We have the most competitive Premiership that there has been in my lifetime. There are at least 6 teams who can take points off each other (Poynton, Stockport, Heaton Mersey, Cheadle, Brooklands and Timperley.) With a hatful of league games still to be played but on the basis of “points dropped” Mersey have dropped 3 (Dx3) Poynton 4 (D2 L1) Timperley 4(L2) Stockport 5(D1L2) Cheadle 7 (D1 L3) and Brooklands 7(D1L3). The games now come thick and fast. Next Saturday Heaton Mersey entertain Poynton, Brooklands entertain Cheadle and Timperley travel to Stockport.
Last Saturday Timperley entertained a Poynton side which was stacked with North American talent which, alongside some top English players, makes them probably the strongest team around. Timperley were far from their best and went down to a 4-16 defeat. Having lost in the Flags the previous Saturday the Blues will be glad to see the back of Poynton and their win over them back in January could well be important when the dust settles at the end of the season.
The young A team travelled to take on the top of the table Heaton Mersey and despite missing top long sticks Adam Henbrey and Mike Smith, who had stepped up to the 1st team, and experienced attack man Greg Sandy, they came home with a fantastic 13-5 victory.
The B team travelled to Brooklands for a match which they were forced to concede because they could not provide a qualified referee. The only positive that so far has come out of this fiasco is that it has forced us to take very rapid steps to put our house in order. For many years the requirement was for a referee to be competent. This has now been changed to qualified which certainly does not mean competent. I am not sure how this decision was arrived at. It would be interesting to know.
Timperley women kept their interest in the League title just about alive when they travelled to Liverpool light on numbers but came away with a 12-6 victory.
Junior games were also affected by the refereeing issue with the U16 game away at Sheffield and the U12B team’s home match with Cheadle Hulme.
The U12A faced a tough task when they travelled to Norbury for a much postponed Onondaga Cup quarter final. Norbury started as narrow favourites but Timperley were quickest out of their blocks and they held a 5 goal lead in the 3rd quarter. In the final period Norbury woke up and pulled back to within a single goal but Timperley hung on to take a deserved 8-7 win.
Timperley U14 entertained Mellor in a game which saw them play some of their best Lacrosse of the season to take a famous 8-6 victory.
Sunday was the North Junior County tournament so there were no junior club games.
Saturday 23rd February
Women v Liverpool (A) Won 12-6
It was a cold afternoon in Liverpool but we welcomed the sun and the clear blue sky for a change! We managed to field a team but didn’t have enough availability for subs which meant it was a tiresome game for us on what was arguably the world’s largest pitch! We ran ourselves into the ground in the first half and didn’t let the ball do enough of the work. Our tiredness at half time was reflected in the score line as we were only up by two goals (6-4). After a focussed team talk at the half we decided to save our legs and keep possession, letting the ball do the work and waiting for the goal opportunities. We got some excellent movement going in the attack on and off ball and managed to prove that we were the better and more highly skilled team with a final score of 12-6.
Men’s 1st Team v Poynton (H) Lost 4-16
Having taken a narrow one goal win in the away fixture in January and a fairly comprehensive loss in last week’s Flags game Timperley faced Poynton again. Timperley were without Tommy Kirkland and Rory Norris whilst Poynton arrived stacked with American talent. It looked like a daunting task for Timperley and so it proved.
An early Mikey Armstrong strike gave Timperley the opening goal but Poynton soon took control and playing a high tempo game they led 4-1 by the end of the 1st quarter.
There was much of the same in the 2nd quarter and Poynton extended their lead to 7-2 at half time with the Timperley goal coming from Tom Bracegirdle.
Timperley rely a lot on the skill of Tom Bracegirdle at the face off but Poynton had clearly done their homework and they did much to reduce the England international’s effectiveness. An additional issue with Tom B’s stick did not help but taking the possession advantage only narrowly was never going to be enough for Timperley.
Aggressive defence kept Poynton on the front foot and they moved the ball well in attack. 3 unanswered goals in 3rd quarter saw Timperley score twice at the start of the 4th through Ollie White and James Bates but Poynton ran away with the final quarter to take a very convincing victory.
It is essential that Timperley put this performance quickly behind them. They are still at the top of the Premiership and the games now come thick and fast with a visit to Stockport next Saturday.
Mikey Armstrong 1.0
Tom Bracegirdle 1.0
Ollie White 1.0
James Bates 1.1
Men’s A Team v Heaton Mersey (A) Won 13-5
Billy Kershaw 5, 0
TJ Burgess 2, 0
Joe Harris 2, 0
Sam Hirst 2, 0
Ed Loveland 1, 0
Oli Loveland 1, 0
After running Cheadle A so close last week the A team lads went into this game with confidence, knowing that we can compete with the top teams and beat anyone on our day. Mersey are currently top of the pile in North One and although they were slightly under strength we were still facing their main team. The Timperley team was somewhat changed from the previous week with both Mike Smith and captain Adam Henbrey promoted to the first team, Tim Holdsworth grabbed a long stick and stepped into defence. Oli “Cobra” Loveland and Joe “unaaay” Harris also came into the team. The combination of Oli and Ed “King” Loveland was a first for the A team this year and was well supported by David and Liz Loveland on the sideline.
