By - Sour
In a number of sports a 4-3 score line would be seen as a reason for extended highlights and hyperbolic clichés from the assembled astronomically remunerated pundits. This is obviously not the case in lacrosse.
Generally one would expect a 4-3 game of lacrosse to be described as turgid or scrappy. This wasn’t really either of those….it was enthralling.
More after the jump:
Spring had sprung at Broadway West as the previous week’s howling wind had blown itself out. A threadbare Knights squad including two late draftees on debut from Northumbria Uni looked like this: Ashton was in the cage, screened by Warwick, Webbé, Pigeon and Walker. The midfield was Higginbottom, Suddaby, Stewart, debutante and Mexican import Valenzuela and the other debutante Baike-Ghazvini. Johnstone and Wheeldon returned in attack supported by the somewhat under the weather Bryant.
At this stage a special mention must go out to the refs, who in the absence of a panel ref who cried off at half 4 on Friday afternoon did a stand-up job. Big thanks to Craig and Reilly for donning the stripes unsupported.
The first quarter started inauspiciously for your Knights, and a proper lacrosse score looked likely as Norbury won the initial draw and took the lead after a couple of minutes of possession. However that was that for the first quarter as strong defence and solid goal tending took the sting out of the patient offence at both ends of the field.
Quarter time saw a 0-1 scoreline and phrases like “There for the taking”, “Sharpen up”, “Good Shape” and “patience” were (or actually might not have been) bandied around in true Webbé team talk style.
The second quarter saw more of the same with the only goal coming from an appalling tennis ball bounce on a shot that Ashton had it covered, but the obscene bounce left him for dead.
At 0-2, the half time huddle was still fully positive, because - as well all know two goals is nowt in a real lacrosse game....
During the third quarter, a proper lacrosse game threatened to break out. Two goals a-piece, the home side’s first from Bryant in his usual unfathomable style, and Suddaby supplied the second in his trademark style with an apparently effortless swerve around his defender to finish low and across the visiting goalie. Norbury’s goal came courtesy of a well executed fast break and another appalling bounce, this one more like a slow motion power ball than a tennis ball.
That left the scores at 2-4 going into the final stanza. Insert more sporting clichés about everything being to play for, and how commitment would win this game – along with shooting more often...
The two goal margin was sustained for about 12 or 13 minutes, before Suddaby once again slashed passed his man and shot for the far corner only for the ball to ricochet off the back of Baike-Ghazvini as he cut across the top of the crease and nestle into the near corner to much whooping and hollering from home players and fans alike.
Unfortunately that was all she wrote for the home side as some indiscipline crept in and they played much of the last 5 minutes of the game man down. Despite this fact, the Knights were pressing and pushing for the remainder of the game, even when man down in the last minute, double teaming and re-doubling the ball trying to get back on terms.
Whilst the result was immediately disappointing, in hindsight, a close result like that against a well prepared and coached team with Premiership aspirations isn’t the end of the world.
Since the turn of the year this Knights squad – and it is the squad, as the match day side has rarely been the same between consecutive games, or even games in general, has really stepped up to the plate in terms of on field commitment, tenacity and competitiveness. If this trend continues through the back end of the season, and through an off-season that looks likely to see another exodus of players to graduation and relocation, then next season should see a consolidation of our position in Prem 2.
The pre-match news of the transfer of Carl “Jabba the Beanz” Maitland to Wilmslow following his occupational exodus from York to the North West was a blow as he’d been a fairly substantial (in every sense of the word) element in the squad during his short tenure in Silver and Black.
Next up on 31 March we face the orange of Poynton fresh from their one goal win over Norbury in their Stockport Cup semi-final.
Previews, match reports and general musings from the Toon and beyond.