In what can only be described as a sporting exclusive, NCE reports on the first ever lacrosse match between the first ever UK squads based on membership of a professional body.
On 28 June, the ICE and IMechE lacrosse teams met in West London for this inaugural encounter.
IMechE struck first, heading for goal straight from the whistle. But an intrepid ICE player who travelled all the way from Edinburgh for the game, deflected the shot, earning himself a sizeable bruise but denying the IMechE an lead.
At the half way point, there was only a goal difference between the sides and IMechE had their noses in front. In the third quarter however as the ICE’s legs began to fail, IMechE made hay, scoring four unanswered goals.
The final quarter started brightly for the ICE team. Gifford representatives Mathew Leslie and Ed Crammond linked up flawlessly to play in Karl Woods, a Costain-sponsored student. A quick dart up the pitch and a crafty dodge opened space for MWH’s Andy Higginbottom to strike at goal. IMechE’s stand-in keeper Michael Elmes made a spectacular save but was unable to recover as Danny Mcleish pounced on the ball and buried it in the back of the net.
With their tails up once more the ICE team clawed its way back. But the IMechE was not running up the white flag just yet. Goals found their way into the back of both nets, but momentum remained with the ICE.
With less than a minute to go, the score stood at 15-14, the IMechE’s lead reduced to one. The ICE team laid siege to the Mechanicals’ goal. Tom Coe, a phD student from Southampton wielded his six foot defensive pole to deadly effect as the clock ran down.
Just at the death, the ICE spotted an opening and sent one of their men charging forward. He cannoned a shot that looked bound for the top corner of the net. It was not to be, the ball screamed by the outside of the post, missing by a hair’s breadth. And with that the door closed, denying the ICE extra time as the final whistle blew.
Like true athletes, both sides retired to a nearby pub to enjoy a shandy or two and compare bruises after the match. The subject quickly turned to a rematch, which both sides agreed would have to come soon.
The match was arranged by Mathew Leslie, a Gifford Civil Engineer who plays for the Southampton City Sabers. The match was the debut of the new ICE Lacrosse team which is planning to play friendlies and enter tournaments in 2009.
If you are interested in getting involved, whether you are a hardened lacrosse veteran or a newbie eager to try picking up a stick, please feel free to contact Leslie at Mat.Leslie@googlemail.com.