On a surprisingly warm October afternoon, Bristol took to the field to play local rivals Bath. Keen to show a performance as good as the new helmet decals, Bristol started strong with a quick goal from golden boy Freddie Atkins. This quick start was halted as Bath found their feet and starting to test Bristol’s defence. Bristol were able to weather the worst of Baths attack. With a special clear coming from defence man Hans Paulsson, selling a fake to a Bath player so well, Hans printed a receipt for him. Poor bloke. End of 1st quarter Bristol 2-1 Bath. The second quarter started bright with goals from Charles SS, but sloppy play from all team members, resulted in Bath hanging on at half time with the score 4-3 to Bristol. With Bristol re grouped at half time, the third quarter saw them stretch their lead to 3 goals, with goals from impressive debutant Will Stallibrass and Cameron SS. Fourth quarter proved to be a tense 20 minutes, with Bath fighting back despite the precise checks of the defence men Aidan Hood and Alfie Butler and controlled aggression showed by Goalkeeper Tom Stephens. With a tactical time out called by coach Kyle McHugh, who by this stage was more sun cream than man, Bristol were able to calm down and capitalise with a few late goals from Harry Patchett and Charles SS. Bristol closed out the game to win 10-5 and showed a promising start to the season.
This report takes the form of an interview with midfield captain Freddie Atkins.
How were the team feeling ahead of this game Freddie?
“ Hi, yeah I was feeling pretty confident after last week’s triumph, with a bit of swagger walking out onto the field. I was however, a bit concerned about a potential dip to my goals tally, as I had a bit of a sore hip picked up from a super intense game of Frisbee over the weekend”
Nice, and the team?
“Yeah the lads were up for it, a bit nervous of the pitch however, it was a very slippy astro-turf which made both dodging and our usual trademark pressured defence hard to execute. We just wanted to turn up and do the job really, just business-like. Head in the freezer heart in the fire as I always say.
And can you tell me a bit about the game itself?
“ As I said it was a tricky one unaccustomed to the surface, and frightfully cold, quite end to end stuff and a bit scrappy by the end. I got really cold so was a DNF. But the boys ground out a win, though not quite in the fashion we were used to, we will be looking forward to the return fixture on good old Coombe Dingle’s 3G next week.”
Man of the Match and Dick of the Day?
“ Honestly this one hurts me to my core. I don't want to get personal but Nadin definitely deserved DOTD cos he’s gone veggie and got a chicken burger at Maccies’ after (Don't worry Guy, I’m performance so I didn’t), among other stuff. Sadly my mentor Harry Parker was wrongfully awarded it because of Nadin’s Stalin like grip over Hans’s vote.. MOTM went to the whole team.”
 Freddie later admitted he got this phrase out of a bathroom quote book.
The game on the 22nd of November was a true clash of the Southern titans. The effective title decider, Bristol went into the game having won their away fixture at Exeter 7-5. This home game vs Exeter was an inaugural exhibition event with many members, alumni and friends down to watch the heavyweight fight.
The game started a rather cagey affair, both teams’ defensive units dominating, and the goals slowly racked up, Bristol leading at each stage by a goal or two at most. It helped for sure that one Bristol’s infamous twins, Charles Stewart-Syme, had re-found his mojo and dominated the face, having struggled in the away fixture. He was also key in breaking the goal deadlock with some outside shots.
In the second half things began to open up, with Exeter having to chase the game and effectively the title, and their defence applied more pressure, consequently creating space for Bristol’s offence to operate. Tensions started to rise, with the fight for every ground ball intensifying. Special mention for Club Captain and Vice MOTM Harry Parker for ensuring a spectator spectacle, and putting the fear into Exeter with some crunching hits.
With this new space Bristol took themselves a few goals clear and began to look more comfortable. However then, in nail-biting action, Bristol drew a flag and via the following man up, Exeter then brought the game back to 6-6, led by attackman Diego with a frankly dirty bounce pass assist.
Hence it was 6-6 in the last quarter, and here the Bristol Support were key, cheering their team on in the fight, giving those extra legs. Buoyed by this support, the Bristol offence moved into 6th gear, and in a dominant last stint Bristol pulled away, partially via MOTM Charles Stewart-Symes’s over the shoulder crease dive, to a final score of 10-6.
A fantastic day for the club as a whole, with over 150 spectators down for the event, and over £600 was raised for The St. John’s Radcliffe ICU unit, who took excellent care of a much missed friend of the club Ottie. Particular mention to Seb Wooff who organised an excellent event. The club also recently collected a whooping £1086 for Movember, so were looking particularly dashing both on and off field.
Gale force winds may have been raging through Coombe Dingle but this did not prevent Bristol 2s from smashing a heavily stacked UWE 2s 13-3. As our undefeated season continues, there appears to be no brakes on the promotion train.
