Bad day all around

Posted: February 19, 2012 in Blog
Tags: , , , , ,

Bournemouth dejected after Cheltenham loss (pic, J.Hellier)

This week for Lacrosse has not been the best for me and Saturday just rubbed salt into the wound.

It all started on Monday, after happily announcing last week that I had restrung Rosie and she was looking great and what not; it turns out I was wrong. Ever since that bold statement I have been stressing and struggling to re-fix her. Where I tried looking at videos on YoutTube of how to re-string a Lacrosse goalie stick, this seems to have thrown me off in the wrong direction. At first I had a stick that was whipping so much I couldn’t throw it more than 10 feet in the air. Then after alterations and once again telling people I had fixed her once and for all, I messed it up further so the ball started catching on the bottom shooting string.

Monday came and I was sure that this time I had definitely fixed it, but after five minutes of training I realised these thoughts were misguided once more. Our INTO Lacrosse coach Will then took a look at it, only for him to laugh in my face at the poor job I had done at restringing the bottom of the head. My excuse was that the video had told me to do this, in truth I was just terrible at it and doing my own thing. Taking his advice into account I tightened up the bottom strings and took Rosie to Wednesday’s training session with reserved optimism. By this point I had decided to change the two shooting strings from the double V that was in last weeks blog, to two curved top shooters with a sidewall string as a third shooter.

Improvement at last

Starting out on Wednesday I could feel instant improvement in how I threw from the stick. She was releasing perfectly and I finally felt like I could play Lacrosse again, which gave me renewed confidence going into Saturday’s game with table toppers Cheltenham. Oh how wrong I was…

Walking into University to catch the bus in the morning on Saturday I still felt mildly confident, as long as we had at least two subs, we could at least put up a good fight. It didn’t take long for that hope to fade, with the news that once again we would have to play with just 10 players.

Even before we arrived in Cheltenham ominous signs of bad luck started to come, firstly with one of our players getting caught speeding by a mobile speed camera and then as we pulled up at the ground, it started to pour with rain! To say it was cold as we got out the van was an understatement, even forcing me to put on Lycra tights and three layers under my padding to keep warm.

Hard days work

As the game started, however, it warmed up instantly, making me regret dressing up for a snow storm. Despite everyone going into the game with the thought that we were going to get hammered, we started the game well, reducing them to long shots and our attack men passing the ball round with confidence up top, although with a lack of penetration at first. It all started to go wrong towards the end of the first quarter though. After a few quickfire goals, mostly conceded to due to a lack of concentration from myself, everyone’s heads started to drop. From then on we were fighting a losing battle.

Hellier and Piper manage a smile after loss (pic, D.Garcia)

When I say it was a bad day all round I really mean it. At the start of the third quarter Captain Ben Piper, went down in a heap with what he suspected to be a broken arm, after getting it trapped in a tussle with an opponent. Like a true Warrior though he carried on playing one handed until half way through the final quarter, even adding a cracking quick-stick goal to his tally for the season, which was followed by screams of agony and again landing on a heap on the floor. In the middle of all this I had also come off. I have a tendency sometimes to go on silly runs from my goal if I see a loose ball just outside my crease – giving the team a heart attack every time I’m sure. Not once have I really got anywhere productive with one, down to the fact I have absolutely no stick skills with a keeper stick, having had no special training in the position, despite the best efforts of Ben and Phil.

Anyway this time I ended up worse than usual, in the back left corner by the base-line with three Cheltenham players running angrily at me shouting, ‘hit him, hit him!’ Hit me they did, with two massive checks clean on my arm and elbow where I have no padding at all. At first I didn’t feel too much pain with all the adrenaline pumping through me, but as I returned gingerly to the crease, I started to feel awful shooting pains up and down my arm, followed by a numbness and inability to move my fingers. After a lengthy pause while I was seen to, I decided to carry on. Partly because we didn’t have any other players and also because I didn’t want to let the team down. In the end when I could no longer hold my stick up I realised I was probably doing more damage by being there than if someone else was to cover in their.

Just as I thought the game would have to be abandoned or some poor soul would have to step in goal for me, a Cheltenham supporter offered to take my place. It turns out he was their keeper who was coming back from a shoulder injury himself. Minutes later though, after scoring that great quick-stick goal, Piper then had to come off as well, being replaced by another one of Cheltenham’s subs – not that it made things any better for us.

Never give up

With the final score at 19-2, it all looked pretty bad on paper and in truth it was quite a bad day. However, there is one thing you still can say about our team and that is we never stop trying and putting in 100%. What we lack in skill and experience, we gain in heart and attitude. This one we’ll have to put down to experience and go into next weeks game with the right attitude to get back on the winning path.

On the injury front it looks like Piper will be out for a week or two with soft tissue damage. As for me I don’t really know what’s wrong with my arm and elbow because A&E has become like a second home since I’ve been at Uni so I won’t be going back there unless I’m dying. For now I will rest up, but I’m sure it will be fine for next week – so Morris you don’t have to worry about your neck nearly being severed again!!

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