Bath v Oxford University – Intermediate Flags Semi Final

Odd Down, 10th March 2018, Final Score: Bath 6:20 Oxford

Bath Lose heavily despite good start

The Squads
The Squads

This game nearly didn’t happen, right up till 8.30 on Saturday morning the Odd Down ground staff were calling the game off, heavy rain for 24 hours after the pile of snow had apparently left the ground sodden. But as luck would have it, the windy nature of Odd Down and a few hours of clear sky meant that the game could go ahead, as it turned out the predicted extra rain, due in at 2pm didn’t materialise either.

Alex Foster Powel wriggles free
Alex Foster Powel wriggles free

Home side Bath we’re almost at full strength for this game, Captain Luke Wilmot’s only missing pieces were at face where Alex Hustler is normally a factor and in attack where injured Craig Morey would have been a bonus, in midfield the absence of Ben King at LSM would also be seen as a factor.

Alex George on the move
Alex George on the move

That said the replacements are no slouches and the squad looked capable, the big worry would be the lack of games recently, not to mention the quality of the games played. Oxford looked a strong outfit, containing no fewer than 4 Ex or on placement Bath players.

Bath started well, at face Ken Murray cleaned up and the home team enjoyed the lions share of the possession for the first 30 minutes, plenty of settled play, a little static but effective.

All three of Bath’s first quarter goals were from individual efforts though (two from Matt King and one from Mark Lane) but all in all the home team looked in control.

Mark Jeffery goes for it
Mark Jeffery goes for it

The game began to swing with three “events” ; Sam King, so important as a physical presence at midfield took a heavy hit on the elbow which virtually removed him from the game, not good refereeing as nothing was called, Luke Wilmot, losing the whole of the bottom of his left boot (no grip) and a fast break goal by Oxford after a good move and shot from Lloyd Butler was saved on the line, all midway through the second quarter.

Matt King takes a high catch
Matt King takes a high catch

This goal seemed to give the Oxford boys some extra confidence and at the same time Bath lost concentration, heads dropped, Oxford went from a goal down at quarter time to two goals up at the half, a tight game, but now Bath were chasing, and Oxford capitalised on this.

Suddenly neither Murray or Bowen-Ashwin at face could win a ball, and when they did get some joy the Oxford middies were just a little bit more hungry for the ground ball.

Will Tilson under pressure
Will Tilson under pressure

In fact in almost every department the visitors turned the screw, scoring regularly and moving the ball quicker with more confidence than Bath. A couple of fast breaks were almost Picasso’s in their beauty.

Possession called
Possession called

In the second half, Baths only glimmer was an interception from a slow clear by Alex George leaving him 1 on 1 with the goalie.

Sam White holds the ball
Sam White holds the ball

This was a lesson for Bath, to go along side each time they come up against an East team, where regular, better quality games are the norm. Bath are too individual, and not as fit as a lot of opposition, probably due to lack of training together, poor opposition and cancelled games in the West league, unless SEMLA makes some drastic changes the organisation could find itself with no West teams at all over the longer term.

Man for man, there wasn’t a lot of difference between individuals, it’s thinking and acting at a quicker pace.

Overall this was a good game of Lacrosse, very clean, with only one penalty, in fact not a lot of physicality at all, usually a Bath trade mark.

Quarter scores

1st quarter Bath 3:2 Oxford

M King, Lane, M King

2nd quarter Bath 2:5 Oxford

Carey, S King

3rd quarter Bath 1:6 Oxford

George

4th quarter Bath 0:7 Oxford

Final score Bath 6:20 Oxford

Scorers

  • Matt King 2
  • Mark Lane 1
  • Mike Carey 1
  • Sam King 1
  • Alex George 1

Referee

Nik Roberts (Bath)

CBO

Alex “Cheadle” Scott (Bath)

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