The West league is very hit and miss this season, all the clubs are struggling to regularly put out their strongest teams, especially on the road.
So, it was that Southampton could only muster 8 players to travel to Bath, the captains spoke, the word went out, and players from Bournemouth (2) and Cheltenham (4), also desperate for a game of lacrosse turned out for the visitors.
This proved crucial on the day and a decent game of lacrosse broke out at Odd Down.
Bath also missing half a dozen firs team players would not have regarded themselves as at their strongest, but in key areas, there’s Anouilh know how and firepower to deal with whatever the West has to offer.
At face Alex Hustler and Rich Bowen-Ashwin didn’t have it all their own way, as the Cheltenham face of man, although relatively new to the position proved quite a handful, that said the home team still came up with the lion’s share of the ball from the face. Plenty of good communication between the wings and the face man meant secondary ball often went the way of the home team.
In Defence keeper Will Tilson had the balance of experience from PB and Luke Wilmot and energy from Bath University Fresher Oliver Walker, plus the midfield in this game really stepped up to the defensive task when called upon.
Up in the attack, Mark Lane is really beginning to get used to the role, positioning is improving all the time, coupled with some good decision making. Playing two left handlers in Mike Carey and Lloyd Butler regularly certainly seemed to throw the visitors out of position several times, marketing some nice openings.
Bath dominated the first quarter snuffing out a Southampton side still trying to get to grips with unfamiliar faces from other clubs, not that the home team had it all their own way, a couple of good saves from Will Tilson certainly made the score look more favourable for the home side.
In the second quarter Bath continued to play the ball well, but fell foul of a couple of individual goals, where the slide came a little too late to stop the shot. For Bath the spread of the goals in this quarter showed that the home side was playing more as a team, all five goals from different players.
After the Break Southampton came out with more energy, but costly mistakes in the final third allowed Bath to come back with fast break goals, plus Hustler at face had his most dominant period of the game. Good feeds and finishes gave a brace each to Carey and Lane.
In the last quarter Southampton scored a couple of quick goals, this seemed to unnerve the home side and mistakes crept in to their game, despite a dodge and shot goal from Butler, the visitors were scoring at a rate of 4 to 1. However, Lane finished a fast break to steady the ship followed by a screamer from Jefferey, long outside shots are a rare sight on a Bath team, particularly from the short sticks, this new outside threat in the Bath side might be key to Bath’s future success. Southampton definitely finished the stronger, winning the last period 5:3.
MVP in this game was given to Alex George, who, yet again covered a lot of ground, was more than solid on the ground ball and came up with a couple of good goals.
1st quarter Bath 4:0 Southampton
Lane, Jeffrey, Carey, George
2nd quarter Bath 5:2 Southampton
Carey, Lane, Hustler, Butler, George
3rd quarter Bath 4:1 Southampton
Lane, Carey, Lane, Carey
4th quarter Bath3:5 Southampton
Butler, Lane, Jeffrey
Final Score Bath 16:8 Southampton
- Mark Lane 5
- Mark Jeffrey 2
- Mike Carey 2
- Alex George 2
- Alex Hustler 1
- Lloyd Butler 2
Nik Roberts (Bath)