Match Reports 2000/01

Hitchin at home - 7 Oct 2000

Purley's season got underway with a home game against Hitchin, who were minus their regular first team goalie, and to add to that travel problems saw them with only 9 men for the first few minutes. By the time they were up to full strength they were three goals down. Hitchin may have thought they would now stem the tide, but Purley had other thoughts. With Mike Barrett controlling the face-off, and the whole team winning ground balls Purley dominated possession. By quarter time the Purple and Gold were 10-1 ahead.

The rest of the game continued in the same pattern. The Purple attack looked like they hadn't been away, moving the ball confidently and finishing well, with Dave Arnot notching up 12 goals and Tim Richmond with 9. Hitchin showed signs of early season rustiness, and squandered much of the possession they did have. With the final score reading 36-3 to Purley this is definitely a day Hitchin will not want to remember.

Goals: Dave Arnot 12, Tim Richmond 9, Matt Payne 5, Graeme Holland 3, Scott Nicholls 3, Mike Barrett 2, MJ Berman 1, Mystery Man 1

Hillcroft away - 14 Oct 2000

With Purley starting the game with only 10 men they knew it was going to be a tough day. The early possession was shared with neither team really settling into their rhythm. It was Hillcroft who had the first realistic chance on goal, but unfortunately for them the shot bounced agonisingly off the post. Purley seemed to instinctively know this would be a good time to score - and within 30 seconds this is exactly what they did. This settled the Purley side, who started to control the ball in attack and finished the quarter with a 5-0 lead. At quarter time Mike Husey arrived, giving the Purley middies a much needed rest, and also slotting home the only goal of the second quarter. In the second half Purley comfortably cruised to victory - final score 15-1.

Hillcroft's Japanese keeper had an excellent game - with a couple of notable saves when faced one on one. In the other goal Paul Terry must be upset that Hillcroft avoided the shutout, getting beaten high with a well placed shot just under the crossbar.

Goals: Dave Arnot 6, Tim Richmond 5, Scott Nicholls 2, Mike Husey 1, Mike Barrett 1

Spencer A at home, Senior Flags Round 1 - 21 Oct 2000

With the way the Senior Flags is formatted this year Purley found themselves with Division 2 opposition for the first round, in the form of Spencer A. From the way Purley have started the season this game was always going to be a mismatch - with Spencer A finding Purley out of their league (literally). The Spencer club was only formed this year by the merger of Kenton and Beckenham, and it will take a little time for the team to get used to playing with each other, however the blend of youth (provided mainly by Beckenham) and experience (from Kenton) should provide them in good stead for the future. Indeed it was the Kenton experience which managed to avoid the shutout as Jonathon Phillips scored a well taken goal from one of his trademark cuts.

For Purley Scott Nicholls had an excellent game in midfield, hardly missing a single ground ball and notching up a tally of 6 goals. The Purple attack also had another good day, with Tim Richmond and Dave Arnot peppering all four corners of the Spencer goal. Final score 36-1.

Goals: Dave Arnot 10, Scott Nicholls 6, Tim Richmond 6, Graeme Holland 5, MJ Berman 4, Mike Barrett 3, Matt Payne 2

Cheadle at home, Iroquois Cup/Wilkinson Sword - 28 Oct 2000

See the report

Bath away, Senior Flags Semi-Final & League - 25 Nov 2000

With the torrential rain which has covered Southern England for the last month (every weather report seems to announce some new flood alert) it was looking like there would be no lacrosse before Christmas. However, with a break in the weather, the 10 man team from Purley, including new recruit Jamie Tasko from Canada, made their way down the M4 to Bath. In fact as soon as the teams came out to warm up the sun actually made a rare appearance. With the previous fixture between these two teams being postponed due to the weather, this match was to be played as the Flags semi-final and as a league game.

With only 10 men Purley played a patient offence, controlling the ball in order to conserve energy, and picking their shots to great effect. Jamie Tasko had an impressive debut with 4 goals, and at the other end the Purley defence was as frugal as ever. Final score: 20 - 3.

Goals: Tim Richmond 8, Jamie Tasko 4, Mike Barrett 3, Scott Nicholls 3, Graeme Holland 2

In the other Flags semi-final Hitchin beat Spencer by 2 goals. I may be wrong, but I think this is the first time Hitchin have made it to the finals - so congratulations to them.

