The journey for Oxford began early, captain Harbords pulling up at 8.45 on the dot. A long minibus ride awaited, 3 hours into the depths of Kent, to take on Canterbury 2s. Driven ablyby the captain, only one stop was required, for Matt Stamp to grab a Big Mac to ward off a hangover. At the back of the bus the main topic of conversation was how old would David’s victim be this week.
Arriving with 20 minutes until face a rapid warm-up ensued so the team four perform some classic fast break drills. Face was even between Alex Harbord and his Canterbury rival, but some great LSM work by Tom Munro led to fast break and an instant goal for Matt Stamp. A second goal quickly followed, reaching the lofty heights of a 2 goal lead, a position the 2s have not seen in many years. A dodgy goal where the ball didn't enter the net helped Canterbury pull one back.
Subsequently a succession of penalties against poles helped to give Canterbury parity, but incisive attacking play by Jake helped Oxford end the quarter level. A switch to Rob Smillie on face paid dividends, as his intensity and willingness to choke opponents helped Oxford to retain possession. Oxford zipped the ball across the pitch at will, with James Rhodes excellent in spinning and feeding the ball to crease Debutant Charlie wall had an excellent game in goal. Only conceding in the second quarter when Oxford again lost a pole, this time for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Going into half-time 1 goal down, Oxford were the much fresher team, and ready to up the intensity in the second half. The increased hustle led to dominance of possession, with Oli and Ben showing ceaseless stamina to run the ball clear and drive the attack forward winning GBs all over the pitch. Some dogged sliding contained the scoring to one goal apiece in the third quarter, with Oxford kept in the game by some more excellent work by Charlie ‘The Wall’ Wall. On a fast break Andrew Bithell attempted a jump shot, which became an excellent bounce pass for Kyle to slot in on his 2s debut. An inspirational team talk led to Oxford firing out of the blocks and slotting in two quick goals to take the lead off of Canterbury with the drying play of Alex Harbors instrumental in building momentum. A defensive mix up and quick reactions allowed Canterbury to pull back level but some rapid dodging by Matt Stamp put Oxford back in the lead. Some excellent awareness in defence with some great hits by Will and David helped to close out the match, meaning Oxford ran out 8-7 winners for their first victory of the season
Celebrating one of the earliest wins in the season for the 2s, the flags draw has thrown up early varsity practice with Oxford 2s taking on the Cambridge eagles in round 3.
Scorers: Matt 4, Jake 2, Kyle 1, Bithell 1
Man of the match: Charlie Wall for an excellent performance in goal, making several excellent 1on1 saves, especially notable as Charlie has been a Lacrosse Keeper for six days.
Dick of the Day: Ciaran Gilbride, who received a 1 minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, after screaming at a recently checked pole to keep ‘Two cambridging hands’ on his stick
Men's 2nds - Saturday 28th October 2017 - SEMLA East 3 - Canterbury Away