In one of Varsity’s early kick-offs, the Men’s Lacrosse First team squared up for a feisty encounter with Southampton Tridents.
The two teams took to HMS Temeraire for a 9.45am start with a huge crowd of loyal Portsmouth fans adorned in purple shirt and face-paint, each ready to give the Southampton Lacrosse players a right royal Pompey ‘bantering’.
In the first quarter, Portsmouth demonstrated their skilful running ability and concise passing. A range of huge hits went in early doors, while sticks went flying all over the shop. Team Portsmouth seemed initially more focussed on knocking seven shades of shit out of Southampton, and therefore momentarily lost concentration and conceded the first goal.
However, Portsmouth knuckled down and pulled back two goals to take the lead, with Lyons and Melder scoring clinically. Southampton equalised for 2-2 just before the end of the first quarter. As it drew to an end, an almighty brewhaha erupted with players and supporters on both sides invading the pitch to get stuck in. The simmering tension between both sides was ignited by an accidental trip, which a Southampton player took umbrage to. After a few minutes the referee dispersed of the unpleasantries and called an end to the first quarter.
After a brief interval, the match continued at the same rate with both Portsmouth and Southampton pegging one another back, making it 3-3 and another goal from Lyons. Having equalised, Portsmouth broke and with concise running and passing Lyons scored again to make his hat-trick and put the score at 4-3 to the boys in white and purple.
As the game progressed, Portsmouth extended their lead but were continually pegged back by Southampton who kept at least within two goals. By the end of the second quarter, