Tridents Do the Double
Fresh from their BUCS league victory at wide lane Southampton men’s lacrosse travelled away to Cardiff to face Bristol Seconds. Besting Bristol twice on previous encounters home and away, Southampton […]
Fresh from their BUCS league victory at wide lane Southampton men’s lacrosse travelled away to Cardiff to face Bristol Seconds.
Besting Bristol twice on previous encounters home and away, Southampton were optimistic, an over-eager Southampton side flew into the first quarter with a little too much enthusiasm. Surprised by a capable Bristol side, the Tridents defence were pushed onto the back foot initially, conceding the first goal of the game, a shot in the keeper’s blind spot from up high to the left of the pitch. Unused to the style of refereeing, Southampton found themselves two men down in defence on two occasions – testament to Chris’s keeping and the pressure from close defence Bristol found themselves goalless on both instances. A restart won by face off man Leander Crocker provided the defensive unit with time to rally. A better-prepared defence held off heavy pressure for the half, aided by man-of-the match and keeper Chris James. Though initially troubled in midfield the skilful Southampton attack unit proved too much to handle for Bristol’s troubled defence. With little possession in the first quarter Tridents had to be clinical, number 20 Jules made his presence known first, with a scything run through crease finishing with a scorching shot into the top right, impact knocking windows out of the topshed. Player-Coach Jack McClelland doubled the score with a goal from midfielder Harry Kenyon’s feed, closing out the quarter 2-1 to the Tridents.
Recovering from the initial shock of a goal Southampton came roaring back onto the pitch for the second quarter. Still adjusting to the referees,defence – with a man down – denied every goal, pressuring hard to force a litany of errors and spill the ball onto the turf. Southampton contested fiercely to win the ball on the floor, midfield and defence worked well to ship the ball into attack, Yusuke Myazaki breaking through in the midfield on several occasions, complemented by strong clears under pressure by the close defenders. Southampton midfielders put the hurt on Bristol to turn the momentum of the game in their favour. Ground ball hustling from veteran Sam Marshall is often overlooked – such is his consistency – however it was impossible to ignore his impact in turning Bristol onto the back foot in the second quarter, backed up well by Freshers Leander Crocker and Henry Smith. Once off the floor speed and cutting runs from Harry Kenyon, Yusuke Myazaki and Ben McMylor diced through Bristol’s defence leading to a flurry of goals. Jamie Morton made the best of a questionable McClelland feed, combining a pickup from the feet with a dodge around a charging keeper, popping it calmly into the net before a lethargic defence had the chance to charge in. Jules and Jack both struck gold, ripping through defence and ripping into goal to pull away and finish up the half 5-1 ahead.
Thethird quarter was to be much the same, now chasing the game Bristol called numerous time outs, attempting to find away through the tried and tested zone defence but to no avail. Expending their strength on pressuring early in the quarter, Bristol exhausted them selves, running the ball down but being dispossessed over and over. Outside defenders Will Brittan and Lloyd Ellis harassed attackers, together with pressure behind cage from Will Jones it soon became clear Bristol’s attack were trying to avoid hanging on to the ball, resulting in rushed play and poor passes, which were easily scooped up and over half way, back into Bristol territory. Again the Tridents proved the better side, scoring twice after a well-drilled Bristol defence marked attackers Jack and Jules out of the game. Southampton showed their strength in depth, with one goal coming from Jamie, pirouetting around defencers and taking a shoulder to the back of head for his troubles, which he shrugged off to score again. Andrew Valentine kept his scoring streak going, with a goal late in the quarter, making it through the entire season of BUCS scoring in every game. Fun fact time! ‘Player of the Season’, Andrew Valentine has scored at least a hat trick in all but two games of BUCS this season. Bristol scored their second goal of the game, again from out wide, ending the quarter 7-2 to the Tridents.
With the cup victory in sight, the usual winding down of the game was far from the Tridents thoughts. Skilful shot stopping and exhausting runs over half way from the defenders kept the ball north of the halfway. Attack furiously whipped passes around the cage, wrenching defenders ever more out of position as they desperately waved their sticks around trying to regain possession. Bristol’s keeper surely earned himself man of the match, keeping Bristol hanging in as Southampton ripped shots at the cage, despairing as he saw the ball turned over and charged back down towards him. Once again the dangerous duo Jack and Jules kept the scoreboard ticking over with a goal apiece. Fittingly, the whistle blew as defender Will Jones ran the ball back over halfway following a midfield tussle, ending the season 9-2 to the Tridents, winners of both BUCS League and Cup.
As this is to be the last BUCS report of the season, I’d like to thank our leaving players; Will Brittain, Sam Marshall, and Ben McMylor for helping us with tips and tricks from your years of scrabbling around in the dirt and coming up with your balls in a net, both on and off the lacrosse field. But also our player coach Jack McBellend, for turning up Mondays and Thursdays to coach us all, we are all grateful that you would rather spend time watching lacrosse coaching videos on YouTube instead of doing your lab reports, and thank you for it.