Milton Keynes were delighted to participate in the historic Bath 8’s tournament for the first time. This 8-a-side tournament has welcomed in the new league season since 1983. Clubs from across the country come together in the beautiful city of Bath and this years a parallel women’s tournament was played alongside the men’s. It’s a big event with 32 men’s teams and 10 women’s teams.
Whilst MK did not enter a women’s team, five from the club were with other teams. Three joined up with Hillcroft and two with Oxford City and all had a blast. There’s already talk of definitely entering a women’s team into the 2018 tournament.
Lost vs Cardiff
First up for MK was Cardiff from the SEMLA Premier division (2 divisions above MK). 8-a-side lacrosse played over 2 x 5 minutes on a small field is frantic stuff and this first game was over in a flash with a loss.
Won 3 – 0 vs Aberystwyth
Our only win from the day saw us move the ball much better and cut out unforced errors. Could we now keep improving and win some more?
Lost vs Epsom
MK lost by 1 goal in a game where we had more chances than Epsom but could not finish in front of goal. We left the field frustrated knowing we should of won this game.
Lost vs Trowbridge
Trowbridge was a collection of mostly current and ex Bath players and shocked us a bit with how good they played. We thought this was a very winnable game. We were very wrong.
Lost 6 – 0 vs Hillcroft
Hillcroft are one of the SEMLA Premier division powerhouse clubs. This was all about solid defence and making them work hard for their win. Half time score was 2-0 and we could hear Hillcroft saying they had to up their game. The 6-0 loss was very respectable considering the eventual tournament winners, Spencer, had lost 6-2 in an earlier game.
Draw 2 – 2 vs Joint Armed Forces
We finished the day with a hard fought draw against the joint armed forces team. They led 2-0 with only a few minutes left in the game. MK needed the ball and needed a goal. Chris Webborn delivered. We now had about a minute to score a second. George Bascom charged upfield but did not see a hit coming and the big man hit the grass. The ball was loose but the armed forces were forced to take it out of play after pressure from Rob Gooch. Rob quickly scanned the field before the restart and saw Chris in space in the offensive half and quickly threw him the ball. He went one-on-one against his defender, turning one way, twisting back the other, until he found an angle for a shot… he shot and scored and MK had levelled it just before the final whistle.
Our W1 D1 L4 record was clearly not enough to make the top 8 and we finished in the bottom third but had a great day in the Bath sunshine.
(top row) Jonny Prince, Aadam Butt (City of Stoke), George Bascom, Corey Jamieson, Rob Gooch, Aaron Day, Rob Clark (Welwyn)
(bottom row) Chris Webborn, Charlie Kruczko, Jack Gambrill, Tom Becque, Damon Gill (City of Stoke) + (not in photo, Ben Amos)
Relaxed with a beverage, we watched the Spencer vs Welwyn quarter final. This included a great goal from ex-MK player John Horbury as Welwyn led against one of the tournament favourites for most of the game before Spencer roared back and won by 2 goals. The semi-finals were Spencer vs Hillcroft and Sheffield vs Nottingham Trent Alumni. Both were nail bitters with Spencer and Sheffield progressing to the final. The final was a little one sided with Spencer playing almost flawless lacrosse to win comfortably.
This was the last MK game for a while for attacker Tom Becque who’s about to start a Masters degree in Edinburgh. We wish him well for that. He’ll be taking his lacrosse equipment up with him to join the growing game in Scotland. We’ll see him back in MK colours when he’s back visiting friends and family.