Battling Tridents Provide Hope For Future Despite Loss
On Saturday 9th, an Iron Man Southampton Tridents Mens’ Lacrosse side travelled to Portsmouth for a SEMLA West 2 fixture. This was always going to be a tough encounter for […]
On Saturday 9th, an Iron Man Southampton Tridents Mens’ Lacrosse side travelled to Portsmouth for a SEMLA West 2 fixture.
This was always going to be a tough encounter for the city 2nds team with Portsmouth having been recently relegated from the West 1 league, and the Tridents only able to field a very inexperienced side. The opening exchanges proved as much, with the dominant Pompey strolling into a 7-0 lead by the first quarter and the Tridents offering very little offensively. However, the experienced backbone of the team eventually helped calm the jittery nerves, and the Tridents’ performance improved significantly. The defence, marshalled by Will Brittain, shored up, and the shape of the zone became far more impressive. In midfield, Zach Backas and Captain Jamie Morton provided good outlets to help ease the defensive pressure, and with the help of veteran Gordon Neve the attack began to cause Pompey problems. Nevertheless, the Pompey attack kept flowing, but the hugely impressive John Ochiltree, who aided the teams cause with 5 blocks, and Todd Lynes’ tireless running and impressive clears were providing much more resistance, only conceding 2 goals in the 2nd Quarter.
As the game moved into the 3rd Quarter, hard work by Leander Crocker, Henry Smith and Jack Kanani in the midfield were helping to disrupt Portsmouth’s transition play. Kanani’s work on ground balls was excellent, and Crocker was beginning to gain some headway in the face off. This lead to a lot of frustration within the Portsmouth ranks, and a 2 minute sin bin for their keeper following a reckless assault on Neve after losing the ball to a solid check. Again Portsmouth only managed to score 2, taking the score to 11-0.
In the final quarter, the Tridents changed from the zone defensive system to an unfamiliar man-on-man approach in order to increase the pressure and try to achieve the one thing that had eluded them all game: scoring a goal. The fire of the derby game had not gone despite the wide score line, with Tridents captain Morton receiving a sin bin for inappropriate language. However, the temper of the Portsmouth keeper flared far more violently and, after a confrontation with Backas and another incident involving Neve, he was expelled from the game. Southampton began to turn the screw offensively, sensing that a goal could be within their reach. As they pressed, an unfortunate break saw the Pompey Number 7, who had been a constant threat to the Tridents defence and had seen an audacious crease dive well saved, scored a cheeky behind the back shot. Rather than giving in following the sucker punch blow, it only served to galvanise the Tridents. The moment they had been waiting for finally came, after a shot was well blocked the ball fell perfectly to Smith, who pounced like a raging tiger and buried it past the sprawling replacement keeper for his first goal in Tridents colours. The celebrations were rapturous, even requiring the referee to step in and calm down the team. Following their mini triumph, the Tridents managed to hold off a reinvigorated Pompey attack, with a final score of 12-1.
Much can be made of the brave Tridents performances. Despite the loss, they had improved quarter on quarter, with each of the freshers proving that they have bags of potential. Captain Morton hailed an “Immense effort” by the team, going on to state that he had “never been proud of losing 12-1 before”.