The first quarter was fairly evens as it took our attack some time to suss out the goalie and also find the target. The Mersey goalie had a stormer of a first quarter making a string of saves including a cat like reflex save with the foot off a Billy Kershaw effort. Mersey also had some decent early possessions and produced a number of good chances which were gobbled up by the hawk-eyed Gregor Allen. At first quarter time came some encouraging words from captain Jamie Southworth, these were mainly based around “keep shooting” and “the goals will come”.
In the second quarter things started to click more for the attack and we started to pull away. The venomous duo of Oli and Ed Loveland were starting to link up nicely and Billy “I work in a gym” Kershaw started to find his shooting stick. This coupled with some excellent face off work by Harris and good wing play by Nathan Nekrews helped us build a lead.
Going into the third quarter we were riding on club chairman’s wise words that games are won and lost in the third quarter. This is where we took the game to Mersey and things really started to click. Goals from Loveland junior & senior, Kershaw and TJ gave us some breathing space. Also, a notable ‘top cheds’ finish from Sam Hirst after some fine off ball movement. Mersey had possession but some solid team D which was very well anchored and led by Dan Walker managed to keep Mersey at bay. This was our best quarter of the game and our younger legs started to pay dividends. Chairman Slater came very close to a first goal of the season with a couple of efforts. He would have bagged the former but did not receive a ‘man on’ call from his team mates. His latter lob effort unfortunately fell short.
The last quarter was a little more nip and tuck as Mersey went all out to get back into the game. We still managed to win the quarter and wrap things up nicely with a 13-6 win. This was one of our best team performances of the season and special mentions go to; Joe Harris and Nathan Nekrews for solid face off play, the attack unit for sticking to sets and making smart decisions, Dan Walker for anchoring the D and leading throughout. Additional special mention to John Hirst for stepping into the Mersey CBO role.
Big thanks to Mersey for the usual hospitality, good luck with the rest of the season. Next up for the A team is a double header with Stockport this weekend.
Men’s B Team v Brooklands (A) Lost 0-1 Concession No Ref.
Boy’s U16 v Sheffield (A) cancelled no qualified refs
Boy’s U14 v Mellor (H) Won 8-6
So half term over, I was hopeful of a full side for the Saturday, however that was dashed on Wednesday!! Thankfully it was still game on as Mellor had 9 so with our 7 we played 8 aside.
We started the game in typical Timperley style..... slowly, and soon found ourselves 3-0 down. Another defeat loomed, however we slowly started to impose ourselves on a good Mellor side. We kept it tight but our attack lacked good decision making, and half time we were 5-2 down.
The lads have improved massively this year and huge plaudits must go to Marius Robinson & Dan Walker for their coaching. Half time team talk they set out to shut up shop and when in attack use the ball smarter and not take rash shots.
Q3 could not have gone any better and we played magnificently turning the game on its head. Matt Fazal, Laurie Bailey in midfield were just brilliant, Laurie really has grown into a very intelligent player and his ability to run midfield and also play in attack bodes well. With Joe Tomlinson in attack we always look like scoring and that was no different on Saturday, now though he has Mackenzie Baird whose improvement from the beginning of the season is just fantastic. The quarter ended up with Timperley 6-5 up.
Q4 I would be lying if I was not concerned of a Mellor response but it was Timperley who again took the game to Mellor and increased our lead. Scoring two more to take it to 8-5 we kept the ball well and limited Mellor to long shots, which George had no problem with. Mellor did finally score to make the final score 8-6.
The smiles on the boy’s faces at the end made my weekend. It’s been a really difficult campaign and the boys have kept on persevering. I’m sure there will be some more tough games ahead but with their willingness to learn & with the coaching that they get from both Marius and Dan I’m confident.
MOM - Angus Gilchrist
Joe Tomlinson x 3
Matt Fazal x 2
Mackenzie Baird x 2
Boy’s U12A v Norbury (A) Won 8-7 Onondaga Cup
This week it was the cup quarter final against Norbury. Finally after weeks of waiting the game went ahead. The game started with Norbury bossing possession and this led to Norbury taking the lead. Timperley started to get hold of the ball and created various chances with Owen and Cai both hitting the post. The Norbury keeper also made a large number of saves to keep them in the lead by the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter Timperley continued their dominance with Jack, Jim and Mark controlling the middle of the park and Cai, Owen and Ben dominating over the Norbury defence. This led to Timperley scoring 5. Norbury eventually managed to break through a resolute Timperley defence and pull one back. Halftime score 5-2. The third quarter was a much tighter affair with both teams battling all over the pitch for possession. 2 goals from Cai put Timperley further ahead before Norbury managed to pull a late goal back. In the fourth quarter Timperley seem to tire and lose their shape and Norbury took full advantage scoring 3 goals in quick succession before Cai settled the ship with a goal. Norbury managed another goal which led to tense final few minutes (or was it hours). The boys held on to take a well earned victory. Final score 8-7 Timperley.
Cai Alty 6, 0
Owen Shuttleworth 2, 2
Mark Harrington 0, 3
Jim Hartley 0, 1
Boy’s U12B v Cheadle Hulme (H) Concession by CH
Sunday 24th February
Updated 16:32 - 28 Feb 2018 by Tom Slater