11th February 2023
The vagaries of this year’s SEMLA Division 2 system sent Bath to a ground they last played at over a decade ago. But despite the long away trip, Bath were able to name a strong squad for this game. After a pre-match servcie station meet-up and a good warm-up, Bath were well prepared for the game.
Despite this confidence, Bath made the worst possible start when Buckhurst Hill won the face-off and within about three seconds, two passes and one cut scored the opening goal. Buckhurst Hill kept the pressure up and continued to cause problems with their athleticism. Bath kept in the game though and were rewarded with two goals from Si Griffiths, assisted by Nik Roberts and Luke Wilmot respectively. Despite Buckhurst Hill having more of the ball, Bath’s clinical finishing meant the scores were level at the quarter break.
1st Quarter: 2:2 (Goals: Griffiths, Griffiths; Asissts: Roberts, Wilmot)
Buckhurst Hill continued to edge the game in the second quarter, though it was a toughly fought contest. Bath made sure they kept in the game though as Griffiths was fed his hat-trick by Mike Carey. Some sloppy defensive work allowed Buckhurst Hill to go in with a two-goal lead.
2nd Quarter: 5:3 (G: Griffiths; A: Carey)
The third quarter was another tight affair. Griffiths continued his one-man Erling Haaland tribute act by further domintaing the Bath attack and adding the fourth and fifth goals. Despite the even nature of the quarter’s scorecard, the signs were there that Bath were taking more and more control of the game. Sam Kettle was dominating the face-off and the defence was a lot tighter and marking out Buckhurst Hill’s dangermen. If not for the woodwork (Carey, George and Wilmot all hitting it), Bath might have levelled the game, but left themselves work to do in the final quarter..
3rd Quarter: 6:5 (G: Griffiths, Griffiths; A: Roberts, Roberts)
Both teams upped the energy going into the final quarter. After an opening spell of pressure from Buckhurst Hill, the Bath defence stayed strong and when the ball was scrambled away to the halfway line, Wilmot ran at the their defence to level up the game.
Disappointingly, Buckhurst Hill hit back straight away. This fired up Bath though and Alex Taylor added two quick goals, twisting and turning through their defence. Now in the lead for the first time in the game, Bath resolved to play sensible lacrosse. They did just that, with Kettle winning the face-offs to put Bath in control. While looking to keep possession against a chasing Buckhurst Hill defence, opportunities appeared for Bath. A long ball over the defence from Wilmot to Carey produced breathing space for Bath, before Carey added another. Finally, right at the death of the game, a fast break for Bath finished with Roberts grabbing his goal.
4th Quarter: 7:11 (G: Wilmot, Taylor, Taylor, Carey, Carey, Roberts; A: u/a, ?, ? Wilmot, Taylor, Carey)
A big second half performance from Bath produced a deserved win. Si Griffiths was the unanimous choice for MVP from his teammates Buckhurst Hil played with great athleticism and made it a good contest. The post-match teas from Buckhurst Hill after the game also need mention as their hospitality was excellent and Bath will hope to repay this when the teams meet again for the reverse fixture in March.