The end of the effects of the “Beast from the East” would hopefully see us have a spell of better weather. However, ice and snow only gave way to torrential rain. This was particularly heavy over Friday evening and early Saturday morning and ended up wiping out a substantial amount of the Lacrosse programme around Manchester.
However, some Lacrosse did survive and as the Premiership moves towards its climax Saturday games saw Heaton Mersey take a comfortable 22-3 win over Sheffield.
In the Senior Flags semi final Poynton took a convincing 12-4 win over Stockport, a club whose star seems to be on the wane.
For Timperley 1st Team it was a hugely successful weekend with wins over Brooklands 9-6 on Saturday and on Sunday an even more impressive home win, 14-10 over Heaton Mersey. For the Mersey game the Timperley team, at least on paper, was not quite as strong as we might have hoped with England Attackmen Jack Brook and Ollie White unavailable. However, the response from the team was outstanding with Tom Bracegirdle to the fore with 5 goals and with the rest of the attack and midfield all making important contributions.
The Timperley defensive unit has developed this season into, in my opinion, the best unit in the Premiership and is a strong basis to the team.
With 3 matches left, all tough games but all winnable, against Mersey, Cheadle and Stockport, Timperley are in a strong position.
The games for the Men’s A and B teams were victims of the weather and both teams are desperately short of match practice.
The women’s team was far from full strength when it entertained Oxton in a Friday night game. They took the opportunity to blood some of Timperley’s promising young players and they were impressive in a 5-12 loss in a game where Oxton fielded international players.
The North Women’s League has been thrown into turmoil with the League deducting 9 points from Oxton for fielding unregistered players in three games. Mellor have been deducted 12 points for using an unregistered umpire. This has in effect left the title race as a battle between Timperley and Stockport.
It was a good weekend for our Girl’s teams. Our U15 Blue team travelled to Mellor where an 11-8 victory saw them crowned League Champions. Congratulations!!
The U13 girls travelled to Moreton Hall for a tournament which included all the best school teams so a 4th place finish, being narrowly edged out of 3rd, was very creditable.
Not a great weekend for our Boy’s teams with only the U12A coming up with a win 10-2 at Mellor, on a pitch which set new levels for the definition of “playable”. A swamp would be drier!
There was a very creditable performance from our U14 team who played some great lacrosse despite losing 6-12.
There is a lot swirling around in the Lacrosse world at the moment and unsurprisingly I have views which I will set out under News and Views.
Friday 9th March
Women’s Team v Oxton (H) Lost 5-12
It was always going to be a tough re-scheduled game against Oxton after the initial fixture was called off 15 minutes prior to the start of the game due to a very questionable conclusion by the umpires that Timperley’s pitches were ‘unplayable’...although 20 metres away the men’s pitch was fit...
Having lost a couple of key players over the past few months and having a few others unable to play in the game on Friday night, stepping on to the pitch in the rain seemed to make sense. However a pre-game team talk encouraged every player to just have fun and play a good game of lacrosse. Taking the approach of not putting too much pressure on ourselves worked really well in the first half. Timperley got the first goal and put Oxton under a lot of pressure in the defence. The 8-3 score line at half time didn’t represent that the game was pretty balanced in possession and turnovers and Timperley were definitely giving Oxton a challenge. However Timperley struggled to maintain the balanced play throughout the second half with only one sub on the side. The final score was 12-5 but I would like to emphasise that under the circumstances (we had 4 juniors who stepped up and held their own against Oxton’s international players) Timperley fought hard and gave Oxton a good game.
Yes we probably would have won if we had the team out that was available to play our initial fixture but umpires (frustratingly) have the final say...
Timperley are currently second in the league behind Stockport. Losses to Oxton and Mellor have been overturned due to the teams playing unregistered players, resulting in the score being recorded as 12-0 wins to Timperley. Our second fixture against Mellor was cancelled yesterday, this will be a game that we can and should win second time around. We have Stockport on Friday 16th... a must-win if we want to find ourselves at the top of the league at the end of the season.
Girl’s U18 White v Oxton (H) Lost 3-19
Playing Oxton at home on a cold a wet Friday U18 White played some really good Lacrosse early on but still going behind by two goals in the first 5 minutes. We made a spirited attempt to gain ground and kept the ball well around their D scoring to get back to 1-2. Oxton did step up a gear a were faster on the break in quick succession ending the half 2-13. We had a good team talk at the break and decided to face mark one of their players (well done Kelly) this worked but Oxton were the stronger side coming out 3-19.
