Bath win Flags
Bath hold out for the trophy
Bath v East Grinstead
Intermediate Flags Final
21st April 2012
Location – Reading Lacrosse Club
In Lacrosse the knockout competitions are called Flags (historic name from the days before cross bars). Bath competes for the Intermediate Flags with all the clubs in West Division 1 and East Division1 in an elimination format, along the same lines as football’s FA cup.
Bath have a history in this competition being previous winners in 1987, 2004, 2005 and runners up in 1989, 1990, 2008, 2009.
This final had added spice as East Grinstead, only the previous Saturday had clinched promotion to the Southern Premiership by beating Bath 10:7 in a close, hard fought game.
Bath looked at the first game and identified a few small areas that required some improvement; Bath also welcomed the return of Alex Caton at Long Stick midfield, an area that proved vital the week before.
One big decision Captain Will Finlayson had to deal with before the face off was that of goalkeeper, Nige Gates again available against Mark Lane, 17 yrs old and coming off the back of a stunning performance in the playoff. Lane was chosen to start, if it all goes wrong he’d stand down to the more experienced keeper, sadly for Nige it didn’t happen, Lane had another storming game.
The game was throughout very physical, played at pace with little room for error, East Grinstead opened the score and began to cause all sorts of problems at the face off’s. Bath through Doug Mackay equalised and then started to settle into the game, taking the opportunities when given, whilst at the other end Lane and the long poles were in no mood to repeat the week before. Bath went into the first quarter break 3:1 in the lead and looking determined.
Despite numerous attacks from the Sussex side, Bath’s defence continued to stifle the shots on goal, whilst the midfield used their speed and the Bath traditional transitional offence to great effect, pulling out to a 4 goal lead by the half.
The third quarter is always a difficult time, and all clubs will tell you that it’s always their worst period of the game, if the week before were a bench mark this would have been a Bath fact, but Captain Will Finlayson was not in the mood to take the foot off the gas, keeping focus and intensity with a rousing half time talk. Bath went 2 goals further into the lead at the start of the third period, looking comfortable with the finish line in sight; then the nerves started to take over, silly mistakes, and a change in tactics from East Grinstead (isolation off the back post) saw the Bath lead gradually shrink, by the end of the third the lead was back down to 4 and the momentum with the East 1 Champions.
The last quarter was a very nervous affair, Bath seemed to be on the verge of giving the trophy away, more penalties, more bad decisions, it was a case of all hands to the defensive end of the field, EG got within one goal when Bath finally got hold of possession and attempted to run the ball into the corner, just to add to the panic the ball was dropped and EG had one last attack with 25 seconds on the clock, luckily the defence yet again stepped up and prevented a disaster; the whistle could not have come too soon.
This was a well deserved and hard fought victory; congratulations should go to all the players, who worked as a team.
Big news out of the game: Peter Short buying new gloves and maybe even a helmet.
1stquarter Bath 3:1 East Grinstead
2ndquarter Bath 2:0 East Grinstead
3rdquarter Bath 3:3 East Grinstead
4thquarter Bath 0:3 East Grinstead
Final Score Bath 8:7 East Grinstead
Mat King 2 (1)
Simon Griffiths 1 (2)
Paddy Peacock (1)
Alex Catton 1
Chris Turner 1
Doug Mackay 2
Will Finlayson 1
Nige Gates (Warminster)
Mark Lane (Trowbridge)
Rhys Topping (Bath University)
Steve Mooney (Bristol)
Phil Walker (Bath)
Sam Scott (Bath University)
Alex Catton (Hobart/Trowbridge)
Luke Wilmot (Trowbridge)
Will Finlayson (C) (Bath University)
Ken Murray (Caerleon)
Chris Turner (Bath University)
Doug Mackay (Bristol)
Sam King (Trowbridge)
Adam Wilkinson (Bath University)
Simon Griffiths (Bath)
Matt King (Trowbridge)
Mike Carey (Bristol)
Peter Short (Poole)
Paddy Peacock (Melksham)