32nd Bath Eights

Bath Eights 2017

Odd Down

 

Spencer win 32nd Bath Eights to become only the second Southern team to win the tournament

Stockport win first Women's tournament

Odd Down hosts the Eights for the first time

LINK TO FACEBOOK PHOTOS

 

Bath players show off new kit

Two big changes afoot for the annual Bath Eights tournament in 2017, the first was the location, after 31 years of holding the event on the Recreation Ground in the centre of Bath, the club moved the whole thing up to Odd Down, a risk as its slightly out of the centre, but the benefits in terms of facilities and space, will in the end prove a real bonus. There is a lot more space, and will allow the tournament to grow, which brings this neatly to the second change, the first ever Bath Eights Womens tournament, all held on the same day.

 

Stockport score on Bath

Take up for the Men’s was us enthusiastic as ever, and by mid-August all the 33 places had been filled. Unfortunately, due apparently to England Trials, some of the teams dropped out, leaving space for Bath to enter a second team (or Old Boys as they were called), in fact Bath fielded three teams, as the Trowbridge team consisted of Bath current and past players, all in all the tournament saw 29 Men’s teams participate. The Ladies, with a capacity for up to 12 teams this year stood, until a few days before at 10 confirmed, but the Armed forces dropped out at the last minute.

 

Bath Women's squad

 

That all meant over 400 lacrosse players and officials descended on Bath, the weather was perfect, lots of Lacrosse was played and 5 varieties of Lilley’s Cider were available at the Bar.

 

Morey moves through

Of the Bath teams Trowbridge were the most successful, making it through the preliminary rounds into the quarter finals.

The layout of the fields at Odd Down also allows for a “show pitch” which lies parallel to the club house and is ideal for viewing. Both the Men’s and women’s finals were held on this pitch in front of a healthy crowd.

 

Some Bath action

The first final, the Womens, saw Stockport take on Walcountian Blues. They had already met in the Prelims, in a hotly contested, and debated game, Blues came out on top in that one, but in the final Stockport were taking no prisoners. The Northern Club took control early on and never looked like losing, nullifying the better Blues players (lessons learnt) and taking their chances well. The final score of 5:2 to Stockport, probably a fair reflection of the game.

 

Stockport shoot in the final2017 winners Stockport LC

 

The Men’s final saw Sheffield Steelers play Spencer, significant for the fact that no Lancashire or Cheshire team were involved, a first in Eights History. It wasn’t lost on Spencer that Southern teams have not done well at the Eights, with only one winner in the past (Kenton in 1994), the Wandsworth outfit, having been dominant in the South for a couple of years wanted some more silver in the cabinet. The game was pretty even, but Spencer took their chances and slowly pulled away to finish the game 5:2 winners.

2017 winners Spencer LCSheffield on goal in the final

Bath Lacrosse Club rely on this tournament to fund any youth development in the area and the club depends on its small band of volunteers to make it work.  They work tirelessly and the club would like to say a huge thank you to all.

The volunteer Bar staff

Next year’s tournament is already booked, and in a break to tradition (only happened three times before), the date will be the 8th of September, which for the eagle eyed out there is the second weekend in the Month. Like the other times, the first week is too early and coincides with holidays etc.

Bookings open later this year.

Bromance