Bath v Cheltenham Cougars
24th April 2021
Odd Down, Bath
Final Score Bath 2:9 Cheltenham
After a lengthy COVID-enforced break to the season, Bath returned to action with a Cotswolds league match against Cheltenham at Odd Down. It was a makeshift Bath team sheet with Gareth Davies and Luke Wilmot both picking up D-poles for the first time in this elongated season. Bath also had to rotate the refereeing between players but were fortunate to have Molly as CBO to free up a place on the bench.
Cheltenham started the first quarter strongly after winning the toss in lieu of a face-off. The pattern for the game was set early, with long spells of 6v6 and only sporadic bursts of midfield play on the large pitch. Bath had chances but couldn’t find any fluidity in attack. Cheltenham ended the quarter 2-0 ahead.
In the second quarter, after a good sustained spell of pressure, Bath got on the scorecard thanks to Mike Carey. After the Cheltenham ‘keeper smartly stopped his first shot, he then passed it straight back to Carey on the clear who took full advantage to score. After a more even half, Cheltenham edged the quarter on the scorecard by scoring late in an unexpected and unregulated injury-time period.
After refuelling in the half-time interval, both teams stepped up the intensity in the second half. Tempers flared at times, though the quarter was another 2:1 to Cheltenham. Carey again adding Bath’s goal after an assist from Simon Griffiths.
Cheltenham stretched the game away from Bath in the final quarter as their superior numbers made a difference. The Bath defence kept tight though and limited Cheltenham to chances mainly on fast breaks. Bath were denied another goal (and a hat-trick for Carey) right at the end of the game when the whistle blew on a Bath fast break and leave the final score at 9-2 to the visitors.
Overall, it was a good run-out for Bath to clear the cobwebs from so many months without a game. Next up is another home game, this time against another local rival in Bristol Bombers.
MVP: Gareth Davies
Final Score: Bath 2:9 Cheltenham