The weekend British National Championships tournament is the final fixture in the Lacrosse season. Yorkshire Lacrosse won this Championship for the first time last year. Whilst they didn’t manage to emulate that achievement this year, they did pick up the Plate trophy by beating Scotland again in a tense final in Golden Goal 6-5.
The end-of-season tournament was played over a gruelling 2 days at Wilmslow Lacrosse Club, involving 12 regional teams from around Britain. Yorkshire was well represented by a Sheffield contingent of Sheffield Steelers (Ben Lyon and George Ievers co-captains) and 2 from Sheffield University. Yorkshire started brightly with a 3-3 draw against Wales followed by an 11-0 thumping of North West Devt team. Unfortunately, results didn’t go there way against English Universities and The South. In the final match of Saturday, Yorkshire lost to eventual winners The North West 5-2. However, in a tournament where goals scored are also taken into account, Yorkshire had earned enough to put them into the Plate trophy semi final on Sunday.
Yorkshire flew out of the blocks on Sunday morning, avenging the previous days defeat with a hard fought 9-3 victory, to earn a place in the final against Scotland. Whilst English Universities (which also had 2 Sheffield Steelers players represented by Will Hardy and Isuru Fernando) had managed to peg Yorkshire back at 2-2, they fell back to 5-3 at half-time. Then Yorkshire commanded the second half, adding 4 more goals and rarely let the University lads out of their half.
The final was held in the afternoon in a re-run of last years Championship final against Scotland. Yorkshire took the lead and held onto it but Scotland kept coming back with fast breaks. Coach Tom Wenham impressed upon the possession play and the patience to wait for the right opening, whilst zipping the ball around at a fast tempo. 3-2 up at half-time, Yorkshire stretched the lead to 5-3 but in the last 2 minutes of play, Scotland came back with 2 quick goals to level the score. Extra time with Golden Goal to win! The game was on a knife edge as play went end-to-end. The game went to a second period of overtime and Scotland’s face-off guy (MotM) won the ball again. Yorkshire’s defence held and a final fast break found Rob Hopkins close to goal, who passed to George Ievers racing in to bury the winning shot in the back of the net.
A brilliant end to the tournament. George Ievers top scored with 9 goals, Rob Hopkins scored 8, with Ben Lyon and Dan Ievers both scoring 3 over the weekend. In defence, James Clarke took spells in goal whilst Tom Horsefield and Rob Broomhead kept attacks at bay. Other representatives for Yorkshire came from Leeds, Nottingham, Lincoln, York, Newcastle, Hull and Bradford as the game of Lacrosse continues to grow across the UK.
Photo with the Sheffield Contingency L-R: Tom Bracegirdle (Sheff Uni), Ben Lyon, George Ievers, Rob Broomhead, Tom Horsefield, James Clarke, Rob Hopkins, Ben Scola (Sheff Uni). (Dan Ievers absent).