1s vs Doncaster
Bristol 1s v Doncaster
Lee Valley Hockey Centre
We returned to the Olympic park early on Sunday morning in glorious sunshine. Despite the improved conditions, putting on soaking, cold, odorous kit from the day before was not the best start. Joss looked significantly less like a hardened convict as he struggled to control his facial expressions against his slow-moving Shakie B and disgusting kit. Batstone seemed to have no such problems although he proved that fifth year freshers do exist as he lost by some distance to both fresh and pre-fresh in the car park the night before.
Doncaster started us off with a very unfriendly PB but Bristol dominated the opening period. The pitch was much faster when it wasn't waterlogged and allowed a ball speed to which we were more accustomed. Padfield earned a couple of early short corners, the second of which was a Brooklands that was scored by a textbook backfoot drive by KJ after the initial deflection rebounded off the keeper.
Doncaster quickly replied with a fast counterattack to level at 1-1 as they became increasingly dangerous. They were somewhat limited throughout the game as for the first time ever students had an umpire blatantly on their side. We now know what it's like to be on the other side when a certain rival Bristol club have a certain favourable umpire at their end.
After half time Bristol reminded Doncaster that this was in fact a friendly by giving them the PB. The South won the most important contest. Bristol scored early with a counterattack as Batstone pulled back from the baseline to Cairns who slotted home into the far corner. Questions like 'Why can't Chapman do that?' and 'Where were you Harford?' were quickly forgotten as Doncaster had a period of sustained pressure which led to several shorties. One was eventually flicked high into the net to level at 2-2 despite Bristol holding out for some time.
Doncaster's pressure continued and Padfield's day stated to go downhill. Dos 17 year olds went around his last ditch challenges ("I much prefer getting beaten by 17 year old girls than boys") and outpaced him as they won short corners off of him. One of them was converted by a deflected flick.
Bristol had further chances too as Batstone executed a 3v2 well but put his reverse from the top of the D over the bar ("I should've roofed it") and a further short corner was not converted.
In the open final stages Doncaster countered to score and put the game to bed at 4-2. We played hard for the whole 70 but had no further breakthroughs.
Encouragingly this was the best performance of the weekend against the best opposition we faced. We do, however, have all season to improve and can start with Isca this weekend.