Sunday, 13 December 2020

U12 Stockport v Brookdale

Stockport v Brookdale 05/12/20

Finally we emerged from the drudgery of lockdown into tier 3. What a relief that organised sport was once again being permitted. I think it is important to note that sport not only gives players an outlet to perform but it also gives spectators something to look forward to. I know that there are many out there that have faced significant hardship during this period and having competitive sport back is great for the soul.

As always credit to the club that pitches were ready to go as soon as the fixtures were released. There were three home fixtures on this date and it was great to see the club organised and raring to go as the car park filled up with eager participants. The weather in the preceding days had been terrible at best. Driving on Friday afternoon on the M60 was appalling with virtually no visibility and I thought at the time the fixture would be cancelled. However, Saturday morning was much improved albeit a bit chilly, the sun came creeping out at one point giving a warm glow as the year draws to a close.

The chill didn’t deter the boys as 11 of them arrived fresh and raring to go. Brookdale (Brooklands/Rochdale combined) looked a bigger side as the teams warmed up but our group have very strong core fitness and with Felix the cat in net for the second time we looked organised and up for it. It was also noted what a great group of boys this U12 side is. They are really knitting as a team and having been around the team it is a pleasure to see the good nature of all the boys shining through.

This segues nicely to the game itself.

From the off Stockport were at the races and looked organised. Passing and movement was good and Henry soon got us into a 2-0 lead. A great solo Ethan goal took it to 3-0 before Henry rattled the pipe towards the end of the quarter. It was good to see David make his debut for the team, integrating well. The Brookdale coach commented on how well we were passing the ball and every player was getting in the action. Solid work and good distribution from Felix meant we finished the first quarter on top.

The good residual fitness levels of the boys mentioned earlier caused Brookdale problems as they were prevented from having time on the ball. The boys looked like they were hunting in a pack, closing down opposition players and making it difficult for them to get any fluid attacks going.

Into Q2 we really started to stretch Brookdale. Henry and Ethan were again in the goals early. The silky skills of Tom then came to fruition with four goals from him to conclude the quarter 9-1. Damage done.

Steve changed the team around during Q3 which led to a battling Ethan bagging a couple more goals. More good news was Harrison and Jacob getting onto the score sheet. Both players deserved goals and Harrisons athleticism really shone throughout the game. The quarter ended 13-2.

More changes in Q4 followed and it was great to see Fin on the scoresheet followed by a final goal from Henry to conclude the fixture 15-3. Henry was unlucky in this quarter not to get another goal. He released a wicked shot which smacked the cross bar, bounced off and hit Fin on the helmet. David was particularly unlucky not to score on debut in this quarter.

As above, a fantastic team effort considering the team hadn’t played for several weeks. Every player should have been proud of their contribution. I’m also aware that this report focuses on mainly the attacking elements of the team. However, our defensive unit looked solid and didn’t give the opposition the time and space to create chances.

Overall, probably the best I have seen the team work together as a unit. A great win done in style, a really enjoyable watch and well done to all involved. The sun disappeared but the warm glow of victory stayed with us.


Sunday, 18 October 2020

U12 Mellor v Stockport

Mellor v Stockport 10/10/2020

‘Keep calm and stay organised’

Following on from the result last week at Cheadle Hulme, there was an air of positivity around the boys as we made the anticipated trip to Mellor Sports Club.

Due to heavy, overnight rain there was a pitch inspection at 08:30 and albeit being a bit boggy behind one of the goals, the decision was given that the surface was playable.  

Earlier in the week, Mellor indicated that they were short of a few player's so they played a couple of inexperienced older boys to bolster their team. We, on the other hand, took a full complement of 13 players which disappointingly meant no start for young Josh Livesey due to the maximum bubble size, 13.  I am sure he will get some game time later in the season.

The weather was OK to start with but deteriorated during the match and at one point the rain can only be described as torrential. For some unknown reason Dan Clarke’s umbrella seemed to let more water onto his coat than it repelled (Deborah, a new umbrella for Christmas maybe)?

The game started slowly and we finished the first quarter 3-2 with Stockport goals from Henry and Ethan.

Onto the second quarter and we seemed more positive with goals from Henry, Tom and Ethan. Our play was better, but Mellor responded each time to extend the score to 8-5.

We seemed like a team of two groups but the constituent parts didn’t equate to one. The defence were struggling for organisation and I think this unsettled our keeper whose distribution wasn’t as crisp as the previous week. Our attack options were good but again we gave the ball away too many times and a team like Mellor were always going to take advantage.