The tried and tested 2-3-1 structure in offence proved too much for the UWE D, with relentless dodges and feeds to crease resulting in goal after goal, even if it took Patchett 4 attempted shots in a row to find his target. Dhru Patel played his first game for the 2s in goal, and earned himself man of the match with his exceptional performance. Debutant Louis Smith scored with his very first touch of the ball as well as winning several face offs for the side. Tom Pothalingham also made his 2s debut, impressing captains and coaches alike with his lightning step.
Although we rarely allowed UWE into our half, we defended well when required too, preventing our opponents from scoring many goals that a less organised defence would not have stopped. Captain of defence, Aidan Hood scored his second goal of the season, maintaining a 100% conversion rate, while Alfie Butler put in a huge shift as our LSM, a position not used yet this season.
Overall, a great performance from the Bristol 2s and a special thanks to Jason Parkash for providing coaching tips from the sideline.
Goals: Sebastian Wooff 4, Harry Patchett 4, Rupert Liddell 2, Aidan Hood 1, Louis Smith 1, Will Stallibrass 1.
The team gathered and set off from Clifton Down to typical English sights- delayed trains and below average weather. However, not being put off by the bad start we picked up the rest of the squad at Temple Meads and gathered for a cheeky group photo on the platform; a picture only slightly mired by the illusive Stalli’s subtle hand gestures. The team got their pregame nutrition in on the fairly lengthy train ride to Cathays, and once we arrived we waited for a couple of slightly delayed reps from the Cardiff team while the newly appointed social media sec himself filmed an impromptu pre-match interview from Mark, the newly appointed keeper. We all kitted up and got into our match colours; an experience only slightly muted by having to change behind a parked car in the middle of a halls as there were no changing rooms. We had a quick 15 minute warmup to the tune of DMX through the giant portable speaker we brought (thanks Antara) and then headed back and got the pitch ready for the game.
The game time had to be slightly altered to 40 mins with 2 x 20-minute halves because of time pressure, but we set up and cracked on for the first half. It was a pretty odd start to the game, with the Bristol squad warmed up and cracking on compared to the Cardiff squad who were not so organised. It was a hotly contested and pretty chaotic start due to the removal of the offside rule, and Cardiff were able to squeeze in a point despite the masterful Mark Irvine playing in goal. Possession changed regularly, and it was in all an exciting match despite the odd conditions, and due to some masterful play in the offensive, both Nikki and Eliza scored fantastic goals before the 20 minutes were up.
At half time the score sat at 2-2 and we were determined to put the Welsh down and prove who the better country was. Bristol gathered for a heartening team talk while Cardiff milled around. After a chat between the two refs, Bristol being reffed by Toni due to an injury from a tragic hair-straightener accident, we decided that checks would be more closely monitored and more penalties would be called. We switched ends and kicked off the second half. The change was immediate- the whistle was blown frequently to the distaste of the Cardiff team, and soon the game tidied up and some great play went on from both sides. Hannah expertly ran and cradled her way through the Welsh defence and scored a cracking goal, giving us hope of a victory. With the new tighter reffing in play, the infamous Will Stallibrass got the best play of the game, acting as a pick so that Jess could shake off a scrappy Welshman. On the other end of the spectrum, Gregor took so long to pick up a groundball that Stalli had to give up and lay facedown on the astro. Unfortunately, despite the excellent play from Bristol, Cardiff were able to equalize and then score in the last minute, bringing the final score to 4-3 to them.
Overall it was a really solid first game- the fact that it was the first time on the pitch with a mixed stick for more than one player makes our performance all the more impressive. Cardiff were a fun team to play against- if not a bit scrappy- and it was a grand start to the season; good job everyone.
The 2s promotion train pulled out of the station at high speed, with an 18-0 win at Swansea. Regarded by many as a classic fixture, it was made all the more classic by the grey skies and omnipresent drizzle. The four freshers, Ed Owen, Will Stallibrass, Freddie Fitzgerald and James Clemetson, had earned a call up after impressing for the 3s and looked to grasp their chance with both hands. They fitted seamlessly into a line up which featured many returners from the previous season, with heretic Clarence Avena tending the goal, having replaced the acclaimed Tom Stephens.
Clemetson particularly impressed with his dominance at the X winning Man of the Match for his efforts, whilst Stallibrass and Owen treated themselves to 2 goals each and Fitzgerald looked dangerous driving from up top capping a his performance off with a goal. Stallibrass beating the keeper whilst lying on the floor was a great moment for the debutant.
Bristol started fast and never slowed down, with Swansea never looking as if they could put the brakes on their destructive opposition. Attacking duo Harry Patchett and Rupert Liddell opened their accounts with a prolific display scoring 9 goals between them. The highlight of this partnership was an audacious underhand laser feed from Liddell which found Patchett on crease who placed it past the keeper. Alex Dobrashian scored a hat trick whilst Aidan Hood somehow smashed through the opposition's defences to score in a rare short stick cameo for the pole. Patient but aggressive defence in the rare Swansea attacks meant that Avena only had to make a sprinkling of saves, whilst structured attacking play and measured dodges resulted in a high scoring offence. All in all, a strong performance with signs pointing to a good season for the championship candidates.