There is loads to build on and next year the U18 White will be a force in the league.
Well done girls.
Henny Wright 1/0
Jodie Pollard 1/0
Ellie Racle 1/0
Saturday 10th March
Men’s 1st Team v Brooklands (A) Won 9-6
Timperley opened what could turn out to be a season defining weekend with a short trip to Brooklands for the Battle of the Roundabout.
Brooklands are a team that you underestimate at your peril. Earlier in the season they inflicted on Timperley their first defeat of the campaign so it was a strong Timperley team which stepped on the field.
Right from the first whistle Timperley dictated the tempo of the game with their long stick unit dominating the Brookland’s attack and moving the ball upfield quickly.
Timperley opened the scoring with a sharp finish from young attackman Billy Kershaw. They stretched their lead with strong finishes from our North American duo of Taylor Wallace(1) and Brendan Farrell (2) with assists from Jason and Mikey Armstrong giving Timperley a 4-0 quarter time lead.
There was more of the same in the second quarter with goals from Taylor Wallace, James Bates and Ollie White.
A key to Timperley success this year has been the dominance of Tom Bracegirdle at face off but Brooklands have a top class man who pushes Tom all the way though he just about took the honours in the game. Half time saw Timperley leading by 7-1 with Brooklands pulling a goal back.
Further goals from Brendan Farrell and Ollie White saw Timperley stretch their lead extended to 9-1 with 30 secs to go when the Blues needlessly gave up possession and allow Brooklands to sneak a goal. However, a 9-2 lead looked reasonably secure.
Having played some of their best lacrosse of the season in the first 3 quarters they decided that enough was enough and slipped into their worst form with poor decision making and an almost total failure to control possession despite winning face offs. As Timperley allowed their standards to slip so Brooklands showed what they were capable of and added 4 further unanswered goals to their last minute goal in the 3rd quarter. Fortunately, Timperley managed to recover a degree of composure for the last few minutes and ran out with a well deserved victory which set up Sunday’s game against Heaton Mersey at Stockport Road.
Brendan Farrell 3.0
Taylor Wallace 2.0
Ollie White 2.0
Billy Kershaw 1.0
James Bates 1.0
Mikey Armstrong 0.2
Tom Bracegirdle 0.1
Jason Armstrong 0.1
Men’s A Team v Poynton (A) Postponed
Men’s B Team v Norbury A Cup Postponed
Boy’s U16 v Brooklands/Rochdale (A) Lost 7-11
U16 faced a game v Brooklands/Rochdale this weekend and with two draws already between the teams it would be a good test to see how we are improving. With a slightly earlier start of 9:30 due to playing on their astro and only having 9 players so having to borrow 1 it was never going to be easy. If ever there was a game of two halves it was this one. We were sloppy, unfocussed, 2nd to every ground ball, even when we were first we didn’t pick the ball up and our defence was very poor. 7-1 down at the end of Q2 was a fair summary of how we played. With no subs and having to attack with the support of Ollie L as LSM we needed a big team talk from Taylor and Sam and a complete change of attitude from our players.
The next two quarters were so much better with the boy’s effort and aggression stepped up to another level. Our defence was much better giving us a solid platform to build from and with more movement up front we worked the ball well to score so good assisted goals. We won the 2 quarters 6-4 which with no subs compared to the 4 that Brooklands had was a great result. While the defeat 11 – 7 was a disappointing one the performance in the second half gives us something to work on into the friendly game against Sheffield next week and the important Cup Semi-final v Norbury/Cheadle Hulme the week after.
Harry Alty 3 goals
Will Hirst 1 goal and 1 assist
Jack O’Mahoney 1 goal and 1 assist
Ollie Lee 1 goal and 1 assist
Dan Flisk 1 goal
Boy’s U14 v Brooklands/Rochdale (H) Plate Lost 6-12
Proud, is the one word that comes to mind when I think about this game. Proud of the boys and improvement made by each of them, proud of the work that Marius and Dan have put in to the team to help improve each individual & proud of the performance.
No matter what sport you play in life there is never any guarantee you will win, it’s no secret we have struggled this year with players and yet again we only had 10 & that’s with two U 12’s stepping up, Both Josh & Laurie we’re absent due to illness and both were sorely missed. Josh gives us a presence that we don’t have when he’s absent and Laurie being a natural lefty who can play in attack & midfield.
