Having swept aside one title contender in Hitchin last week it was clear that Spencer should be favourites going in to what was poised to be another top-of-the-league clash. Complacency was something the men in maroon could ill afford given Reading had only narrowly lost to a very strong Walcountian Blues side.
Unlike last year when the Prudential Ibis club spent most of the year under a foot of water, the conditions were ideal as another autumn’s morning of lacrosse began.
The day entertained many good matchups all over the field but two were going to stand out amongst all others. The first of these was at the face off where Spencer’s Tom Roach, (Ex-Mellor LSM and kitchen insect) battled it out against Reading’s Nick Acutt (a self-proclaimed FOGO who moved to Reading this year from Bristol). The second matchup of the day was Spencer’s Jonny Clarke vs NCAA D1 attackman Brendan McCann ([http://gocolgateraiders.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=5909](http://gocolgateraiders.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=5909)). Neither disappointed…
The game began with Reading winning the clamp at the faceoff and somehow managing to come up with the ball despite some good pressure from wing-men Cam ‘Maverick’ Leslie and Tim ‘Goose’ Holdsworth. Reading’s offence probed but couldn’t find any way through Spencer’s stalwart defence. The ball was finally turned over when Jonny Clarke played some textbook body defence to send his dodging attackman sliding into Rick Bone’s crease.
From then on the first quarter swiftly turned in to an offensive barrage from Spencer. Patient ball movement and some good cuts saw Mr Holmes with time and room on the left wing. The trademark low to high golf swing found it’s way neatly into the top right corner. Strong defence and winning groundballs allowed Spencer plenty of posession and the shot from a superbly-executed questionmark dodge from Cam Leslie rifled in off the far post and goals from Tim, Ed Shee and Eddie Vita saw Spencer end the quarter 5-0 up.
The onslaught was stopped abruptly in the second quarter by a combination of Reading stepping up a gear and Spencer’s offensive form dropping off considerably. The defense, however, continued to hold strong behind a number of great saves from Rick ‘give the dog a’ Bone. A quarter score of 1-1 saw Spencer leading 6-1 at the half.
The battle at the faceoff had, until this point, been pretty even. Roach had done a good job of tying up the Reading FOGO until support had arrived from the wing but it was during the second half that he really started to get the better of the Reading man and help Spencer to dominate posession. After a flurry of transition goals and some man-down defence Spencer ended the quarter 11-4 up.
Reading’s experienced attackmen had been unable to generate offence throughout the match and this trend continued through the fourth quarter as Jonny Clarke, Will Barrie and Tom Bailey all kept their men at bay. The Reading Wildcats managed to sneak 2 more goals in before the time ran out but it was doubled up by Spencer’s 4, one of which saw Maseeh Roshan converting a nice feed from Joe Darkins before getting nailed in the back and ending up face down in the opposition’s crease.
Final Score: Reading 6 – 15 Spencer
Eddie Vita – 4
Rob Holmes – 3
Ed Shee – 3
Tim Holdsworth – 2
Joe Darkins – 1
Maseeh Roshan – 1
Cam Leslie – 1
Author – Ed Shee