The penultimate game before the Easter break saw the men’s 2nd team take on Basingstoke at home, for the return leg of their first match of the season. After a draw when we played them away, confidence within the team was strong, given our increased match practise.
The first quarter of the game saw Southampton attack the shallow end of the pool. Good arc formation and intelligent passing saw early Southampton domination, with three goals being scored within the first few minutes. During the second half of the quarter, however, Basingstoke chose to leave one man deep on our offence, and from this two cheap goals were conceded on the break. After scoring one more ourselves, the score at the end of the first quarter was 4-2 in Southampton’s favour.
The second quarter saw the Southampton team ‘press’ the Basingstoke team hard. This tactic appeared to cause them great difficulty, as they struggled to form an arc on their offense. Their frustration also caused them discipline issues, which further enhanced our grip on the match. The second quarter saw Southampton score four unanswered goals, taking the score to 8-2.
The third quarter tactics were more of the same, yet like the previous match, the third quarter performance was by far the worst of the four. Despite continuing to press the Basingstoke team, their offense caused us problems, as several of Southampton players were guilty of not successfully tracking their opponents. This also resulted in us conceding two major fouls. Basingstoke scored four goals to Southampton’s two in this third quarter, bringing the score to 10-6.
After a critical team talk at the beginning of the final quarter, we were once again attacking the deep end of the pool. With it being harder to defend the deep end, coupled with Basingstoke beginning to tire, our offense functioned well. Particularly pleasing was the movement around the arc formation, with sensible passing leading to effective goal-scoring opportunities. As a team we also communicated well, preventing Basingstoke from creating any man-up situations when they tried to break. Despite Southampton scoring another four unanswered goals, this quarter saw reasonable parity, leaving a final score of 14-6 a slightly exaggerated differentiation between the two teams.
Overall, a very good win for the 2nd team; hopefully to be followed up by another when we travel to Portsmouth tonight for our second game in as many evenings!
6 – Max McCartney
4 – Robbie Collison
3 – Andrew Deans
1 – Alex Horlock