I mentioned to the boys pre match that this is a game that we cannot walk away from feeling “I didn’t do enough”. Q1 I was thinking the worst as we found ourselves 4-0 in quick time. Marius called a time out and we got back into the game but failed to take our chances. We did take one but lost the quarter 6-1.
At quarter time we had to change the set up as young Jim Hartley was under the weather so we had to play with 9 and to tighten up the defence. Brooklands to be fair allowed us to play 6 on 6 in attack and young Angus ran his socks off to be a long pole in defence and a short stick when we had the ball.
It paid massive dividends we were by far the better team in Q2 and despite playing the whole quarter a man short we deem 2-2. Half time score 8-3.
They knew now they were under the cosh against a depleted team.
Q3 started and we were still a man down, but we’re dominant, the. Jim got himself together and gave us an extra man in attack and all of a sudden we were back in the game but physically exhausted. We won Q3 3-1 so entering the final quarter the score was 9-6 Brooklands.
We set out a game plan to regroup as we were more physically exhausted due to playing with 9. Unfortunately we could not keep the our and they won Q4, 4-1.
We lost the match 13-7 but we winners in so many other ways. The improvement, the attitude, the effort put in and despite the defeat the faces at the end showed everything from disappointment for losing but the satisfaction that they had become a team, and had done more than enough to win.
It’s been a very frustrating season but an experience I will never forget.
MOM split between Angus and Joe.
Cai x 3
Joe x 2
Matt x 2
Boy’s U12A v Mellor (A) Won 10-2
This week the U12A took on Mellor away from home. I have been told that this game was played in quagmire so difficult conditions for the boys to play.
Timperley got off to a good start and goals from Owen and Jack saw them control the first quarter and this continued in the second quarter with both teams dealing with testing conditions. Two more goals from Owen kept Timperley ticking over. Mellor managed to pull one back. Halftime score 4-1.
Timperley again dominated in the third quarter, creating various chances and goals from Kuba, George and Jack extended Timperleys lead so having clear daylight between them and Mellor entering the final quarter. The fourth quarter was the same again with the conditions making it tricky but the boys overcame and with 3 more goals from Leon and Jack (2) Timperley ran out comfortable winners. Final score 10-2.
Well done boys a great result in difficult conditions.
Owen Shuttleworth 3, 2
Jack Dearden 4, 0
Leon Read 1, 1
George Rommel 1, 1
Mark Harrington 0, 2
Kuba Jenkins 1, 0
Boy’s U12B v Cheadle Hulme (H) Lost 6-12
The U12B always have a tough season as they are younger and less experienced than most other teams. However, they improve tremendously through the year and this year’s team have made great strides. Many of them will move up to the A team next year and with the players from the A who are still U12 they will make an excellent team.
On Saturday they entertained a Cheadle Hulme side who have had some good results this year. Once again Timperley fought hard and gave a good account of themselves. The U12 Plate game against Rochdale will be an interesting one.
Girl’s U13 Moreton Hall Tournament
This years' Timperley U13 team comprised 10 of our current U13 squad and 5 of our U11 team. Repeating last year's victory at this tournament was going to be a tough task.
Moreton Hall presents an opportunity for us to test ourselves against the best teams in our region, taking on opposition who play together and train 4 or 5 times a week.
For the group of girls we took to this year's tournament, it was their first time playing together as a team.
They did not disappoint. Finishing 4th overall out of 7 teams, only 1 point behind 3rd place. A fantastic effort.
The midfield core of Katy Young, Karina Henshaw, Zofia Jenkins, Tilly Young and Elsa Hopley-Catalan were immense. They ran tirelessly and featured in attack as well as defence throughout. The commitment, support and determination was great to see.
Becoming reassuringly consistent are the excellent performances of Charlotte Wynn in goal. What a bonus for the team to have such a dependable player at the back!
We were overall very good in defence today. Some strong performances from Natalya Erlam, Jasmine Ellaby, Amelia Wynn, Poppy Williams and Emily Porter were reinforced by some good tracking back from our D-Wing and central players. Emily and Poppy (normally U11 regulars) coped very well at U13 level, dealing with some very tall opponents! There was great commitment defensively.
Our strategy today relied on two interchangeable attacking lines. Laura Kelly provided the experience. Louisa Davidson, Esme Torevell, Emma Burns, and Franziska Christian all gave great accounts of themselves, finding space and drawing the opponent's defences throughout.
Amelia Wynn also featured in attack later in the tournament.
