Cheltenham was the venue on the 17th of September as Bath and Cardiff both travelled to a three-way preseason scrimmage. Each team played two games of 20-minute halves.
Before the match, all teams joined together in a minute’s silence for the late Queen Elizabeth II.
With little warm-up, an opening match against a well-drilled and higher division Cheltenham looked like a tough ask. Bath competed from the start though and took the lead when Mark Lane fed from X to Toke Akinseye on crease to give Bath the lead. The rets of the first half was a tight affair, but Cheltenham went in level at half time thanks to a goal on a fast break.
Despite much Cheltenham pressure, Bath defence held strong even with periods of man down defence. Cheltenham did score twice on two more fast breaks to give them a 3-1 lead. Bath kept fighting though and scored again when Finn Webster took a long pass on the run from Luke Wilmot to score his first Bath goal. Bath had more chances and pushed Cheltenham all of the way but could not get the ball back in the final moments to equalise. It was a good
After a short 15-minute break, Bath were straight back on the pitch against a fresh Cardiff team. Bath took an early lead as Mark Lane fed Neil Anthony to score from crease. Akinseye then assisted Simon Griffiths before Cardiff got a goal themselves. Bath didn’t let their heads drop though and sensed there were more goals in this game. After Webster hustled the ball back from Cardiff’s defence, Griffiths found Alex George coming around from X to score on the angle
In the second half, Bath kept pushing. After Anthony passed to Webster, a good pick from Akinseye allowed Webster to run and fire in. Akinseye then scored a similar goal himself after an assist from George. At the very end of the game with Lane being doubled by Cardiff’s defence, Webster took the ball off him and headed straight from goal, finishing past the Cardiff ‘keeper to end the game at 6-3 to Bath.
Cheltenham then beat Cardiff 6-2 with both sides featuring some ‘ringers’ from Bath. Overall, it was a good workout for Bath who can take a lot of learning from the games. After the game, Ben King was named MVP by his teammates for his excellent work in defence.
Cheltenham 3:2 Bath
Scorers: Akinseye, Webster
Assists: Lane, Wilmot
Bath 6:3 Cardiff
Scorers: Anthony, Griffiths, George, Webster, Akinseye, Webster
Assists: Lane, Akinseye, Griffiths, Anthony, George, Lane