The day started with a quiet warm up from Bristol, with their Coach arriving minutes before faceoff. However, with Charles Stewart-Syme easily winning the first face followed by a goal swiftly after showed Bristol to be in firing on all cylinders. For the rest of the half this clinical pace was continued with possession being retained by the boys in white showing excellent patience and composure. Some excellent team defence shut down any threats Oxford had in attack. With an exemplary display body defence from Harry Parker proving he means business this season.
Bristol appeared complacent going into the second half giving away numerous penalties resulting in well worked goals for Oxford. With their head coach stepping in the help referee, the team rallied around the walking wounded Coach John’s wise words and speedily regained their composure, and began to show their true form once more lighting up the Oxford cage like the 4th of July.
Heading into the final quarter midfield captain Freddie Atkins led the charge to dispatch a frustrated Oxford side, at times dodging through 4 men to finish on crease. The team continued their display of patience and possession up to the final whistle ending with a score of 14-4. Happy with their progression the team is now looking forward to their Exeter game next week in what is sure to be a game of top quality lacrosse.
We travelled to the land of the sheep as fresh as fresh can be only to be greeted with horizontal rain, a campus which resembled my grannie’s old people’s home and an opposing number 13 who looked like he’d eaten most the sheep in wales rather than shagged them. We felt ready for the new sport many of us were taking on, but 13 looked to be unlucky for some, since our Polytechnic foe went straight down and showed us that you don’t need any A levels to score from the face off (congratulations Adam Stapleton for somehow taking him down later).
You would be mistaken though if you thought this would set the tone for the future of 3’s lacrosse. After sending his stick flying after their first goal, Freddie Fitzgerald clearly meant business scoring the first of his hat trick, despite deciding to remain on the pitch for the whole game. In a match where our play increasingly resembled lacrosse and not hockey, our fresher’s did have their moments. Gregor Rae’s cradling with the wrong side of the stick and Fernando Capelastegui doing a back flip from the face off being particular highlights and although James Clemetson darted everywhere with very impressive skills having picked up a stick just a week ago, it was our seniors who showed us the ropes. Harry Patchett's rolling nutmeg on their keeper was the highlight of his hat trick and Alex Taylor came up with an impossible goal while getting decked which was both beautiful and painful to watch. The fresher’s captains taught us some lessons too, with Ed Owen showing us how to run half the width of the pitch without the ball in a deceptive manouevre and Will Stallibrass proved that we haven’t missed out choosing lacrosse over football since you can seemingly play both in one with mens lacrosse. The first of many victories, well done boys.
Welcome to the new season everyone! This is the place to catch up on all things UBMLC. Everything you need to know, from training times to contact details is here.
We look forward to hopefully seeing lots of old faces and new at our training sessions.
With some weary sails and a battered prow, the good ship Bristol Lax rumbled into Port Coombe for one final Heave Ho before a well deserved winter break. After safely navigating a tricky Oxford storm the previous week, these saltiest of boatswain arrived at the holy waters steely-eyed and ready; determined to finish the termly voyage unscathed. The rapscallions who stood in their way were the those boys in blue Bath, who have historically proved dogged competitors.
As has become custom of late, the attack were quick to unsheathe their cutlasses, calmly slicing through some quivering defence, with that savviest of sea-dogs Kyle McHugh notching up two quick points to see the team away. Unfortunately, some of our more exuberant buccaneers were then found guilty of some blatant hornswoggling, and Bath were able to scuttle back onto a level field through man-up situations (despite our comrade in the crow’s nest spotting the illegitimacy of the second ‘goal’). It was then time to batten down the hatches, and with some patient play up front and some sturdy defence at the back, the team was left shipshape at 7-3 when the half-time whistle blew.
The third quarter was underpinned by the wily actions of the Chameron double act, with both unearthing pieces of eight at the face and at crease with impressive regularity. However, the more mutinous sides of their game also emerged simultaneously, with the scallywags forced to walk the plank. Fortunately the industry and athleticism of sailors Atkins and Hockenhull steered us clear, and the team continued to find the back of the poop deck at a steady rate. Despite a small Bath revival in the dying light, the Bristol bandits were able to subject the landlubbers to Davy Jone’s Locker once and for all, running out 12-5 victors. “Splice the Mainbrace!” roared the coaches, accompanied by the reminder that “Dead Men leave no Tales”… there is one final mission to accomplish next term.
With 9 wins from 9, the entire crew has truly earned their galleons of rum at Laxmas, none more so than Admirals HMS, Hockenhull and CDLP, who have ably guided their ship to clear waters. Lets get at it again next term.
MoM: Chameron Stewart-Syme
Goals: Cameron Stewart-Syme 6, Sam Hockenhull 3, Kyle McHugh 2, Charles Stewart-Syme 1