7th January 2023
A first game of 2023 gave Bath a chance to brush off the cobwebs after a month without a competitive game. Oxford Uni travelled with the bare ten but determined to make a game of it. Due to traffic issues, they had to start the first few minutes a man down.
Bath didn’t allow these issues to faze them though. Without a regular face-off man and with Oxford having dominated this area of the game in the reverse fixture, Bath used the extra d-poles in the squad to prevent Oxford winning it cleanly.
Bath got two goals from fast breaks. Both came from Alex George running over the halfway line and finding space amongst the Oxford defence. First Mike Carey opened the scoring, then Nick Hind grabed his first Bath goal later in the quarter.
Some confusion over the Oxford numbers led to some defensive disorganisation from Bath. Both times this happened, Oxford were clinical and took their chances. These two goals meant they went in level at the quarter break.
1st Quarter 2:2 (Goals: Carey, Hind; Assists: George, George)
With a chance to reassess the game, Bath came out stronger in the second quarter. Luke Wilmot added two goals and was unlucky not to have a third when his shot deflected off the stick of George to go past the Oxford ‘keeper. Si Griffiths added one from close range, before Wilmot did complete a first-half hat-trick.
2nd Quarter 7:3 (G: Wilmot, Wilmot, George, Griffiths, Wilmot; A: Hind, u/a, Carey, Wilmot, Stainthorpe)
With the tiring legs of the Oxford team, Bath aimed to play the second half with more composure. Carey got onto the scoresheet, then assisted two more for Wilmot.
3rd Quarter 10:6 (G: Carey, Wilmot, Wilmot; A: George, Carey, Carey)
It was more of the same in the final quarter. Bath added two more goals, both the result of hustle from Finn Webster. The first an assist from him to Wilmot. The second from a ground ball in the midfield that was quickly released to Carey to cross to an unmarked Griffiths.
4th Quarter 12:7 (G: Wilmot, Griffiths; A: Webster, Carey)
With his six goals, Wilmot was named MVP. There were also big contributions from both Brian Ivory and Ben King, both putting in shifts as LSM and physically dominating the face-offs. Neil Anthony also had a composed game in goal.