Bath come close to promotion
Bath lose promotion cliff hanger
Bath v East Grinstead
Location – Reading Wildcats LC
Final Score: Bath 7:10 East Grinstead
The word on the street was that East Grinstead the East Division 1 winners would run away with this game, far bigger, stronger and much more the “premiership” side. Bath however had other ideas, matching the East side physically and certainly for speed.
Bath fielded a near full strength squad, only Nigel Gates (work) and Alex Catton (hamstring) missing from Captain Will Finlayson’s ideal line up, however Luke Wilmot and Mark Lane, both products of the Bath youth development programme proved to be more than capable substitutes.
Bath started the stronger of the two sides, taking a two goal lead early on, Doug Mackay proving to be the unknown quantity as far as EG were concerned, attacking at will from the front of the defence. EG pulled one back only for Bath to go 3:1 up, the West champions had the East Champions and favourites rattled. A fourth goal, probably the best of the day (behind the head shot from short) prompted a stick check from the EG coach, suspicion of an illegally deep pocket, this proved not to be the case, but the stick was illegal by 5mm in length, stick confiscated, and more importantly Pete Short was put off his stride for a good 15 minutes after the event. The resulting 3 minute penalty could have been a disaster, but the long poles coped well, in fact in all 12.5 minutes of the game was spent man down, out of which EG gained very few goals
Despite all this Bath went into quarter time 3:1 up and looked to be in command, but EG are a tough side and throughout the second period chipped away at the Bath lead, outscoring the West team 5:3 making it all square at the half.
Bath seemed to switch off for the first 10 minutes of the third quarter; the attack fumbled the ball and EG ran the same play three times for three goals in as many minutes. After that Bath began to chase the game, rushing when in possession and allowing EG to defend comfortably, Bath lost the game 10:7 despite winning the first and 4thquarters.
This was an even exciting game of Lacrosse, Bath have immediately taken the opportunity to challenge the 9thplaced team in the premiership on the 28thApril. Given the closeness of the game, Bath playing like this could do well in the premiership themselves.
These two teams meet in the intermediate Flags on the 21stApril, it should be another cracker.
Highlights of the game
Mark Lanes goalkeeping – outstanding, one amazing double save, second part off the floor; a monster pick from Sam King enabling Doug Mackay (this reporters Man of the match) a run on goal, a great Si Griffiths drive from behind for a solo goal and of course the disallowed Peter short goal, it was a beauty
1stquarter Bath 3:1 East Grinstead
2ndquarter Bath 3:5 East Grinstead
3rdquarter Bath 0: 4 East Grinstead
4thquarter Bath 1:0 East Grinstead
Bath 7:10 East Grinstead
Doug Mackay 3
Sam King 1
Simon Griffiths 1 (2)
Mike Carey 1
Peter Short 1 (1)