Women’s Lacrosse in Their Most Exciting Victory Yet Against Birmingham
(17 November 2011)
The Women’s Lacrosse first team defeated their biggest rivals Birmingham in one of the most competitive matches seen this season.
This match was destined to be exciting before it even began and it certainly delivered. It was to be the most important match of the season so far, the two top teams of the championship fighting for the number one spot in the league. The rivalries were fierce and the atmosphere was tense as weeks of training and anticipation were put to the test.
Birmingham started aggressively, controlling the ball and putting constant pressure of Durham’s defence gaining them the first goal of the match. Although Durham responded, much to the delight of the crowd, Birmingham’s relentless attacks gained them another two goals. Two near misses from Durham however signalled that the Palatinates were still very much in the game and they were rewarded soon after with their second goal of the game. A free throw following a foul aided Birmingham’s fourth goal put Durham 4-2 down.
Despite their advantage, Birmingham recognised the threat that Durham still presented and from the animated instructions of both coaching teams it was clear that tensions ran high both on and off the pitch. As the first half drew to a close the Palatines were finding their feet and starting to take control of the pace which had been taken away from them. Their third goal came after a tremendous team effort of all of the offensive players; their forth after some great passing between the midline players to keep the ball moving; and, in quick succession, their fifth in the last thirty seconds of the first half from an ambitious yet precise shot. The score as the players left the pitch was 5-4 to Durham, the atmosphere was competitive.
When Durham returned to the pitch, their confidence was back and they were ready to dominate as they have in their previous games. Almost as soon as the whistle blew Durham scored two goals virtually back to back. The challenge now for Birmingham was to keep up the momentum that they had demonstrated at the start of the game. As a Durham player was given a two minute penalty for a bad tackle, Birmingham, with a player advantage found the opportunity to score. The Palatinates did not let this phase them and a great save from the Durham keeper, followed by a massive run gave Durham another goal.
Although Birmingham managed to find the back of the net again, putting the score at 8-6, Durham did too, with an aggressively accurate shot into the top corner. Birmingham scored the final goal of the match with an impressive display from their offensive team, but it was not enough to overcome the Palatinates. As the final whistle blew Durham had possession of the ball and control over the score, with a 9-7 victory over Birmingham.
As the crowd and team celebrated, player Madeline Dale, Ustinov, told TeamDurham “we have been training for this match from the start. Everyone was kind of nervous going into it but we found our game and it was great.” Durham’s coach, Rebecca Greenslade, echoed this “we started slow but picked it up” she said, “it was an exciting match against a really good team.”