Liverpool Lacrosse U10 Tournament at Bramhall HS – 16th February 2014
Attending this tournament is a moment that will be remembered in the history of Liverpool Lacrosse. It was the first time that Liverpool had entered a junior team into a lacrosse tournament. In the week running up to the tournament it was touch and go whether this was still going to be a dream as the weather was atrocious and all the pitches in the North were rather boggy. Luckily for us England Lacrosse are keen to get youngsters involved in the sport and managed to find an astro to use instead.
Carina, Ally and I met at the cricket club to pick up the sticks before heading over to Manchester to live the dream. We were unsure whether enough players would turn up but we didn’t need to worry as once introduced to the sport everyone seems to love lacrosse which isn’t surprising!
We met our keen junior players who were eagerly awaiting their shirts. It was great to see the red of Liverpool represented in a sea of Manchester teams. After a quick recap of the rules we were ready for our first game against Poynton. Parents and coaches were nervous but hoping that the team would do us proud and have a brilliant time.
We had been told that the tournaments are all about giving people the opportunity to play which was fantastic and that the scores wouldn’t be kept. We were all a little puzzled about this; surely a small part of sport is about winning! Well the coaches were soon to find out the parents opinion when Christian Maden scored the first goal. The side-line erupted in a chorus of cheers. The joyful spirit continued when Jamie Begg added another one to the score sheet. Poynton were strong though and tested our defensive skills but Kai Hollingworth was happy to allow other members of the team to take the glory and instead stayed back from the play and made some fantastic last minute blocks.
Luckily with the umpires knowing that it was our first ever tournament they let a few things go. Even though all members of the team could tell us the rules their competitive nature meant that it didn’t make sense to run around the circle as through it was clearly quicker! Poynton got one back but some excellent driving down the pitch meant that we won the game 4-1 and Christian Maden scored a hat trick.
A quick break gave us a moment to enjoy the perfect start before heading back out with another addition to the team. Harry Marshall had made it and was proudly wearing his Liverpool shirt and ready for his debut. The game was against Norbury. With this being their home ground we knew it was going to be a tough call to continue our winning streak. Jamie Begg who had never attempted a face off before definitely had a talent. He was strong and won the ball before scooping it up. He then sprinted down the pitch and placing the ball into the corner of the net. Yet again the cheers could be heard from miles away. This time it didn’t last long as we quickly realised that it had been disallowed as a pass is needed from the start.
Norbury capitalised on the opportunity as we had our backs turned when they started sprinting down the pitch. With us being a step behind they scored a goal and took the lead. We didn’t let this get to us and kept fighting hard. It wasn’t long before Harry Marshall scored his first goal and we were all square. Unfortunately just before the final whistle blew Norbury managed to score another goal. With three more games there was still everything to play for.
With seven members in our team one player had to start off each game and Katie Lee kindly volunteered. Whilst waiting on the side-line with us she gave us her analysis of her team members. All I can say is that it must be hardwork to play in a team full of boys! This game against Mellor was going to be exciting. Mellor got off to the better start but their players had clearly been playing for a while. The short lad with a wicked shot let one fly. Luckily our players ducked as being hit with a ball flying at that speed would not have been fun. Yet again we kept practising our passes and making the most of the four second rule by using our lightning pace to get us up into attack quickly. This game was definitely one to remember for Sean Flanagan as he scored and brought us back level. Just like in the previous game we gave it everything but some excellent passing from Mellor and another goal put them ahead. What the coaches learnt from this game was that our team are brilliant and having only just started it was clear that we will definitely be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
With the games coming none stop since the start it was time for a little break and a celebration of how well the day was going. The number of times we had run through the circle had been decreasing with each game and we had scored in all so far, definitely a success and we still had two games left.
Heaton Mersey were next and we were going to have to start passing the ball if we wanted to get back to winning ways. Jamie Begg won the ball again at the face off and we quickly got ahead with an excellent goal from Christian Maden. There was some great positioning from Christopher Wood and Katie Lee out wide we just need to work on passing the ball to people who aren’t directly in front of us! Heaton Mersey were strong and used their possession well to score five goals but we kept up with them for most of the game. Christian Maden and Sean Flanagan added another one each leaving the score 3-5 at the final whistle.
With the last game against Cheadle we were keen to end the day like we started with a win. Christopher Wood stepped up and got us the first goal. We were back! It wasn’t long before Jamie Begg and Harry Marshall were back on the score sheet. The coaches and parents were so busy celebrating that we didn’t keep track of how many Cheadle got but we were confident that it wasn’t three!
Liverpool Juniors did the club proud and we received some lovely comments from other teams and the organisers who were pleased that we had played in the correct spirit and hope to see us back.
A big thank you goes to:
- Oliver Jones who organised everything behind the scenes.
- Ally Stutley who loaned her trainers and supported in her socks. Without this kind act of generosity we would have been without our star defender, Kai Hollingworth.
- The parents for encouraging from the side-line and trekking to an unknown venue to allow Liverpool Juniors to enter their first ever tournament.