Just one week ago these two sides met on Nottingham’s Jubilee pitches where the Lions were defeated in a tight 10-9 battle. This week on the home pitches of Metchley 3G it would be Birmingham’s turn to attempt to reap revenge for their devastating loss in the week prior. With Nottingham sitting above Birmingham in the BUCS table due to have not one but three games in hand it was going to be all to play for. The University of Nottingham is renowned for importing American Lacrosse scholars and this fixture was no exception with Nottingham having six American scholars ready to fight it out to gain another win over Birmingham. However, Birmingham too had national talent on their side with both co-captains Taya Jackson (England) and Rozy Baynham (Wales) having several caps to their names just to name a few.
Its safe to say that the game was tightly fought from the opening centre draw. The Lions came out roaring scoring first. However, Nottingham quickly equalised. The game continued in this matter with Birmingham always being on top for a short period before Nottingham clawed back a goal to level the score resulting in Birmingham having to battle through Nottingham’s strong, physical and aggressive defence over and over to gain another goal. Aggression is a key word to describe this contested fixture with Nottingham being awarded a yellow card for a major foul of checking to the head. The first half ended 4-4 just demonstrating how close in quality these two sides were.
It was all to play for entering the second half of this fixture. Birmingham defence remained solid forcing Nottingham to have to work extremely hard to attempt to penetrate the fan. Most of the goals scored by Birmingham were due to the hard work at the back by the Lions defence resulting in quick counter attacks followed by an injection of pace by the midfield. Birmingham’s goals were well set with the Lions creating beautiful play in and around the fan allowing for fellow players to cut and drive into the space resulting in an exceptional high standard and quality of Lacrosse throughout the 60 minutes. With Nottingham scoring first in the second half the atmosphere of Metchley 36 shifted with the Lions being hungry for revenge they increased their pace to score three quick goals in concession.
Birmingham stretched their lead to 9-5 however in the final 10 minutes Nottingham scraped the score back to 9-9 where the game ended. The Lions were clearly disheartened as they came off the pitch. Having a 4-goal lead for the majority of the second half as well as a large proportion of the possession, it was disappointing to lose. The game itself was a fantastic display of lacrosse, creating a fantastic atmosphere for the huge crowd to get involved with. The spirit both on and off the pitch was clear. Both teams left it all on the pitch, the energy, passion and dedication from the Birmingham side was second to none. However, in the final 10 minutes of the game the Lions panicked, losing their composure was the unfortunate downfall from this game. With another half of the season to come, if Birmingham maintain their quality of play, their passion and fight they will no doubt have a phenomenal second half of the season.