Q3 was a quiet affair and in Q4 we only scored twice to make the final score 14-7.

In summary, today’s game was a mixed bag, played in trying conditions. This Stockport team CAN win fixtures but the players need to be more organised within themselves and follow the basics like picking up a player and staying with them. With this in mind we reflect on the title of today’s blog… ‘Keep calm and stay organised’. We know that the boys have the physical attributes and the talent to compete against any team but the lack of consistency in decision-making and lack of organisation that they displayed today has demonstrated that they will ultimately lose games. For now, let’s put this game to bed, learn from our failings and pick our heads up for the next one! 

U12 Cheadle Hulme Vs Stockport

Cheadle Hulme v Stockport 03/10/2020

From the car to a star!

I am sure I speak for all but after such a difficult year it was great to see the first Lacrosse fixture up and running.

Firstly, a big thank you to Craig and the rest of the team involved at Stockport Lacrosse for providing us all with clear and concise information to allow the games to commence in safe manner. I would also like to thank everyone for their patience today as we took the players temperatures to ensure that they were safe and healthy alongside their team mates. Finally, thank you to all our parents for registering with the English Lacrosse Association (ELA) this week to ensure that players are insured and ready to commence action.

Hopefully, our organisation and relatively relaxed approach at the venue, allowed Steve and Jim to concentrate on coaching the team.

This week, we had a squad of 13 including two sets of brothers, the Liveseys and the Kitchens.
I feel that there is no point summarising the game by each quarter and dissecting the action goal by goal because the upshot is that Stockport were utterly dominant and we won 0-32! Unlike some games in previous seasons, we played as a team and every player was involved. Well done Ryan on a clean sheet on debut. The coaches moved players around during Q3 and Q4 to allow Cheadle Hulme to compete a bit more but as a squad, Stockport continued to control the game.

Now, back to the title of this week’s blog ‘From the car to a star!’. Last Saturday morning Eddie Kitchen was sat in the foot-well of his Mum’s car and refused to get out for the junior session. After being coerced with the offer of the Krispy Crème donuts he finally appeared (who wouldn’t be persuaded by a doughnut eh?). Chris Bland started throwing balls to him and he then joined the session. When it looked like we needed a bigger squad for this week’s game, he was asked to play in the match. Well, what a great debut…he looked like he had been playing in the team for a while. At the end he came off having scored a hat-trick-what a transformation. Huge praise should also be given to all the younger players who got stuck in today in drizzly, boggy conditions.

Another player, that deserves a mention is Jacob. His shooting was excellent and another example of one of the younger players stepping up.

Between the end of last season and the start of this one, the boys have matured physically, and rather than having just 3 or 4 players who we rely on to put the ball in the back of the oppositions net, it looks like we have an increasing number of players that can add to the tally of goals we score during each game. I’m pleased to say that the team unit looks strong so let’s march on and look forward to the next game.

Fantastic start guys, well done everyone!



Saturday, 17 October 2020

U16s at Home to Mersey

It has been 6 months since the last game of lacrosse was completed, and for a few months now we have been able to train but not compete against a visiting team.  

Whilst one cannot trivialise the impact of Covid-19, we hope that the benefits of sport for the young participants will out weight any risks associated with this disease.  Unfortunately, having had 6 months away our wonderful photographer has forgotten how to take photographs, so only a match report from today.

New rules a plenty, and with a maximum squad of 13 players, and no 'Face-Offs', both teams are guaranteed a good level of percentage throughout the game.  Arguably bringing teams a lot closer.

As the game started it is clear Heaton Mersey are benefitting from being coached and they are much improved over the last time these two teams met.  With Mersey taking the lead, with a deflected shot, and possession coming back to Blue, we were patient and Hugo got 1 back.  Mersey did get another before we got one back before quarter time. 

During the first 3 quarters the guys were asked to concentrate on the plays and what they have been coached during the last few months in training.  Once we started to concentrate and get into the feel of the game we did start to move forward, with some well worked good goals, involving good movement of the ball, and good implementation of the plays.  Q2 score gave us a 4-1 quarter, Q3 quarter was a 3-1 quarter.  The final quarter the lads were allowed to play freely, and finished the game with a 4-1 quarter.

Goals were evenly spread throughout the team, and a good number of goals were assisted.  Hugo (2), George (3), Cameron (4), Rhys, Jay (2), Joel.

