Despite a poorly timed down pour of rain Spencer day was a soaring success once again. Thanks to Tom Leahy and Patrick Atkinson feat. Paul Wainwright the club made a bold step forward in creating another premium SEMLA tournament.
At 9 o’clock on a grey Saturday morning the Spencer club was already full of members, helping to set up what would be a great day of lacrosse. Members from all 4 of the clubs teams were bustling around the place; stringing goals, marking pitches; firing up barbecues and arranging hummus wraps. By 9.30 much of the lacrosse community had arrived too, and everyone was itching to play some stick-ball.
With Clapham Ladies competing in the ladies tournament this was a fantastic opportunity for the Spencer/Clapham alliance to show it’s strength across both versions of the game. The girls made up two evenly matched teams, one of which went on to clinch an over-time victory in the tournament final against West London, well done girls!
For the Spencer men, the day got off to a rocky start for two Spencer teams, when the 1st team found themselves without a team to play against. Apparently, Oxford students struggled to get out of bed in time for the start of the tournament. Happily, the 2s offered to play an extra game so the 1s didn’t have to go without, and the two teams fought out a 3-2 thriller that would prove to be closer than the tournament final!
From then on, all three Spencer teams (plus Milton Keynes which was mainly created from Spencer stars like the infamous Jon Dodd) had a great day of lacrosse. The 3s and 2s played the first of their many fixtures against one another this year, the game was a mouth-watering starter to a highly-anticipated main course, no doubt there are some close-fought games to come. It has to be said that new players Jules Elwood, and Americans Ryan & Paul all made a great impression, despite a lack of substitutes. The 3s were lucky to have a sprightly captain in Ben Thompson charging about the pitch and letting his howitzer shot fly at all opportunities, back-stopped by clubsman Joe Dickinson who is yet to miss a training session, presumably, ever.
The 1st team continued their pre-season trend of beginning each game with their eyes shut and sticks held upside down, but after a confusing draw with Loughborough Students they adopted a new approach. The team lightened up and just played to have fun, as a result they looked like a completely different group. It wasn’t long until the skies cleared and the 1st team were doing what they do best, putting Hillcroft firmly in their place.
The final game saw the 1s dispatch an undefeated Hillcroft side, in front of a good crowd who enjoyed discount Pimms and James Blackman’s special bangers. Despite playing deep through their squads all Spencer teams looked great. This season promises to be the best ever for the Sparrows!