The opening league game saw the Spencer 3rd team travel north to play Welwyn 3’s. On arrival some initial concern as we saw numerous handy looking Welwyn players warming up pitch side, but soon realised their 1st team was also playing at home game.
Fair to say the opening exchanges were scrappy. Neither team could pick up a ground ball; a combination of lack of confidence and the shock of poor match fitness. No matter how many pre-season games you play, it seems nothing can re-create the feeling of a competitive game.
Once with the ball, Spencer moved it well with some accurate passing. The experience of Nick and Andrew in attack allowed to the ball to be retained while the midfield got into shape. The opening goal was a tidy cut, catch and shot from face-off demon Gavin Park – playing with bruised ribs from summer Aussie Rules.
Welwyn 3’s were a very young team who could potentially of run rings around the slower Spencer players but maybe lacked a little bit of confidence against bigger and older opposition.
As the game progressed, so did Spencer’s all-around game performance. Vice captain Hugo led the way in how to pick up a ground ball and the visitors controlled much of the possession. Goal of the game was from Rob Gooch who followed another cut into the crease from Gavin to collect Nick’s feed from behind then expertly placed the shot over the goalie’s shoulder at the narrowest of angles.
Hugo picked up man-of-the-match for leading by example. A senior debut for Spencer junior, Dan Hilton, who enjoyed the extra physicality and pace of the senior game (even at 3rd team standard). Also a complete lacrosse debut for Jamie Weir in midfield who showed lots of potential to become a valuable midfield asset this season.
Not so clever were two players who picked up injuries in the week before the game. Neil broke is arm playing that stupid game football. Matt has injured his leg, again thanks to football.
Spencer 3’s were;
Colin Byrne, Toby Rule, Jamie Muir Wood, Chris Jones, Hugo Hobson, Gavin Park (1 goal), Rob Gooch (2), Jamie Weir, Dan Hilton, Andrew Mottershead (2) and Nick Flew (3)