John Harrop Cup 2017

John Harrop Cup 2017

Bath win 8:4

 

The squads

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Mark Lane drives for goal

 

The annual game between the University Students and the City side became the John Harrop Cup in 2014 to remember the founder of the club who sadly passed away.

The game is always competitive and in recent History the University has been the team in ascendance, narrowly losing the 2014 game 8:9 and then reversing this score in 2015 to win the cup 9:8 in a tight, tense game. In 2016 the score was much more in favour of the students 15:9 showing the static nature of the Bath side and the improvement of the University, which reflects the national game where University Lacrosse is becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Doug Mackay comes up with the ball

 

Bath however have been working hard in recruitment and standards are on the rise in the City, some juniors coming through and the average age of the team is now greatly below 30 rather than 40 as in other years.

Success off the field however can bring problems, particularly in selection, and the players will have to learn that places on the first team are not a right any more. Selection on known skill level will always be a factor in Bath, too many players live too far away from the City and cannot make regular training, this means there is always a strong emphasis on “keenness” giving players a far better chance of at least trying to make the higher grade, in other words Club Captain Luke Wilmot will take into account distance from training balanced against a willingness to play seconds and travel to games.

 

Mike Carey goes for a ground ball

 

Bath had a huge squad for this game, even with some first team players missing due to other commitments, 20 players is a lot to self-manage, and Nik Roberts had to step in to manage the bench at the start of the second quarter, mainly to ensure rotation of players.

The university had 15 players, with as many watching on the side lines, Lacrosse is healthy in Bath.

As predicted the game started tight and competitive, University had the lion’s share of possession as Bath struggled to deal with organisation of numbers, and didn’t concentrate on game formation, when the ball was knocked down, the students were quicker to the ground ball and quicker to ride, causing Bath to make silly passes and give up possession. Despite the Uni possession the Bath defence looked comfortable, backed by some excellent saves by keeper Will Tilson, clearing being the only problem.

A nice solo, now trade mark, drive by Sam King on one of the few moments of Bath attack saw the opening goal go Bath, the first time the club had tried to take advantage of the university’s lack of a bespoke keeper. D Pole Josh Yeoman having been co-opted to stand between the pipes, a job which might be his calling as throughout the game he made some excellent saves.

 

Students take a tumble

 

The second quarter saw the City start to take control, Mike Carey popping up on the left of the attack to score and Mark Lane, always a handful for any defence, slotting his firs from close range. The university responded with two goals to get back within one, buit Bath were now beginning to move the ball reasonably well in attack and clearing the ball with some organisation, the extra possession freed up Simon Griffiths for a nice shot and goal from the right and Mark Lane scored his second with a step, roll and shot to put Bath 3 goals up at the half.

The half time talk for Bath was all about structure and doing the simple things well.  Will Tilson having had a great half stepped out for Toby Painter in goal and Bath stepped back onto the field with real purpose, Wilmot wanted the Cup back.

 

Mark Lane beats his man

 

For a few moments it looked like Bath was going to have the usual third quarter blues, as the University scored from a fast break, caused after some confusion in the Bath attack resulted in a wayward pass to a student, the University then hit the post from a right sided shot by Rory Crouch, had the ball gone in, it would have tied the game and changed the whole balance of play.

Uni take a flying shotDoug Mackay keeps possession

 

 

The game then got a little scrappy, both sides dropping simple passes, silly fouls and panic slides, Bath at one stage found themselves down to a three-man zone, some of which was down to ungentlemanly conduct in the form of back chat to the referee; it was from one of these melees that saw Joe Stone come up with the ground ball, roll dodge the defender drive for goal and score with and excellent shot low to the keepers right, restoring Bath’s 3 goal lead and bringing some calm to the situation. This also seemed to take some wind out of the Uni sails, heads went down, Bath regained control of the ball, and a simple cut and shot from Craig Morey added to the Bath tally, going into the 4th quarter 4 goals up and having won the third quarter 2:1.

 

Steve Mooney defends

The final quarter was all about control Bath began to relax and passes became more accurate, the Uni had chances though, again hitting the pipes and Painter was made to pull off a couple of good saves. Mid-way through the quarter, a dump pass to Craig Morey for his second goal put Bath 5 goals up. The University managed a late consolation goal, but the Bath side were now cruising. the final score 8:4 to Bath, a low scoring tactical game lacking some physicality.

Captain Luke Wilmot got his wish and the John Harrop Cup is back in City hands, next year sees several students come back off placement where they are playing a good level of lacrosse, no doubt the University will try to take it back.

 

Captain Luke Wilmot gets his hands on the trophy

Now Wilmot must blend the squad, which will hopefully have some University additions, into league winning teams (can Bath come 1 and 2 in the league again), the false start to this season is over, Bath now go and play other clubs rather than themselves, and at the end of the campaign have a first team that can compete against the East, this means harmony and patience from the players and coaches alike; plus, a couple of pints on the way.

 

Open the fizzHappy Bath players

 

Quarter Scores

1st quarter Bath University 0:1 Bath

S King

2nd quarter Bath University 2:4 Bath

Carey, Lane, Griffiths, Lane

3rd quarter Bath University 1:2 Bath

Stone, Morey

4th quarter Bath University 1:1 Bath

Morey

Final Score Bath University 4:8 Bath

 

Scorers

Sam King 1

Mike Carey 1

Mark Lane 2

Simon Griffiths 1

Joe Stone 1

Craig Morey 2

 

Referee

Miles Whittle (Bath, Panel)

CBO

Alistair Frizell (Bath)

 

 

Past Results against Bath University

 

Team name date played Type of game Goals for Bath Goals against Bath 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 Jon Harrop Cup 9 8 Firsts
Bath University 19-Sep-15 Jon Harrop Cup 8 9 Firsts
Bath University 08-Oct-16 Jon Harrop Cup 9 15 Firsts
Bath University 07-Oct-17 Jon Harrop Cup 8 4 Firsts