Cheadle win 32nd Bath Eights

32nd Bath Eights tournament won by Cheadle Lacrosse Club

alt

 

2014 Champions Cheadle Lacrosse Club regained their title beating Spencer Lacrosse Club 4:0 in the final. 29 teams competed for the Trophy on a very wet day on the recreation ground.

 

alt

 

Bath, yet to win their own tournament finished with only 17 points, placing them a poor 22nd

To be fair, much depends upon the draw on the day and Bath’s wasn’t a good one, playing clubs from both the North and South Premierships.

Game 1 - Bath opened against Northern Premier team Mellor LC, losing 3:0, despite starting brightly and creating chances.

Game 2 -Against Welwyn LC, recently demoted to SE D1 from the Southern Premiership, the loss 2:3 was a difficult pill to swallow for Bath’s captain Luke Wilmot as the game could have easily been a home victory.

Game 3 – Top Northern Premier outfit Brooklands came away with a not so comfortable win 4:2, Bath took the lead, competed all over the pitch, but the stronger team prevailed in the end.

Game 4 – A West D1 encounter against Plymouth LC, Bath main rivals this season for promotion, the game was scrappy, both teams had enough to win, so a draw was, in the end a fair result.

Game 5 – A Bristol University Alumni side with plenty of experience across the divisions, Bath had plenty of chances but couldn’t put the ex-students away, drawing 2:2.

Game 6 – Reading LC, a Southern Premier outfit with bags of attacking flair; Bath couldn’t cope losing 8:0 their worst defeat of the day.

altalt

 

The tournament format for the preliminary rounds is based on points accumulated in order to get into the knockout stages. 10 points for a win, 5 points for a draw and 1 point for every goal scored. Small clubs can feel they have a victory if they stop points for one of the big guns, as happened with Last year’s champions Wilmslow, slipping on a banana skin in the shape of Loughborough University, losing 4:2 and putting the Northern Premiership side out of the knockouts.

Traditionally the South has struggled against the stronger Northern clubs, the last Southern victors being Kenton LC in 1994 but this year saw 4 of the Semi-final slots taken by Southern Clubs.

altalt

 

The first Semi Final was an all-South affair with Spencer LC coming out on top 3:0 against Reading. The Wandsworth Club looked strong and well organised, keeping the Reading attack off the ball.

The other Semi saw Cheadle dominate a spirited Hillcroft LC side winning 8:3 in a fast free flowing game.

alt

 

Despite the wet conditions both Cheadle and Spencer put on a great game in the final, and although Cheadle won 4:0 in the end, the score line hardly reflects the game, Spencer had the lion’s share of the ball and shots on goal, but they just couldn’t convert, hitting just about everything but the back of the net, at the other end Cheadle were clinical, and deserved winners.

alt

 

This was the wettest tournament on record, but despite the rain and the lack of facilities (the pavilion and Leisure centre are under refurbishment) the day went well, 94 matches played by 29 teams which equates to at least 290 lacrosse players.

alt

 

The volunteers and referees (17 of them) work extremely hard on the day and need a huge thank you from Bath LC. The tournament makes a very small profit after expenses, which all goes into the development fund, however, with no sponsor and tighter margins, the club must look at whether it can sustain what is the biggest tournament of its kind.

alt