Men's 2nds - Saturday 5th November 2016 - SEMLA East 2 - Reading 2s Away

The men’s seconds team arrived at Reading on a sunny, slightly chilly (as was frequently mentioned) Saturday afternoon brimming with optimism and very keen, as we demonstrated by arriving an hour and a half before the match. After a couple of tough games the battle hardened Iroquois were fit and ready to face the fresh faced Wildcats.

Oxford took control of the first quarter, with young hotshot Charlie Serrano doing a great job taking possession at face-offs and Dom Spencer Jolly christening the opposition net with a spectacular first goal from up close, bringing us 1 up going into the second quarter.
What followed was a strong effort from the defence to suppress multiple attempts on goal as the Reading attackmen launched repeated cuts through our defenders. At this point Alex Ruff, having played courageously in goal for the first team for much of the season finally got the opportunity to show his qualities as an attackman. With a shot more like hockey than lacrosse he swept the ball underneath their unsuspecting keeper, bringing the score to 2 – 0 at half time.

Heading into the second half in the lead, the team talk focused on being more patient with attacks and keeping the defence alert. Play resumed with the Iroquois unfortunately conceding an early goal from outside the defence, and tension began to mount as a foul triggered another man down defence. However the defence stayed strong and Shamus Birch took a hard hit possibly saving a goal in the process, and stopping the game until the Iroquois were back in control. Throughout this period goalkeeper Steve Hayes made some spectacular saves, leading to some murmurs from the opposition about the quality of our second team goalie.

The final quarter saw another man down situation leading to another quick goal from Reading, bringing the score level at 2-2. Shamus once again showed form with a brilliant fast goal assisted by James Rhodes’ well placed pick. However soon after one of the offense attackmen slid a sneaky low shot around the defender and just below Steve’s net, bringing the score even once more with barely a minute to go. Despite consistent shooting attempts from the offence, a heroic sprint up the pitch by Kershaw, and Steve launching another noble charge up field, the Iroquois were unable to land a goal, and as the final whistle blew the game ended on a draw.

Man of the match: Steve for consistent great saves.

Dotd: your own Captain (Kersh) for embarrassingly forgetting the opposition team name in the three cheers, hence why he’s writing this report, he promises it won’t happen again.

Final score: Reading (2s) 3 - 3 Oxford Iroquois. Great performances from all the new players, and great ground ball hustling from Sean and Charlie. In future we’ll look to take advantage of more fast break situations. Overall lots of positives to take away as we look forward to another opportunity to shoe Cambridge Eagles next week.