Joe 'Rampage' Jackson ready to go into battle (pic, E.Fish)

Epic is often a word bandied around far too easily in my opinion, but last Sunday was definitely one of epic proportions for me and the Bournemouth Lacrosse team – ignoring the 7am wake-up call that is!

Sunday saw the third of INTO Lacrosse’s fresher’s tournaments being played at various times throughout the season. For us it is a very exciting time as we have a chance of actually winning some games, whilst testing ourselves without the help of Piper, Phil and now also George. Last time we played in such a tournament in Trowbridge, we actually came out unbeaten. Granted we drew 0-0 most of the time, but lets take the positives before negatives.

This time it was Exeter who hosted the event. Within our squad we have a little hatred for the Exeter boys for reasons I am not willing to disclose, but  it probably comes from the fact they are miles better than us. Therefore, with them along with Plymouth and Bath we had ourselves a very tough looking afternoon – the only solace coming from the fact Falmouth were also there.

With the fixture list throwing us in against the top 3 teams first –  and with only ten players – we knew we would be mentally and physically nakered by the time Falmouth came around, meaning our chances of progression to the semi-finals were slim. However, in usual BULC mentality there was still an air of confidence – naive as it may be.

Stepping into the first game with Plymouth we started well, passing it around as we usually do, just rushing it too much without the calmness created by El Capitano. With no subs though, Plymouth started using their bigger squad to their advantage and eventually put two goals past myself, one of which was very disappointing on my part as I let a horrible bounce shot crawl past me.

Bournemouth defence fight hard to halt Exeter (pic, E.Fish)

Mad celebrations

It didn’t get much better on paper in the second game either, with Exeter our opponents. The hosts had already beaten Bath by this point and were extremely confident of teaching us a lesson in Lacrosse. This confidence was duly brought down a peg – to our delight – as the half time whistle went. Albert Whitehead had latched onto a slick pass from Dom Garcia and quickly slotted the ball passed the distraught Exeter keeper, cuing mad celebrations. Those celebrations were nothing compared to the ones at the final whistle. After one of my better games playing Lacrosse with save after save, as well as my boys in ‘D’ protecting the goal like demons, we managed to hold on to a one-nil win sending us into delirium as Exeter, with their 21-man squad, sulked off the pitch.

Something happened in that game though, however, I think we must have caught the case of over-confidence that the Exeter boys had during our game, or maybe it was having to play two games in a row with no break. Anyway, something went wrong as we were brought crashing down to earth against Bath with a 1-0 defeat, despite our best efforts. A late goal from the Wiltshire team downed us but we definitely had cause to feel hard done by, especially as our ‘squad’ was weakened further when Dom dislocated his shoulder in a horrible challenge.

Bournemouth Captain Ben Piper talks to troops after Bath defeat (pic,

BULC never give up

All this meant that we had to avoid defeat in our final group game against fellow new boys Falmouth – without Dom who was replaced by a generous Plymouth player – to reach the semi-finals. Once again we started as if we were living off the memories of the Exeter game just hours before, as we quickly went two-nil down with a couple of fast breaks from a battling Falmouth team. Like I’ve said before though, one thing you can say about our team is that we never know when to give up. Throughout the months of playing so far, not once have we been accused of giving in, even when the scored is 0-20 and this was not about to change in front of all the spectators in attendance in Exeter.

It took the two goals to kick us into gear, but once we did there was no stopping us. Before half time the score was 2-2 with goals from James Goddard (who FINALLY got himself on the score sheet) and Jamie Morris. Still not content with that, we came out in the second half and bossed the game. After quickly scoring a third to make it 3-2, we were guilty of over playing it at times, but still managed to hold onto win without me having to do anything.

With this win the semi-finals beckoned and another fixture with Bath. By this point the team was completely destroyed physically. We had two players missing and Dom wasn’t even one of them. Following popping his dislocated shoulder back in, he battled immense pain to try and drag our decimated team into the final. However, even his efforts along with those of every other player on the team, was not enough to save us from a real hiding, losing 4-0 to a fitter and fresher Bath side.

(Left to Right) Dom Garcia, Ben Piper and Joe Jackson refuel after energy sapping Bath game (pic, Emma Fish)

Cupcake relief

By the time the final whistle had gone everyone was secretly delighted to have lost as it meant we could rest and more importantly stuff our faces with Cupcakes made by one of our loyal supporters…(Cupcakes by Ash-Li)

We stayed to watch the final, which Exeter dominated 7-0 against Bath, a result we weren’t too happy with considering our open support for Bath. However, at the final whistle we were more interested in getting the wheels rolling to the next part of our epic day.

I didn’t say this before but this blog is kind of split into two. First came the Lacrosse. Then came Kim’s house!

Kim’s house

As promised before the tournament we were kindly invited to Kim’s house for a BBQ to celebrate/recuperate following the tournament. None of us could have imagined what we were in for though. Pulling up to the house after driving even further into the sticks than I feel in Cornwall, we saw a half finished, but nonetheless, unbelievable house. What we didn’t know until we went outside to the back garden was that Kim basically had a zoo in her back garden.

Emu’s, Chickens, Goats, Ducks, Dogs, Cats, the list goes on….well actually that was about it, but it was as close to Monkey world as we’re ever going to get on our travels and we were loving it. If we had driven to the house just for that, I think we would have genuinely gone home happy people. After laughing at the Emu’s run around doing their impression of Goddard on a Lacrosse pitch, we were called back inside, where we were treated to a show by the dog (which I can’t remember the name of, but should be nicknamed Humper). The brackets sort of explain what kind of a show we were given, something which left most, if not all, of the team feeling violated.

Bournemouth Attackman Albert Whitehead with his new friend. (pic, Emma Fish)

Once the inappropriate and flat out weird dog antics had stopped, Kim’s lovely parents brought in the food, which was an amazing plate of sausages and burgers. This pleased everyone on the team, needless to say and after getting our fill of food we were on our way, once Piper had navigated his way out of the huge driveway backwards that is!

It goes without saying that it was a great day to be a Bournemouth Lacrosse player, even if most of us felt like death and were left with scrapes and bruises that an MMA fighter would be proud of.

Special thanks need to be given to Kim and her family for the best post-game meal and entertainment in the history of sport – if only I was allowed to post those pictures on here.

  1. Dave Williams says:

    Good stuff Jamie.

    Just one thing missing from your report; where are the Cup-Cake images/pictures?

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