Hitchin away - 9 Dec 2000

With Flags semi-final wins for both Hitchin and Purley two weeks ago, this match turned out to be a dry run of the Flags Final to be played in April. The Hitchin team started well, hustling for every ball, and throwing Purley out of their stride. After 10 minutes of the first quarter the teams were level at 2-2, but then the Purley side settled, their defence cut out any silly mistakes, and after that it was all one way traffic. Final score: 18 - 3.

Bath at home - 13 Jan 2001

With last weeks game rained off yet again, this was the first fixture after the Christmas break. However Purley settled easily back into the swing of things, and cruised to a 31-2 victory over a spirited Bath side. Jamie Tasko looks to be settling in well, notching up an impressive tally of eight goals (is it too late for a run at top scorer?), and Darren Novell made a welcome return - along with news that he is getting married in February, so congratulations to Darren & Clare.

Goals: Tim Richmond 9, Jamie Tasko 8, Graeme Holland 5, MJ Berman 3, Mike Barrett 3, Scott Nicholls 2, Matt Payne 1

Rochdale away, Tour - 20 Jan 2001

This tour game was originally planned to be played against Boardman & Eccles, but a sharp drop in the temperature up 't North saw the game called off late on the Friday due to a frozen pitch. After much frantic phoning around to find a replacement, Rochdale stepped into the breach and agreed to field a team from a mixture of their first and A teams. The fixture was only confirmed 15 hours before face-off!

The pitch, whilst not completely frozen, proved to be difficult for both sides - especially the keepers, with some shots flying well over the goal off the hard pitch, and others not bouncing at all. Purley didn't adapt well to the climate change (5 hours in a mini bus didn't help matters), and Rochdale made the better start by far. However they could never establish a substantial lead, and the first half was fairly even as both sides tried to get the measure of each other.

In the second half Purley began to take control, and pulled out into the lead. The defence played a bit tighter, so got beaten less on the cut, and began to get the measure of Rochdale's very tricky attack (apparently they have over 100 years of combined experience). The midfield and attack started to move the ball and created a lot more openings, and began to get more confident in front of goal. Rochdale still threatened occasionally, but the game ended 16 - 10.

Thanks to Rochdale for giving us a game at such short notice, and for their excellent hospitality. The Rochdale club has superb facilities, and you even get a nice cup of tea right after the game - and on a day as cold as this it was very much appreciated.

Cheadle away, Tour - 21 Jan 2001

This could definitely be called a game of two halves. As with yesterday, the pitch was solid and slippery making it difficult for both sides, however this didn't seem to bother Cheadle as they dominated the first quarter, winning 5-1. Purley just couldn't seem to hang on to the ball, and if you give an attack containing Darren Baythorpe and Phil Lynch that much possession they are bound to score. Cheadle switched their side around a little at quarter time, introducing a couple of their up and coming youngsters, however this made little difference to the way the game was going, and they went into half time 11-2 up.

Despite the score line, the Purley half time talk was not full of doom and gloom. The team realised they just needed to up the concentration, possess the ball, and play like they can. The switch of Scott Nicholls from midfield helped solidify the defence, and keeper Paul Terry made several good saves to deny any opportunities Cheadle did have. The Purley midfield and attack started to hold and move the ball well, and with the increased possession made several good openings, though they only managed to convert one. Three quarter score was 3-11.

Cheadle, wanting to regain complete control, switched back to their best side. However Purley were in their stride now, and in the fourth quarter had the vast majority of possession. Goals started to come from all quarters of the Purley team as they scored 5 without reply - possibly the best was a man up goal from Matt Payne who sneaked round the crease to the left hand post, knelt down, received the pass from Dave Arnot and slotted the ball home. Indeed, it could have been more, with Dave Leach (making a guest appearance from Hitchin) hitting the post at least twice. With 3 minutes left in the game the score was 8-11. However any hopes of victory disappeared quickly as Purley chased a ground ball after the face-off, a Cheadle player gained possession, and fed an open Phil Lynch who slotted home what turned out to be the last goal of the game. Final score 8-12.

Goals: Dave Arnot 2, Matt Payne 2, Tim Richmond 1, Jamie Tasko 1, Dave Leach 1, MJ Berman 1.

Finally - thanks to the Cheadle lads for an excellent game, and, as always, their excellent hospitality (especially the night on the beers before the game).