The younger ones were supported well by their older team mates.
There were moments in some games which saw our U11 players linking up with each other and demonstrating that they can play some good, confident lacrosse under the pressure of a tournament like this.
Individual game scores as follows:
Game 1 (v Moreton Hall)
Moreton finished 2nd overall
Zofia, assist Katie.
Game 2 (v Withington)
Karina x 2
Tilly x 2
Katie x 1
Game 3 (v Packwood)
Packwood were overall winners
Game 4 (v Harrogate Ladies College)
Won - 4/0
Zofia, Karina assist
Tilly, Laura assist
Elsa, Emma assist
Game 5 (v Bolton)
Bolton pipped us to 3rd place overall
Katie x 2
Game 6 (v Birkenhead)
Katie x 2
Win or lose, we always bring away from Moreton a sense of team spirit and accomplishment. Each and every girl gave it their best today.
Importantly, we never looked beaten. It was tough against those teams for whom lacrosse is an almost daily activity.
Some inspired wins put Timperley hot on the heels of the dominant teams today.
Had the final game against Birkenhead been allowed to flow more, we may have had the time to secure the points that would have given us 3rd place.
But that's lacrosse!
This year the girls gave a great account of themselves.
Every player should be proud of their performance today. Well done Team Timperley!
Sunday 11th March
Men’s 1st v Heaton Mersey (H) Won 14-10
Another successful double header weekend down. Additionally Stockport conceded to Cheadle, Mellor to Poynton and Steelers to Brooklands. I think we'll see a lot more of this and with the teams benefiting from the 2 points only gaining a 1-0 win this could work in our favour for goal difference.
Sunday fixtures always seem to present themselves as tricky affairs, having already played on the Saturday getting a team ready for a back to back game often sees performance levels dip.
Timperley started the game brightly and put up a 3-0 lead in no time, Mersey had a mini revival and scored two goals out of nothing which proved that they are a team which can never be underestimated.
Timperley carried on their strong start to the game and kept the board ticking over, with Tom Bracegirdle doing a superb job at the face off x constant possession was being supplied and Timperley took a 7-4 lead in to the second half.
Not wanting the game to be a close affair Timperley came out the half time break and put in a dominating 10 minute stint, this saw the home team score a further three goals without reply. However Heaton Mersey managed to breach the Timperley defence on two fast break opportunities which kept them well within the game.
With tired bodies and tired minds, the final quarter became a dogged encounter with both teams trading blow for blows. Despite mounting a comfortable lead, as a club it would seem that we never like to win games the easy way and allowed Mersey a way back into the contest with several cheap goals. The Timperley attack possessed the ball and slowed the game down to ensure that no nervy ending to the match would occur. Final score Timperley 14-10 Mersey.
Only three games left to play this season, they are against Cheadle, Mersey (for the 4th time this year) and Stockport.
Tom Bracegirdle 5
Taylor Wallace 2
Cam Leslie 3
James Bates 1
Mikey Armstrong 1
Brendan Farrell 1
Pat McGowan 1
Girl’s U15 v Mellor (A) Won 11-8 League Champions
Timperley Blue, last year’s U13 league champions, secured a great win in a tightly contested game away at Mellor to take this year’s U15 league championship title.
Mellor scored first, but Timperley Blue bounced straight back with a goal from Ana Green following a driving run through the heart of the Mellor defence.
The game remained tight until Timperley Blue hit a purple patch that resulted in a 6-2 lead at half time.
We knew Mellor would fight back in the second half and so it proved. In no time at all, there was only one goal dividing the teams, and so it continued through much of a nail-biting half (6-7, 6-8. 7-8, 7-9, 8-9 etc).
Timperley showed their resolve and maturity at the end of the second half to finally stretch their lead, and used their possession game to close out the game in the last 5 minutes without too many heart-in-your-mouth moments.
The final score was 11-8 to Timperley.
Once again, this was an excellent all-round team performance, with some strong individual showings. Every single girl in the team played their part and delivered what was required in their position.
The defence don’t always get the recognition they deserve, so player-of-the-match goes to Charlotte Christian for an indomitable display.
Goals / Assists
Updated 15:16 - 14 Mar 2018 by Tom Slater
Charlotte Christian 0/1
Ana Green 2/3
Alice Allen 5/0
Henrietta Wright 2/2
Sophie Hurlstone 2/0
Tilly Young 0/1
Jess Heywood 0/1