The Blues looked unstoppable against Southampton despite one very hungover defender, and the Kingfishers dug deep to trounce League leaders Nottingham.
Another superlative victory for the unstoppable Blues Lax ladies this week left this Tab reporter bereft of previously-unused adjectives for sporting excellence. Having beaten Southampton 23 – 0 on their previous encounter the team weren’t exactly wrought with nerves. At least one rather tall member of the team was more worried about vomiting on the coach after a big night out bowling than playing lacrosse, but with five regular Blues missing there were some younger players who were out to prove their worth.
The match started predictably with a fast break from the draw capped off with a trademark ‘wanger’ from Northern Lass Alana Livesey. A smattering of goals followed quickly enough and the lax girls were easily up; but a lack of concentration from the defence saw Southampton score. Taken aback by the loss of Cambridge’s clean sheet, the next few minutes saw a panicked team rather taken aback by Southampton’s reality check, and they allowed 2 more goals against them.
A flattering half time score of 9-3 made Southampton look like they were still in the game, but Cambridge had other ideas. The scrappy ground balls were cleaned up and some beautiful transitions up the pitch, lead by Kingfisher power-house Sam Davie, prompted a flurry of classy and well-deserved goals.
The sea of calm was disturbed momentarily when the ordinarily faultless Angharad West saw yellow for a dangerous shot, and Cambridge were left a man down, but the girls simply treated Southampton to a professional display of possession play under the watchful eye of Co-Captain Anna Harrison. With West back on the pitch, Southampton’s goalie received a battering, with the final score reaching 23-4, and Cambridge sitting pretty at the top of their League.
Taking inspiration from their magnificent counterparts, the Kingfishers pulled off a thrilling win against League-leaders Nottingham on Wednesday. The somewhat barren sports pitch prompted comparison with Eliot’s Waste Land, but the lax girls were determined not to be ‘undone’, giving a characteristically gutsy performance which will benefit them in the knock-out stages of the league, as they gain a home match.
Ellie Jeffreys was aggressive in Centre position from the off, and Cambridge went ahead after Jeffreys stormed down the middle of the fan, dodging a handful of defenders and finishing with a powerful low shot. Nottingham were unperturbed, however, and were quick to respond with a quick-stick goal.
The teams looked to be evenly matched. Both were defending well and forcing a number of turn-overs in quick succession, prompting ever-wilder tackles, the most memorable of which saw Co-Captain Ellie Pithers receive a sharp whack to the temple – karma for last week’s exuberance against an Oxford player in a spookily similar egg-shaped injury. Some great drives up the pitch from a particularly feisty Katie Salter saw that the ball remained out of the Cambridge half, and Jeffreys and Pithers took control with some more hot shots on goal.
Cambridge remained in the lead for the whole of the second half, after some super saves from fearless goalie Ruth Coverdale, but Nottingham were still pressing for a win, eventually bringing the score to a nail-biting 8-7 with 3 minutes still to play. Hastily calling a time-out, Co-Captain Amelia Duncanson calmed the team’s fraying nerves and encouraged a sassy flaunting of stick work to keep possession. Laura Kirk summed up the Kingfishers’ calm resolve as she strolled around the attack half, perfectly unruffled, keeping the ball until the final whistle.
Ruth Coverdale steels herself against a determined Nottingham team.
The Blues now face UCL in the knock-out stages of the League, whilst the Kingfishers are to play Oxford for the third time this season, just days before Varsity. Can they go all the way? The Tab will be charting their every move…