Spencer away - 27 Jan 2001

With the rain again dominating the weather in the South, conditions were difficult for attractive lacrosse with the the pitch being very heavy and slippery. Spencer turned up with a squad of 15, but minus a regular 'keeper - whereas Purley could only manage a squad of 10 due to injuries and work commitments. Given those facts, the obvious plan for Purley would be to play a controlled possession game to save their legs, however that was not how it started out. With Mike Barrett dominating the early face-offs, the attack moving the ball quickly, and Dave Arnot cranking the ball into the net, Purley were three goals up in three minutes. Spencer then tightened their defence, their rookie keeper settling into the game to make several good saves, and the quarter ended 5-1 to Purley.

The next two quarters were fairly close. Even though Purley only had 2 regular D men, they limited Spencers opportunities to score in regular play, with 3 of their goals coming from man-ups. In midfield Greg Venville harried every ground ball, helping Purley to take an 11-5 lead into the third quarter. The last quarter was all Purley, as they eased home to a 17-6 win.

Spencer at home - 24 Feb 2001

Due to the previous fixture being postponed because of a waterlogged pitch, this match was to be played for double points. Spencer put out a stronger side than in their last meeting, including a very useful new keeper. However Purley were also back to something like full strength, and dominated the first quarter to lead 5-1. The Spencer defence tightened up in the next two quarters, only allowing one goal in the second, and none in the third, however they couldn't find a way to breach the Purley defence. Three quarter score was 6-1 to Purley. In the final quarter the Purley attack got back into their stride, notching up five goals to take the final score to 11-1.

Bath away - 3 Mar 2001

The long trip to Bath proved to be very fruitful for the Purple and Gold, taking a 8-1 first quarter lead, and cruised to a 23-2 victory. The Purley attack moved the ball well, and goals came from all over the team - including D man Dave Slaughter. Despite the large deficit the Bath side never gave up, and contributed to a very competitive game which doesn't show in the score-line.

Scores by quarter: 8-1, 11-2, 19-2, 23-2
Goals: Tim Richmond 6, Dave Arnot 4, Graeme Holland 4, Scott Nicholls 3, Mike Barret 2, Greg Venville 2, Matt Payne 1, Dave Slaughter 1.

Hampstead at home - 10 Mar 2001

With the current league standings, Purley knew that a victory against Hampstead would bring home the league championship. Apparently someone had told Hampstead too, as they arrived with the stongest squad Purley had faced so far, obviously intent on spoiling the party.

The first quarter started with Purley controlling much of the possession, helped by a lack of discipline from Hampstead which gave the home side several minutes of man up. However, Purley was only able to convert this possession into one goal. Having weathered the early storm, Hampstead then had a long period of possession themselves, but though they pressured the Purley defence they rarely managed to get a good opportunity to score. At quarter time the score was 2-1 to Purley. In the second quarter Hampstead were much more incisive in attack, and took a two goal lead - which Purley managed to peg back to 4-5 at half time. The Purple and Gold definately knew they were in a game.

In the third quarter Purley knew they had to up the tempo if they were to win this game. With much of the early possession, Purley managed to score the vital first goal of the half to pull level, and went on to build up a decissive lead as they notched up six goals in the quarter to Hampstead's one. Facing a four goal deficit going in the fourth quarter Hampstead really needed to score first if they were to have a chance of winning, but Purley were in their stride now and it was they who scored first, and from then on controlled the game to run out 14-6 winners.

Hillcroft at home - 17 Mar 2001

With a couple of players resting injuries for next weeks flags final, Purley could only manage a squad of 10 men. The conditions for lacrosse were not helpful - the amount of recent rain had made the pitch very heavy, and difficult to pick up on. Indeed, there were a couple of occaisions during the game when the referee had to call a face due to the ball being lost in the mud!

Purley started well, controlling the ball and taking an early lead. However a couple of lapses in the normally steady Purley defence, and some good fast break play by Hillcroft meant they kept in contention. Quarter time score was 4-2 to Purley. In the second quarter Purley again had much of the possession, but cut out the defensive mistakes to take them into half time with a comfortable 8-2 lead. During the second half the scoring dried up, helped by some good saves from Hillcroft's Japanese keeper. Final score 10-2.

Goals: Tim Richmond 3, Graeme Holland 3, Mike Barrett 2, Scott Nicholls 1, Matt Payne 1.

Senior Flags Final v Hitchin - 24 Mar 2001

See the report