Match Reports 2001/02

Hitchin at home - 6 Oct 2001

The Purley team has a slightly new look this season, with captain Mike Barrett departing to Stockport in order to boost his chances of making the England World Cup squad to play in Perth next year, and knee injuries side-lining defender Denham Pope and attack man Dave Arnot. However, it is not all doom and gloom, as Chris Spence returns to the midfield after a stint working in Germany.

On the pitch, however, it was business as usual as Purley cruised to a 27 - 3 win over last years Flags finalists Hitchin. In order to match last seasons achievements, Purley will need the midfield to step up their game to cover the loss of Mike Barrett, but judging from this performace both Matt Payne and Scott Nicholls look very capable of doing so.

Bath away - 13 Oct 2001

Bath rugby club were playing Sale almost next door to the lacrosse pitch, and with the noise the crowd were making it added a touch of atmosphere to the game - it was just a shame we didn't score at the same time as the rugby club did! Bath always fight hard, but have suffered from losing a couple of players to Penarth over the close season.

Bath rugby club snatched a win in the dying minutes - however the lacrosse team never had that chance as Purley controlled the match to run out 24-3 winners.

Penarth at home - 20 Oct 2001

This was the first ever fixture between these two teams. Penarth was only formed a few years ago, and is the first Welsh club to play in the South of England league. Having to travel four of five hours on the motorway just to get to a game, one thing you cannot doubt is their commitment - and it shows on the field. However, they didn't have the firepower to trouble the Purley defence, and the Purple attack was in it's usual fine form - final score 18-3.

Oxford away, Senior Flags round 1 - 3 Nov 2001

Due to work commitments, holidays and injuries Purley stuggled to get 10 men to take the field. The final team line-up is one that isn't likely to be repeated. Tony 'the Fossilator' Bennett was lured out of retirement to play in goal, and probably breaks the Purley record for the oldest player to start a first team game. Therefore regular keeper Paul Terry was moved up into attack (now, how often does that happen), and in midfield Stuart Green was playing only his third ever game. In fact, the defence was the only area that had a familiar look.

In order for there not to be a cup upset, Purley had to control the ball and counter the fitness and superior numbers of the students. Play was scrappy at the beggining of the first quarter, with few decissive breaks on goal - and it was the students who managed to score first. Purley replied with a goal from Paul Terry, and Stuart Green opened his account for Purley to make the quarter time score 2-1. Purley managed to maintain the lead in the second quarter, but could not shake Oxford who always kept the odd goal behind.

A change of tactics at half time saw Purley spread the play wider in attack, leaving more room for dodging - and Matt Payne capitalised with a couple of well taken goals, including a rather nice round the back shot, and Purley managed to pull away into a comfortable 8-3 lead at three quater time. The final quarter was much of the same - final score 11-4.

Hillcroft at home - 10 Nov 2001

Winning the first quarter 4-0, it looked like this would be another comfortable win for Purley. However Hillcroft had other ideas, and in the second quarter fought hard to control the ball - aided by some sloppy play from Purley. Hillcoft scored the only goal of the quarter to end the half 4-1 down. Despite this brief comeback, Hillcroft didn't have the fire power in attack to seriously threaten the Purley goal, and though the Purple attack wasn't completely on song they managed to keep the scoring ticking over. Final score 10-1.

Hampstead away - 8 Dec 2001

After having beaten Hampstead a month ago by only one goal, the Purple and Gold were determined to put on a more clinical display this time out - and came out firing on all cylinders in the first quarter. Scott Nicholls seemed to be winning every ground ball from the face off, the Purley defence was stripping the ball, and the attack notched up five goals. Added to that, what little possesion Hamsptead did have they squandered, and with a first quarter scoreline of 5-0 the game was almost in the bag.

However in the second quarter Hampstead did settle the ship, and limited the Purple and Gold to one goal, but they couldn't break down the Purley defence and the half time score was 6-0. The third quarter was a more even affair, as Hampstead broke their duck, but Purley still won the quarter to take the score to 9-2. Defender Dean Searle provided the icing on the cake in the final quarter as he stripped the Hampstead keeper, who was on a run up the field to clear the ball, and slotted home into the empty net for his second (yes, that's second) goal of the game. Final score 13-2.

Spencer at home - 15 Dec 2001

Tim Richmond, the 'Thunder from Down Under', put on an impressive display of attacking play, with five goals and six assists (or was that 6 & 7, I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong) in his last game before returning home until the summer. Apparently the UK winter is a bit too harsh and he has to 'thaw out'. Now, we thought those Aussies were made up of sterner stuff.

