It was battle of brains versus brawn as a smart Newcastle Lacrosse Womens first team gave the physical Northumbria firsts an absolute thrashing following a scare early in the first half. It was an edgy encounter in the first few minutes of the game, with a lively and extremely physical Northumbria side not making it easy for Newcastle. Both sides traded a couple of goals making it 2-2 before a timeout took place
The game was not helped however by a few dodgy decisions when it came to ruling offsides made by the match officials in the game, and the bitingly chilly conditions in Bullockstead. Indeed, one Newcastle player remarked as they were coming off the pitch after being substituted “My hands are so cold I can’t feel if I have the ball or not”.
Newcastle were able to quickly pass the ball and tear the Northumbrian defence to shreds
However a couple of timeouts and motivational team talks later, a previously rattled Newcastle steadied the ship and started to show why they were two leagues above Northumbria. An awareness of tactics and the need to communicate showed why the mental side of the game is just as important as physical fitness. Northumbria were tripling their defenders against Newcastle, and by driving the ball the women in blue were making it too easy for the women in black to stop their attacks.
Bearing this mind, Newcastle took control of the game taking it to 6-2 by the end of the first half, through a combination of fantastic teamwork, smart tactics and superb talent. Playing a bit more directly, Newcastle were able to quickly pass the ball and tear the Northumbrian defence to shreds. While effective communication between the players in defence and attack meant they were able to both stop and score goals.
In the end the game matched the formbook and the chasm of quality between the two sides was clear to see. All in all, Newcastle can be very happy with their fantastic winning performance.
If you thought the womens game was brutal, then the Mens game took things to a whole new level. While the game got off to slow start, the game increased in tempo and both sides fought practically tooth and nail for the ball. Northumbria took the first goal, but a great effort from Morgan Beeson led to the equaliser. The men in black did get the ball in the net again, but after some slight confusion it was disallowed, meaning it remained one goal apiece by the end of the first quarter.
However Northumbria came alive and made their possession of the ball count in the middle two quarters taking the scoreline to 8-1 and the game out of Newcastle’s reach. This wasn’t helped by several bad injuries suffered by the team, including a knock to the head and a badly cut finger. However the worst injury was suffered by goalscorer Morgan Beeson who was forced to go the RVI with a dislocated shoulder after landing awkwardly from a heroic dive for the goal. While tempers flared between the players, as several errors and mistakes stopped many of their promising attacks.
In the end Newcastle never really seemed to turn up
Now resigned to defeat, Newcastle performed with a lot more gusto and force in the final quarter with nothing left to lose, resulting in their second goal of the game. Still, Northumbria managed to score another four goals, bringing their score to double figures, and making it four consecutive losses for Newcastle in this fixture.
In the end Newcastle never really seemed to turn up, with missed catches from long throws, gifting Northumbria the ball far too many times. Although it is important to point out that the men in blue and red were very unlucky when it came to injuries, and shooting, thanks to Northumbria’s MVP, the goal posts and crossbar. Nevertheless while the scoreline was an unfair representation of the game, Northumbria were the better team on the day and deserved the two crucial Stan Calvert points.