City win the Jon Harrop Challenge Cup in nailbiter

Jon Harrop Challenge cup

Bath LC v Bath University LC

Final Score Bath Uni 8:9 Bath LC

alt

 

This game was actually the 12th time the two sides first teams have played each other, the club has dominated the fixture, only losing once in 2004, however the University of late has become a real contender, just losing 7:6 in 2013, so no surprises at how close the two sides were in this, the first official Jon Harrop Challenge. A brand new trophy bought through donations in memory of Jon Harrop a club founder and stalwart for over 30 years.

Club captain and student Ben Jessup opted to play for the university, which allowed Luke Wilmot to be the Bath LC captain for the occasion, on paper the students looked to have the edge, having a deeper midfield and a more than competent defence, whilst the clubs defence was also solid, and in attack plenty of experience. Both teams fielded large squads, giving many of the first team fringe players the chance to prove themselves, ready for the coming season where the two squads become one in SEMLA’s West Division 1.

alt

 

As well as being the first official Trophy game for the club, the University had advertised heavily to the new fresher recruits to come and watch their first game of Lacrosse, they and the Ladies team duly did, beer and music on the side line filled with 60 plus spectators, the atmosphere was something new to both teams.

Bath started the brighter of the two, but squandered good goal scoring opportunities, and the student defence became more confident and grew in stature as the game progressed, certainly the lack of pre-season training by the club side was being exposed in the final phases of attack – just plain rusty. Despite all the extra possession by the club it was the students that drew first blood, breaking the deadlock of what was certainly a tight, riddled with mistakes game, but Bath came back with a solo effort for, ironically, Alex Scott, a fresher unable to make the University side.

altalt

 

There then followed over 30 minutes of, to put it politely, uneventful Lacrosse, lots of dropped ball, no real penetration or movement by either side, lots of endeavour no ideas; it was no surprise the score still remained 1:1 at half time.

The Third quarter started to see signs that the rust was being removed for the City, whilst the revelries of fresher week were catching up on the students, tit for tat goals (Ken Murray and Harry Clarke for Bath) put the score all tied at 3 all after 60 minutes.

altalt

 

The fourth quarter saw the City start to move the ball with more purpose, and despite the students scoring first off an error in attack by Bath, three unanswered goals from Mike Carey, Harry Clarke and Simon Griffiths put the first bit of daylight between the sides, it seems all was going to plan, then started the most thrilling part of the game, two fast breaks and a set play later and the students not only pegged the City side back, but, with 2 minutes left the Blood Bath team held  the lead, a crucial face by Ken Murray saw a sweet fast break finished by Simon Griffiths to tie the game at 7:7, a full game of Lacrosse and nothing between the sides.

altalt

 

The choice was taken to play 15 minutes of overtime, then golden goals (nobody wanted that in reality); yet again the students took the early advantage, but once in the lead nerves started to jangle, panic and rush became the order of the day, Alex Sherwood, a temporary keeper for the university had an outstanding period of play, the highlight being a great one on one save against Lloyd Butler, which might have been the end for the students. With 5 minutes to go Mike Carey managed the equaliser, and at 8 all, both the crowd and the players were feeling nervous to say the least, both defences kept knocking the ball down until with less than two minutes remaining Lloyd Butler, in his last game this season as he goes in for an operation on his hand, popped up on the crease to score the winner, for the club it was a matter of running the last 90 seconds off the clock, which they did, although not without some very nervous looking passing.

altalt

 

In the end the game was a great advert for the game, new players got to show their stuff, and hopefully some freshers were inspired to join the club.

Penny Harrop, Jon’s wife presented the trophy to the victorious captain Luke Wilmot, if this year’s support is anything to go by, the Jon Harrop Challenge Cup could become a big deal indeed.

alt

 

Highlights of the game

Ben King – the third of the family getting his first run out fin Bath Colours, although not yet 15 (can’t play league Lacrosse yet) Ben did well, after 7 years of practicing he probably had more experience than most of the University side.

Big hit by Jack Rossiter on Luke Wilmot, put him into next week, credit Fluff, he got up and got on with it (eventually).

alt

 

Alex Sherwood in goal for the first time, fine performance, who knew!

The big crowd - outstanding

 

Quarter Scores

1st quarter Bath Uni 1: Bath LC

2nd quarter Bath Uni 0:0 Bath LC

3rd quarter Bath Uni 2:2 Bath LC

4th quarter Bath Uni 4:4 Bath LC

OT Bath Uni 1:2 Bath LC

Final Score Bath Uni 8:9 Bath LC

Scorers for Bath LC

Mike Carey - 2

Lloyd Butler - 1

Simon Griffths - 2

Harry Clarke - 1

Alex Scott – 1

Ken Murray – 1

Referee

Rhys Topping (Cardiff)

 

Past Results

           
University Team date played Type of game Bath University Bath team
Bath University 25-Feb-95 Division 3 5 10 Seconds
Bath University 01-Jun-96 Friendly 20 16 Seconds
Bath University 19-Jan-02 Division 2/3 20 1 Firsts
Bath University 05-Oct-02 Division 2/3 18 6 Firsts
Bath University 01-Feb-04 Division 2/3 12 15 Firsts
Bath University 02-Oct-04 Division 2 20 3 Firsts
Bath University 2nds 11-Dec-05 Friendly 9 8 Seconds
Bath University 2nds 30-Sep-06 Friendly 9 1 Seconds
Bath University 13-Oct-07 West Div 1 16 4 Firsts
Bath University 26-Jan-08 West Div 1 20 2 Firsts
Bath University 27-Sep-08 Friendly 13 1 Firsts
Bath University 02-Oct-10 Friendly 12 1 Firsts
Bath University 29-Jan-11 Friendly 6 3 Firsts
Bath University 06-Oct-12 Friendly 17 0 Firsts
Bath University 29-Sep-13 Friendly 7 6 Firsts
Bath University 27-Sep-14 Friendly 9 8 Firsts