Minor Flags Round 1: Welwyn 3 Vs Aberystwyth
Welwyn win but Aberystwyth take the honours
Whoever said that teams don't take the flags seriously?
Let Aberystwyth be the team who sets an example to those who conceded games this weekend. 13 players, plus their coach made the arduous 5 1/2 hour journey across the winding roads of Wales and then hitting the motorway in a minibus only capable of 55mph (down hill!). Having arrived in plenty of time to warm up-Aber were ready to face the Welwyn 18-man squad; match officials Hazel (don't mix with me) Wisby & Dave Groves lined the teams up in the dazzling sun.
Aber, who had only scored 2 goals in 3 games in West 2, surprised the home side by racing to a 2-1 advantage at the end of Q1. Matt (Sully) Martin & Simon (Jugs) Bleet taking full advantage of defensive lapses from an unusually slow starting Welwyn.
This wake-up call galvanised the East 3 league-leaders in to action, but then tragedy struck the visitors when their goalie twisted his ankle after being caught in possession and hobbled off the pitch. Hartwell gamely took over between the pipes as Welwyn exploited the rookie's inexperience, over-turning the score to a 6-3 half-time lead. Pat Dobney stepping up a gear for Welwyn with two well taken crease goals and Ed (Tubba) Johns keeping the Welsh in touch at the break. It was a scrappy quarter, refs Wisby & Groves found themselves busy handing out penalties for thoughtless indiscretions but clear explanations helped both sides learn and cut out the silly mistakes, making for much better 2nd half.
The Aber keeper managed to shake-off his injury to limp back in to the goal for the 2nd half, but, by this time, Welwyn's confidence had grown they continued to pressure. Welwyn, living up to their family club credentials, sported two father & son combinations (Kilby's & Perry's), but is fell to dad Steve who assisted Sam Perry who lead the assault with 5 goals, whilst Asa Common (in his rookie season) showed strength and pace to score his hat-trick from midfield. Aber continued to press throughout, but their inexperienced side, some with only 4 weeks practice, just lacked the fire-power up front against a mean defence led by Henning Schmidt. A rare goal by Andrew Abbey, picking up a short stick for the first time this season, kept up the scoring for the over 50 year olds at the club, and capped off a memorial 14 -3 victory for the Warriors captain, although the scoreline does not reflect how well the Men in Green played.
After the match Hazel Wisbey (panel referee) commented "The game was played in very good spirits and it was a pleasure to referee the game", whilst Welwyn gave the Aber guys a deserved 4 cheers in recognition of their commitment to lacrosse and the Flags tournament.