It was time for the 2nd team’s first U-polo match on foreign soil. The passports were packed, euros ready and Gav was really excited about going home. This was a trip that had it all; miles of boring driving, traffic light games, questionable refereeing and goalies desperate to score a back-shot. TJ will remember it only for running to McDonald’s in his speedos, after being assured it was only a 5 minute walk.
The game started badly for Southampton, against a strong Cardiff team, with some suspiciously familiar faces from the 1st team game earlier in the week. They passed and moved well and set up several goal scoring opportunities which were finished nicely. But Southampton worked hard and managed to win a penalty, which was expertly saved!!! Towards the end of the quarter we set up well from a man-up, and quick passing allowed us to score with a good shot from the wing. The quarter ended 7-1.
Our defence was better in the second quarter with good marking restricting their passing options. With the Cardiff ref’s giving their players some very soft decisions, they managed to work their way up the pitch to score twice. In attack we were setting up some nice chances. Unfortunately our finishing let us down with shots saved or off the wood-work. The score was 9-1 at half time.
The 3rd quarter was probably our best. We attacked well and scored a brilliant goal after a drive from Ben. Our passes found players in good positions, but again our finishing let us down (mainly me) with shots off the frame of the goal. In defence we continued to do the best we could with the decisions that were being made and restricted Cardiff to 2 goals.
With the score at 11-2 we went for a tactical master switch. Pete replaced Robin in goal and he went straight into the pit in search of back-shot glory. Good fitness from the team in the double-deep pool allowed us to keep attacking all through the game. Cardiff scored against us on the break and the game ended with Pete getting shamefully lobbed by the other keeper. The final score was 13-2 to Cardiff
Massive thanks to the guys who took the long journey. Special mention to TJ for his running talents and to Pete for winning the traffic light game. Overall the team played well against a good Cardiff side. There were plenty of positives to take forward to our next game against Andover.
2 – Ben Atwell