Result: Spencer 8 – 7 Foxes
The Final was played on a beautiful, sunny, spring day up at Hitchin. We missed three guys from last week’s Northern Tour: Ru & Dylan – both on holiday; Finn – reported ill. Matt Leeks missed the Tour last week because of his illness but was fit to play this weekend.
The Foxes are a very good team with very smart uniforms. They also seemed to have brought most of the parents in northern Kent with them in support. As we are still waiting for our ‘Spencer’ strip, our team took the field in the set of black Kenton shirts still regularly used by the first team. It was clear, that for our juniors to do well everyone would need to want to win very badly and would have to play out of their socks.
In the early exchanges, both teams had good chances to score but Rosie Byrne was the first to make it count and put us into a one-goal lead early in the first period. This was followed by another two goals and, to be honest, to my surprise we held a 3 – 0 lead at quarter time. The second quarter proceeded with Foxes slowly pegging us back with the score reaching 4 – 3 by half time.
Following the half–time break, Pat Neisen took a short series of face off’s and playing a ‘strong’ midfield we moved out to a 7 – 4 lead at three quarter time. The face–off’s were evenly contested with neither team clearly dominating this part of the game throughout the afternoon except for that short period after half–time.
Our team was slowly running out of ‘wheels’ (our 9 ‘man’ squad playing a fourteen man outfit) and as the game drew to a close the Foxes crept back to 7 – 7. Our winning goal came in the last minute and whilst it was not a classy affair, it was effective and reflected our team’s performance on the day. Following a great save by Rosie Byrne (now on goalie duty) Matt took over a scrappy ground ball from Akim inside our own half and outpaced an undecided defence to bounce the ball inside the right hand post from a very narrow angle.Overall, I’m not sure we played better lacrosse than Foxes, some of our individual skills looked a bit wooden but we were better at competing and generally, we tried to make the good play. The benefit of the game play of the recent Northern Tour really made itself evident.
On Sunday, we were the best Under 12 team junior lacrosse team in the South of England – it was an excellent result and let’s celebrate it!