After a good pre-season build up, the Cardiff harlequins men’s lacrosse team had their first game against Reading wildcats on a sunny Saturday morning. A large squad with some impressive depth warmed up on our freshly marked pitch at the Cardiff Old Boys Rugby Club. Our Welsh internationals fresh from a few months off post Budapest, senior members limbered up and new members putting on a Quins bib for the first time all ready and raring to go.
Cardiff started well with 2 well worked team goals in the first quarter though Reading struck back to make it 2-1 in the first quarter. It was a physical game with calm old heads reminding the young bucks about the importance of working together on ground balls. It was a fast and flowing game, with goalkeeper James Richardson made some key saves to keep the game balanced. Ben Piper’s quick stick goal cutting through crease was smooth enough to make a can of WD40 feel sticky but the second quarter went Reading’s way finishing at 5-4 half time to the Wildcats.
Captains Silas Fuller and Matt Davies had calm advice and small changes to make. Matt in particular emphasising to everyone to “just have fun” with start of season nerves showing in key areas of the game.
The face offs were competitive throughout. Reading had some fast hands giving them good opportunities of the restart but the grind of Paul Chapman told by the end of the day. The third quarter saw physicality increase. Dan Thomas broke an opponent’s stick with his shoulder on a charge over the half way before he struck the crossbar and starting attack man Ondra Teluch turned his ankle. Luckily the depth and experience of our squad was able to fill the void.
Going into the final quarter Quins remained behind at 6-5 but the steely resolve and desire to win was also still present. A goal from pole Silas Fuller, picking a bottom corner under arm from a face off opened the flood gates. Goals from Matt Davies, Will Barrett and spinning solo goal from Ben Piper swung the momentum our way. Particularly with penalties being served from the opposition due to frustration improperly vented.
A last minute goal by Chris Lee on a feed from the mysterious quarterback of the offence, known only as “Mandy” sealed the game. A great team performance all round with Ben Piper getting man of the match for his 2 goals and Ondra getting Dick of the Day for failing to protect his ankle.
A great way to start the season with a lot of positive things to work on in the next game away at East Grinstead.