League: Milton Keynes 5 – 6 Welwyn Warriors 2’s
MK’s unbeaten start to 2017 ended with a frustrating 5-6 defeat to Welwyn 2’s. Just like our meeting earlier in the season, MK lost by a single goal. Last time, Welwyn were narrowly the better team. This game MK left the field ruing too many basic errors but can seek revenge next week when Welwyn visit again, this time in the Flags (cup) competition.
MK started on top with both teams intent on playing sloppy lacrosse, but MK scored twice and Welwyn failed to even get a telling shot at Jacob in goal. The MK squad was thread bare this week with numerous players unavailable or injured. The 11 men in green matched up again 16 in black, but as coach Gooch reminded everyone before the game, it’s 10 v 10 on the field and that’s what counts.
A very poor second quarter from MK let Welwyn get on level terms. MK coughed up the ball on numerous occasions, often under little or no pressure. The great play from the past three games seemed an age ago. The third quarter was not much better and Welwyn opened up a 5-3 lead. MK were still giving it 100% but a few players were showing signs of fatigue and Welwyn started to dominate.
It was do or die time for MK and two quick goals in the final quarter gave MK the spark to push right to the final whistle. The home team called a timeout with 3 minutes remaining and needing one goal to force a tie or maybe even win. The late afternoon sun was low and right in the eyes of the Welwyn goalie, perfect for a right handed outside shot, so that was the tactic. First up MK worked the ball to John Horbury who tried his luck but he shot wide. Jack Gambrill backed-up the shot and MK retained the ball. John was then the decoy shooter, allowing LSM Max Pennell a chance to wind one up from long range. His shot was inches wide, but also too fast for the MK attack to race behind the cage and the referee called the Welwyn goalie closest when the ball went it out of play, so Welwyn’s ball. That was essentially the game as Welwyn moved the ball upfield and the final whistle blew soon after.
“We win as a team, we lose as a team”, would be a suitable closing statement. MK did not play good lacrosse today, but neither did Welwyn. No one was individually to blame for this defeat, it was a team defeat with everyone just off their game. Nevertheless we voted for our usual man-of-the-match and done-something-stupid-of-the-day awards. Goalie Jacob Beckingham-Wells got the top vote. He made numerous saves and was patient when clearly the ball. He also received a massive (illegal) slash to the forearm from a Welwyn player which made it difficult for him to hold his goalie stick. However goalies are made from stern stuff and he played on. Let’s hope there’s no long term damage. Kyle Pim won the D-of-the-day award. He made some great defensive plays but was severely suffering from a lack of match fitness. However no one could say they had a good game today in MK colours. Roll on next week when Welwyn visit again in the Flags.
5:6 (2:0, 2:2, 3:5, 5:6)
John Horbury (2)