Great to be back playing, and the benefits that team sport bring the boys.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

U14s Semi Final V Mellor

Its been some time (and might be some time until the next one) since I last put my thoughts down on a lacrosse match, and whilst I wish I was reporting on a great victory it wasn't to be.
Being around this team for as long as I have, we know during the season the games to look forward to are those close affairs against Mellor, and as often been the case in recent years a semi final game against Mellor is a common occurrence, and usually we end up on the wrong side of the result.  Today wasn't any different, and in close games you really need to get off to a good start, and show how we can play on the front foot, as opposed to chasing the game right from the off.  That's exactly what we were doing today, with Mellor scoring straight from the Face, 20 seconds gone 1 down. By the end of the first, we were 4-2 down with a couple of good strikes from Hugo and George keeping us in it.  Q2 was an even quarter, with a goal a-piece (Jacob finding the net), and I found myself constantly saying we need the next goal, and a little bit of momentum, but it just didn't happen.
Q3 felt like everything was slipping away, with good pressure in the Mellor half, only benefiting Mellor as a missed opportunity resulted in a fast break and an opportunity for them to score, and this was a 4-1 (Hugo) quarter to Mellor, and as we enter the 4th quarter we were trailing by 4, 8-4 and even any optimists amongst us thought that it was all over.
To the credit of the players, they kept on in there, scored quickly and precisely on a couple of occasions and belief crept back in, and we might get something.  3 strikes brought us to within 1, and then Mellor extended it back to 2, and another couple brought us to within 1.  We still had opportunities but its all about precision in front of goal, and with another day of missed opportunities (27 shots in total), we got pipped by 1.  5 -1 final quarter to Stockport (2 x Jacob, 1 George and 2 x Luca)
Analysis after the game, makes we wonder why?  Was it the astro? The early start?  Miss of key players?  Unfortunately on the day, we just got beat by a better team who for 3 quarters of the game wanted it a little more than us.  When we did get into the game, we just didn't have long enough to bring it back.
This all being said, it might be some time until we play again, and I want to make sure all our players, players families and lacrosse friends stay safe and well.  Lets get through these difficult times, and be stronger next year.

All photos taken on Flickr Click Here

Worked all game at both ends of the pitch

A Couple of good goals today

Always a threat with the ball

Got into the game late on today

Q2, Q3 and Q4 was trying to drive his team forward

Explaining the Rules to the Ref

A defeat always hurts this man

Being consoled by friends

Consoled by the opposition

Consoled by the Manager
And Family

Monday, 9 March 2020

U12s Stockport vs Heaton Mersey

U12s Stockport vs Heaton Mersey

A Turf war lands the Stockport team in Levenshulme! 

Quarter finals cup match.

Well its been a month since we played a match due to such bad weather including two storms and some major flooding in the UK.
So due to a scarcity of good dry turf to play on has lead us to go to MEA Central, a secondary school academy which on the map is in Levenshulme and their 4G astro turf to guarantee our quarter final match between Stockport and Heaton Mersey.
Onto the match and we looked fairly good at the start for a few minutes with Dan Teal scoring the first goal with a good face off and some good early connecting passes, however there is a large number of players on the team that clearly hadn’t  practiced that much and looked like they were playing for the very first time. Good possession was lost so easily with a lot of clumsiness, while some of this can be excused due to not playing for a good while, there was some passiveness and a general lack of enthusiasm and ability to win a ground ball even on a 75% chance.
Heaton Mersey won the possessions up for grabs on the pitch and were practically jogging the goals in at times,
scoring five goals in each quarter, the Stockport players looked extremely rusty and were on the back foot for most of the match.
Clearly frustrating for some of the Stockport players at the end of the match.

This year the u12s team have been very inclusive to all players in the club, including giving some younger and new players experience in playing matches also and this has sometimes reflected in some of the results, however we have won some matches this year and this season has been a good foundation for the players for future seasons where the teams will be fairer in terms of ages and abilities.
Well done to all players and parents for playing and persevering in the sport in some trying weather and uneven matches.

Dan Teal scored another goal in the third quarter and Tom Smith scored in the last quarter finishing the game 20 - 3 to Heaton Mersey.

Goal Scorers Dan Teal 2 and Tom Smith.

                                             I`m not sure this qualifies as a swim dodge.

                                 The lads doing their level best to contain the Corona Virus