despite the best efforts of Lewis Brimmell and former Leeds player Alex Bembridge, neither team could gain control from the other, with the match ending a 7-7 draw.
With current Premier League Champions Leicester Minotaurs next, the Bees knew they had to raise their game. The game was well and truly raised, with Manchester racing into a 5-1 lead thanks to important catches from Aden Woodall and Liam McMahon. The Leicester team began to show why they were champions last season and clawed back to lead 7-5 heading into the final match.
With a large crowd looking on, Bru Cousins made a game changing hit on an unsuspecting Alan Soltani followed by a catch on Minotaurs captain Dan Ryan, shifting momentum to the Manchester Killer Bees, who were able to see out the final game and earn a 7-7 draw.
Wessex Wolves, rivals from last year’s NDL1, were the final team left to play. The Bees knew that a convincing victory would secure a top half placing at the season’s halfway point. With strong performances from all players, particularly Rob Kearns and DPL debutant Ross McGuigan, the Bees defeated the Wolves 12-2 and earned 17 points from the fixture.
Currently sitting in fourth place with 91 points, the Killer Bees are 19 points behind Bedford Mighty Eagles in third and 12 points clear of Nottingham Sheriffs in fifth.
How will the rest of the season play out? Stay tuned to Keeping Up With The Killers to find out…
Since forming in early 2013, one of the primary aims of the Manchester Killer Bees has been to play in the Dodgeball Premier League. Having fallen at the final hurdle in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, an undefeated 2015-16 league campaign yielded a place in the Premier League for the first time.
Ten teams will battle for the league championship over seven meetings at Leicester’s New College venue. This season is hotly anticipated by all at the UKDBA with a terrifically tight championship expected.
The campaign began successfully: a 10-4 defeat of Nottingham Sheriffs, league rivals from last year and a club with whom the Bees share a close relationship. Despite Nottingham’s Alex Youngman throwing himself around court in efforts to secure catches and accurate pre-throwing attacks from Michael Parry, the superior throwing power and team unity of Manchester shone through. Particularly strong throwing from Republic of Ireland’s Rob Kearns and head coach Aden Woodall ensured the Bees took 15 points from their first ever Premier League fixture.
The second fixture for the Killer Bees was against prior Premier League winners Meteors, a collection of players from around Leicestershire. Despite being reduced to five players for a yellow card in a previous tournament, Meteors began strongly. The Bees fought back swiftly in a heated and fast paced game that saw the teams trade points as well as a show reel moment for the sport. Having been hit by Scotland’s Chris Harper at the front of the court and with the ball sailing back into Meteors territory, former Bees club captain Liam McMahon launched himself over the dead zone and managed to secure the catch in mid air before landing, to the delight of his team mates and the gathered spectators. With the match then poised at 4 points apiece, the Lutterworth collective showed their experience and moved to a 10-4 final result, despite the best efforts of Alex Bembridge, frequently making catches when the final player left on court.
After brushing off the defeat, the Bees were back in battle against the boys of London Storm. Another newcomer to the league, London Storm had been entered due to the dissolution of the longstanding Leicester City Ligers. With the two big city teams probing the other for a weakness and struggling to find one, a tight and tense contest was decided by Manchester’s superior throwing accuracy combined with crucial catching from founding members Lewis Brimmell and Bru Cousins. The efforts of the Bees were enough to push the team to a hard fought 8-6 victory and secure 13 more points. The men ended the day with 32 points, laying a solid foundation for the season.