Bath 8s at Bath - 7 Sep 2013
Despite ominous forecasts earlier in the week, bright sunshine greeted the 33 teams competing for the Bath 8s. Purley were looking pretty strong, with new LDO Harrison Parr making his first appearance, and their chances were bolstered further when they managed to snag the Blues LDO keeper Gus.
A favourable draw for Purley allowed them to miss all the Northern teams in the group stages, and comfortable victories over SOAP Stars, Reading, East Grinstead, Bath Exiles, Cheltenham Cougars and Cardiff University allowed them to qualify in 3rd place for the quarter finals.
The quarter-final against Manchester Waconians was a tight match. Purley repeatedly went a goal up, only to be pegged back each time, and at full-time the scores were level. Into extra time then, and the pattern repeated itself as Purley scored first, but it was sudden-death now, so on to the semis.
The semi against Wilmslow was a reversal of the previous game, as now it was Wilmslow who repeatedly went ahead, only for Purley to claw their way back into it, and once again the game went to extra-time. However again it was Purley who managed to get the golden goal, so it was on to the final.
Repeating the pattern, the final against Brooklands was again a tight affair, with the lead swapping hands, but Brooklands generally in the ascendancy. With 2 minutes left Brooklands were 1 goal up, with Purley pressing for the equaliser. With 15 seconds left Purley scored, and it looked like it was going to be yet another game going to extra time, but Brooklands weren’t done, and caught Purley napping at the restart to score the decisive goal with 8 seconds left.
A disappointing end to the day, but all in all Purley will be pretty satisfied with the day’s performance.
Thanks to all at Bath for the magnificent organisation, the referees, and congratulations to Brooklands on their win.
Photo by Diana Baranowski.