The day was young as a full squad of young athletic Oxford athletes excitedly warmed up at the back of the pitch. "8 Men", the words echoed throughout everyone's minds. "Oh how easy this will be" they all confidently thought, as they prepared to take on the 8 man Epsom squad. As it would happen, a slash heavy Josh Yeoman and a few too many minutes of penalties would make this a far more competitive match than expected.
After an extended warm up by the Oxford team, and no more than a jog and a quick chat for the opposition, the match was under way. Everything seemed well, from a rocky face off and an initial stint in defence, Oxford managed to turn things around and with a few quick movements of the ball, a swift inside shot from Oli finished it off. After some back and forth play, an unfortunate strip gave Epsom the chance they needed, with their small team only leaving one man in attack, they ran the ball up the pitch, drawing 3 slides from Oxford D leaving an attacker free, bringing one quick pass and an equalising goal, ending the first quarter 1-1.
The second quarter began with some struggle at the face and some tough periods of D, oxford held out well for a while, turning the ball over and giving Oli another 2 goals and keeping Oxford in the fight. Unfortunately this is where things turned bad for Oxford, with some careless defence leading to a total of 3 and a half minutes of penalties to be served, mostly by Josh not understanding the mechanics of checking with a short stick, gave Epsom the opportunity to secure the lead, taking advantage of the man up situation repeatedly. With the half ending 7-3 to Epsom, it was back to the drawing board for Oxford to re-evaluate their tactics.
The second half was a new game. The face offs looking more competitive and the small Epsom team running out of gas, the OULC team was starting to show what they could do. The third quarter showed long phases of Oxford attack, with Calum and Rhodes finishing it off after some steady well settled attacking phases, barely giving the other team a look until the final minutes of the quarter.
After a solid 3rd quarter, the momentum stayed with Oxford until the very end. With the attack communicating perfectly and working as a unit, 2 more goals were scored, closing in on the win. Despite another minute of penalties being served by the Oxford players the Epsom attack couldn't get a look in, and with the end of the penalty came a forced turnover giving way for an equalizing goal after some high quality attack.
Final Score 8-8
MoM - Ben Fleenor
DoD - Josh Yeoman
Men's 2nds - Saturday 3th February 2018 - SEMLA East 3 - Epsom Home