Swansea Hawks away, Prem - 13 Oct 2007

It's a bit of a hike down to Swansea, and Purley only managed to take 11 men for the 4 hour trip down the M4, but at least they managed to out-number Swansea who only had 10. Swansea have plenty of numbers, but not experienced players who can play at premiership level, so while they may struggle to stay up, if they do they can only improve in the future.

For those of you who haven't been there, the Swansea pitch is on the carpet type astroturf with sand on top - nasty if you fall on it, but quite a good surface otherwise. However the pitch is quite small, and since the ball runs fast any missed passes are likely to go out of bounds, which tends to lead to an end-to-end type of game - not necessarily what you want with 11 v 10!

Purley started brightly, and though not firing on all cylinders they controlled the first quarter, ending it with a comfortable 4-0 lead. The second quarter was not so good, as Purley allowed Swansea much of the possession with far too many turnovers, and Swansea capitalised to bring the score back to 4-2 at the half.

Swansea had their tails up now, and sniffing an upset brought the game even closer to 3-4 at the beginning of the second half. But Purley weren't about to buckle, and showing their experience they started to build up a solid lead. They were particularly clinical on man-up offence, including scoring 2 goals in the same one minute penalty. With the score at 10-3 at three quarter time the game was effectively over as a contest, a fact which both sides seemed to recognise as they rather went through the motions in the final quarter to bring the score to 12-4 at the whistle.

Not a particularly impressive display from Purley, but they will be glad to have ground out a result after the long trip. One plus point was the Swansea hospitality after the game. A rather long trek around Swansea ultimately led to a sports bar with very comfy leather chairs, and to top it off (and much to Andy Booth's delight) they served up fried chicken and chips from the local fast food emporium. Nice.

Goals: Matt Payne 4, Jamie Tasko 2, Mike Barrett 2, Jesse O'Hanley 2, Bill Laidler 1, Dennis McKenna 1
Refs: Swansea x2