Jamie Dean reports on the lacrosse Freshfest at Duckes.
This Sunday saw the hotly anticipated lacrosse Freshfest take place at Duckes Meadows.
A beautiful spring day was the backdrop for bloodthirsty triumph and what were to be some fantastic games and performances from both our Men’s and Ladies’ freshers teams.
Our Ladies Beginners, who have been playing for less than 5 months, held their own beautifully against players of greater confidence and experience. The first game they ever played against FXU came as a bit of a shock and with only 8-a-side was very tiring.
Despite being thrown in at the deep end they adapted their game quickly and Ellie Jesson scored her first goal, and the first goal for the beginners ever. Liv Ponton was responsible for many authoritative runs up midfield with excellent evasive play having received from Emily Phillips who was always free off the draw. Lily Wyatt performed reliably in attack and Charlotte Gonsalves and Pippa Rymill quickly became forces to be reckoned with in defence.
Despite never having played before the Beginners produced fantastic displays and undoubtedly will be representing EULC very soon in the highest teams.
FreshFest for the Exeter 3rds was the first time they had ever played on grass but after a hesitant start, the girls quickly gained speed with a strong centre being played by Georgie Hackett. Jess Kirby represented in goal having never played goalie until 10 minutes before the game, and the excellent scores from every fixture demonstrate how well the defence had her back. Lauren Mercer was consistently available in midfield working seamlessly with Molly Barkes and Hannah Jilani. This provided Grace Poonyarit in attack with little choice but to put her shooting prowess in action, masterfully hitting home 8 in all games.
Plymouth and FXU brought a boisterous game which few of the players had ever dealt with before, but despite some injuries and some walking wounded (Tor Mackarness with some superb goals despite having cracked ribs!) Exeter 3rds emerged triumphant.
Our Men’s Freshers put on an equally action-packed and gutsy display in their games and sent a strong message to our BUCS rivals that EULC will remain the intimidating side it is for the foreseeable future.
After a few hard-fought early games, the boys got their rewards and found their scoring boots, Tom Jordan and Will Ayrton’s pace proving unstoppable for some inexperienced Plymouth defending.
Stalwart defensive displays from Henry Catmur and a surprisingly well-disciplined Patrick Dillon-Hatcher also nullified their opponents’ attacks with Exeter only conceding 4 goals throughout the competition.
Every member played their part, and notable performances from Nick Henderson-Williams and Steve “The Pirate” Mahoney helped Exeter ease through the semis with a high degree of class and poise.
In the final, an eclectic mix of gracefulness and sheer brute force was to prove too much for Bath, with Exeter hammering home 7 with no reply from the visitors and winning the entire tournament. A fantastic solo effort from Oli Middleton in the second half epitomised the drive and tenacity of our new members and leaves us in no doubt of more victories to come.
Nick Kempster, Kurt Higgins, Kate Clark and Nicola Pipe (Beginners Coaches) should be proud of the cohesive units they have moulded over the course of the year and especially the team’s work ethic, fighting for each other from start to finish.