The School first took part in the National Lacrosse finals in 2004, and since then have played in every one. From 2006, we have either finished as Champions or Runners-Up and thanks to a successful Regional Finals, this year’s team will be able to take part and try to emulate the success of previous teams.
It was an exceptionally cold afternoon and one of the biggest factors to ensuring a successful outcome was keeping warm in between games. Fortunately, the games followed each other quite quickly and so their wasn’t too much standing around for either team. The other difficulty faced by both our teams throughout the tournament was the fact that nationally set rules for this version of the game were not played to by any team other than ourselves, and equally as frustrating not followed by the officials. It is important that our pupils learn not to criticise referees and accept any decision given and I was very pleased that, without exception, they all did this. But it is not fair on them when they are taught to expect one thing and then find everyone else blatantly ignoring or just not knowing how to play the game. The context of the afternoon is important here; the winners would be playing at the National Finals. This wasn’t an informal practice.
Anyway, despite the problems, the ‘A’ Team did get off to a winning start, but did take time in getting used to the pitches which were about one quarter of the size they are used to. Once the range of pass was calculated and Tom worked out where the goal was, others started to relax and the standard improve. The second game was one of the hardest when we played St Mary’s from Welwyn. Tom scored all five of our goals and through determined defending, we restricted the opposition to just two. The next two games (where the length of the game suddenly reduced) saw us score six in both with just one in reply, and that was against our ‘B’ Team! (talk about a fiercely competed game…)
Two more comprehensive wins meant that a good result in the final game would see us progress to the Nationals undefeated. Despite the game time being reduced yet again, we beat Kimpton 5-3. The players could relax, think about the Nationals and more importantly, go home and warm up!
The ‘B’ Team also had a successful afternoon, and won many of their games. The first game was a draw, and was played at the same time as the ‘A’ Team’s first game. Chatting to Mrs Light at the end was when we realised that both pitches were going to frustrating places to play! Charlie was captaining the team very well and made sure the right spirit was maintained by all his players.
The next few games were convincing wins, and it was only our ‘A’ Team who halted this fine run of form. The last two games were lost by the single goal and with hindsight, we should have won both given the number of chances we had in front of goal. More shooting practice needed I feel!
I would like to congratulate all the players for their excellent attitude in very difficult circumstances. I promise the Nationals will be VERY different. I would like to thank the parents who braved the cold to come along and support and also buy me a coffee. It was very welcome!
The lacrosse squad will be back practising after Easter in preparation for a trip to Hatfield. Well done!