Oxford at home, Friendly - 28 Jan 2006

Oxford have been rampaging through the West Division, with a 27-1 win last week and overall an 8-0 record. To give themselves more of a challenge they were looking to arrange a friendly with Premiership opposition, and spotting they had the same week off as Purley they got in touch, and a game was quickly arranged.

The first quarter started at a frenetic pace with end to end action, but initially it was Purley who worked the better opportunities to take a quick 2 goal lead. But Oxford are a well drilled team, and fit of course like most students, and came back to first 2-all, and held the lead at the quarter 4-3.

During the first half Purley were guilty of not giving Oxford enough respect - going for the stick rather than playing body in defence, and not paying enough attention on the crease man, and it was by driving one on one and feeding the crease and that Oxford kept the lead 6-5 at half time. One of the few bright spots for Purley was a strong showing from Jesse O'Hanley with 3 goals in the half.

It was in the third quarter that Purley broke the game with a 7-0 blowout. The defence stepped up, the attack controlled the ball, and clinical finishing saw the Purple and Gold pull into a comfortable 12-6 lead. The only down-side was that Nigel Tasko was sidelined with a neck injury. Initially it looked serious, indeed Purley were on the phone for the ambulance when Nigel decided to stuggle to his feet.

In the final quarter possession was all Oxford's. Purley didn't help themselves by failing to clear on many occaisons, and the midfield and attack were in run 'n gun mode which gave possession back to Oxford far too quickly. But by now the Purley defence had the measure of the Oxford attack. Strong body on the outside men, and close marking on the crease saw Oxford's opportunities dry up, and on the rare occaisons they did get through 'keeper Paul Terry made a couple of fine saves. The Purley attack were still as clinical as the previous quarter, with 2 goals from their limited offense - including one from Nigel Tasko, who showed that these Canucks are a tough lot as he reappeared to find the top corner with an around the back shot. Final score 14-6.

It's a sure fire certainty that Oxford will win the West Division, and having seen the team it looks to be a good bet that they will win the play-offs with the East to get into the Premier Division. Good luck to them, hopefully we'll see them there next year.

Goals: Jesse O'Hanley 3, Jamie Tasko 3, Dave Arnot 2, Nigel Tasko 2, Matt Payne 2, Graeme Holland 1, Chris Spence 1