UoB Women’s Lacrosse 1sts lose 10-3 to League Leaders Durham
The University of Birmingham’s Women’s lacrosse first team have had a mixed bag of a season so far this academic year. Coming into the clash with top-of-the-table side Durham 1s, the Lions had played seven and won four – sitting comfortably in the middle of the table. It’s been a different story for Durham – seven games, seven wins, and a game in hand; they were the team to beat this season, and were determined to extend their lead at the top of the table. Birmingham were determined to get in their way at Metchley 3G.
Durham started out on top. A well worked goal following a period of sustained pressure in the opening minutes had the visitors 1-0 up, and they went on to triple their lead in the opening fifteen minutes. The lead could have been significantly more, if it wasn’t for an incredible performance from the Lions’ goalkeeper – Harriet Side. She had a great game, counteracting Durham’s powerful attacking force with some exceptional saves, really keeping Birmingham in the first half.
A time out was called, and Birmingham came away reinvigorated. They didn’t leave Durham’s half, but couldn’t convert any chances into goals. In a fixture laden with penalties, it was fitting that Birmingham’s first goal should come from a set piece. It was a well worked move, and greatly deserved. Birmingham looked set to capitalise further on their period of dominance, but Durham showed their class, bouncing back straight away, ending the half 4-1 up.
In the second half Birmingham were unable to stem the tide of Durham goals. Birmingham gave away a series of penalties, and couldn’t make up the deficit as time ran out. The Lions had their opportunities but their poor shot conversion ratio left them lagging as Durham capitalised on a period of poor defensive play. A couple of consolation goals weren’t enough, and Durham won the fixture 10-3.
It must be noted that the game was much closer than the scoreline reflected. The play was end to end for large chunks of the game after Durham’s initial 3-0 lead, but it was perhaps a lack of focus from Birmingham which cost them so dearly – many of Durham’s goals came in flurries, and after Birmingham had tried to counter. Birmingham clearly have a strong team, but Durham are undeniably a quality side, and their eight-game win streak will strike fear into the hearts of any teams scheduled to face them this season. This result hasn’t changed much in the Premier North division – Durham lead on 24 points out of a possible 24, while Birmingham trail in fourth place with 12 points.
The Lions will look to bounce back from this defeat after the Christmas break, and will shoot for the top half of the table.