Despite much of the UK being struck by Storm Desmond bringing strong gales and even floods in some areas, a number of huge games were played in both the North and the South this weekend affecting the top and bottom teams in the leagues.
In the Northern Premiership, Heaton Mersey and LTP student/Rutgers alumni Kevin Albert returned to action and to winning ways, dispatching Wilmslow at their home ground with a 11-3 victory to take them to 5th-place and equal on points with Timperley. Timperley’s game (featuring LTP student and Coquitlam Adanacs shorty Bryan Gillis) was marred with controversy when they faced Cheadle away. Despite Cheadle leading throughout the match, Timperley were mounting a comeback, scoring three consecutive goals to reduce the deficit and turn the momentum strongly in Timperley’s favour when, with there still being 12 minutes left in the game, the whistle was blown and the game was called off due to bad light. With the Timperley on a roll in the game and feeling that they could salvage a result, this was a bitter pill to swallow and they will look to return to winning ways when they host Heaton Mersey next week.
In the battle for survival at the bottom of the league, Sheffield Steelers (featuring LTP’er Tim Davidson) registered their first win of the season beating 7th-placed Rochdale 13-9 and 6th-placed Brooklands won 13-8 away at Manchester WACS. This now leaves Sheffield and Wilmslow in the relegation places, drawing on 2 points a-piece with Rochdale and Manchester WACS just head on 4 points (although Manchester WACS do have at least 1 game in hand on the teams around them). With WACS playing Wilmslow and Sheffield facing Brooklands next weekend, we can expect further movement in what will no doubt be crucial games for all concerned.
In the Southern Premiership, 2nd played 3rd with Hitchin beating Reading 13-6 to swap places toward the top of the table and Spencer asserted their authority on rivals Walcountian Blues, winning 9-5 at home and overtaking Blues to take 5th place. Spencer have at least 2 games in hand on the teams above, and as they have only lost one game in the past two years, you can expect to see them challenging for honours by the end of the season.
The game of the weekend in the South was undoubtedly to be found in Wales, where 4th-placed Cardiff Harlequins played host to league leaders Hillcroft. The game was a hard-fought affair with both teams exchanging blows throughout and the lead changing hands on several occasion. With Cardiff leading in the final minute, high-flying Hillcroft managed to fashion space to shoot and equalised with just 6 seconds remaining on the clock. Cardiff won the subsequent face and managed to get a shot off which beat the Hillcroft keeper and ended up in the back of the net, but unfortunately the final whistle was blown just before it crossed the line and the goal was ruled out. Final score 9-9 leaving Hillcroft just one point ahead of Hitchin (with a game in hand).
Hillcroft will be looking to bounce back and ensure they are top of the league for Christmas when they host Bristol Bombers next weekend. Elsewhere, Blues face Cardiff at home, Purley host East Grinstead, league-challengers Spencer face Reading and unbeaten Hampstead host 2nd-placed Hitchin in a game which could have a big impact upon the title race.
Make sure you check in next Monday to catch up on all the excitement within England’s club lacrosse leagues!