Purley dominated the game and ran out comfortable winners 17-1. Dave Arnot made a welcome return after a knee injury, and although a little rusty showed he still has what it takes with a rocket into the top corner, and Mike Husey showed why his goal tally is much improved this season with two well taken goals from midfield.

Spencer away - 19 Jan 2002

It looked like both sides had had too much Christmas pudding over the festive season as they provided one of the rarest first quarter scorelines in lacrosse, 0-0. Purley dominated possession, but didn't have their shooting boots on as shots flew over the bar, hit the post, or hit the keeper. The second quarter started much the same way, until at last the Purple attack woke up to take a 1-0 lead. Spencer then struck back - using the low sun to deceive keeper Paul Terry. Purley replied quickly, though, and started to build up a lead, managing to go in 6-2 at the half.

With the Christmas pudding out of their system now, the second half saw Purley dominate the game - scoring 4 goals in the third quarter, and 6 in the fourth without reply to make the final score 16-2. Dave Arnot showed impressive form in his first full game back from injury with 4 goals, Matt Payne impressed in midfield with 4 goals, and Mike Husey continued his good run of scoring form with a hat-trick.

Walcountian Blues at home - 26 Jan 2002

The Purley pitch hadn't handled the heavy rain very well and as a consequence we had what Andy Booth described as "surface water", but what your average Southerner would describe as a pond. But the game went ahead anyway?!

The pitch lead to a disjointed game but Purley proved stronger on ground balls and dominated possession. This well fought contest finished 14 - 4 to Purley.

Croydon at home - 9 Feb 2002

The pitch had recovered slightly from the battering it took in our previous home game, but conditions were far from ideal. Purley, fielding a near full strength team, dominated proceedings with Jamie Tasko and Matt Payne winning most face offs.

The Croydon side was a mixture of youth and experience and contains some promising youngsters. They have a strong defence and promise to feature near, if not at, the top of the Second Division come the end of the season. The Croydon keeper thwarted the Purley attack on numerous occasions but Dave Arnot, Darren Novell and Jamie Tasko proved that persistance over resistance does work! The goals were spread between the team, but Dave Arnot top scored with 7. Final score 24 - 1.

Goals: Dave Arnot 7, Matt Payne 6, Jamie Tasko 5, Scott Nicholls 3, Chris Spence 2, Darren Novell 1.

Reading away - 16 Mar 2002

In a dress rehearsal for the Flags Final Purley had the pleasure of a trip down to Reading. It was the first League meeting between these two teams and neither team really knew what to expect.

Reading came out gunning, and quickly took a 2-0 lead. Their aggression on ground balls, and chasing down everything on the ride gained them a lot of possession, and good team defence meant they limited most of Purley's attacks to only one shot. However, no-one has managed to tame the Purley attack this season, and the Purple and Gold came back to take a 3-2 lead. Reading weren't done though, and two more goals saw them win the quarter 4-3.

Then midway through the second quarter ill-discipline lead to two penalties and a Purley four-man zone. This was something of a turning point. The four-man zone held, the defence started talking, and the rest of the team seemed to have gained the focus they were lacking. Purley were winning more ground balls, the attack were holding the ball, and although the Reading defence held out for several minutes of sustained pressure it was only a matter of time before Purley equalised.

After that Purley began to dominate and never really looked back. Although Reading created some good chances they were unable to beat the Purley defence - one noteable opportunity being a one-on-one save by keeper Paul Terry, when the shot seemed to have beaten him and was deflected onto the post by a nice glove save. But Purley had stepped up a couple of gears and the goals were all Purple and Gold.

The desire that Reading showed to challenge Purley at every opportunity was a credit to this up-coming side and I'm sure they will hold their own if/when they get promoted to the First Division.

The final score was 12 - 4. It was now time for Purley to start thinking about next week's game versus Hampstead.

Senior Flags Final v Hampstead- 23 Mar 2002

See the report

Penarth away - 6 Apr 2002

Purley wrapped up their third League title in a row with a convincing 32-2 win over Penarth. The big score-line wasn't due to Penarth being a poor team - they're not, they just had the misfortune to meet possibly the strongest squad Purley had put out this season, and the Purple attack and midfield were on fire. With slick passing, good movement off the ball, and fast and decissive cutting, it sometimes seemed that Purley were scoring at will. Attack man Tim Richmond, who had returned from Australia two days before after a six months absence, quickly renewed his partnership with Dave Arnot, and between them they managed to net 17 goals. Even defence man Andy 'Papa' Booth managed to ghost into the attack to get his name on the score sheet.