Bristol v Bath- 8th May 2021
Venue: Filton, Bristol
Comp: Cotswolds D1
Final Score – Bristol 9:8 Bath
The vagaries of the rearranged fixture list allowed Bath a quick turnaround to face Bristol again after last week’s defeat. A more reasonable face-off time of 2pm at Filton Sports and Leisure Centre was the location on a grey drizzly day.
Starting with possession in the first quarter, Bristol opened the scoring with their very first attack. For the second weekend in a row, it was the number 16 who was first on the scorecard, swinging a outside lefty shot. Bath hit back straight away with their own first taste of possession. After some settled play, Alex George found Si Griffiths who manoeuvred his defender to find space to level the scoring. As the midfield game opened up more in the rest of the quarter, Bristol added two quick goals through Matt King. Number 16 added his second for Bristol before Mike Carey slotted home for Bath after Logan Belcher picked him out on crease. With the clock ticking down, Bath had a few frantic scrappy shots at goal, but couldn’t quite finish, leaving the score at 4:2 to Bristol.
Bath faced more of an uphill (or given the contours of the pitch, perhaps sidehill) struggle in the second quarter. A few overambitious passes from Bath saw attacks break down and Bristol pick off possession too easily. They added three goals, with 16 and 10 completing hat-tricks and number 19 scoring his first. Bath did score from one controlled piece of settled play. George was found by Belcher on crease, only for his attempted quick-stick shot to go backwards to captain Luke Wilmot who fired it in. A strong quarter by Bristol left the half-time score at 7:3.
Bristol started the third quarter in possession, but with the hindrance of being a man down. King took the ball as Bath attempted a high press to win the ball back. King though powered through two Bath defenders and with momentum powering him through the slide, scored to rapturous applause from an increasingly confident Bristol bench. That over-confidence combined with a five-goal lead translated onto the pitch as overexuberance as Bristol were penalised repeatedly for niggly fouls. Bath took advantage to score from one of these as Griffiths snuck George in around the side to score. Gareth Davies then took advantage of a loose ground ball to work himself a solo goal, Bath’s fifth from five different scorers. At the other end, lax defending on crease from George allowed number 19 to score for Bristol and even up the quarter and leave the overall score at 9:5.
Bath came out composed for the final quarter, focusing on their style of play if not the score line. However, momentum was soon with them as Carey scored after a long twisting run from around X, with the assist from either Wilmot or Davies. Another goal from Wilmot made the game even tighter. The game was evenly balanced, though Bristol were wasteful in front of goal as they chased a goal to put the game to bed. Bath turned the screws though as Carey fed Wilmot on crease. After his first shot was saved by the keeper, the ball rebound up and Wilmot wasn’t going to miss at the second attempt. Bath kept pushing for an equaliser, but there was little time left and Bristol were canny enough to see the game out and a well-timed timeout by Bristol’s stand-in captain took the final sting out of the game
It was a frustrating end to the game for Bath, but on reflection a terrific second-half display to take it that close. It was also an improvement by 6 goals on Bristol in a week from which Bath can take enormous pride in the performance. Next up is a home game against Hitchin A on Sunday 16th May.
1st Quarter Bristol 4:2 Bath
Griffiths (George), Carey (Belcher)
2nd Quarter Bristol 3:1 Bath
3rd Quarter Bristol 2:2 Bath
George (Griffiths), Davies
4th Quarter Bristol 0:3 Bath
Carey, Wilmot, Wilmot (Carey)
Final Score: Bristol 9:8 Bath
Scorers: Goal (assist)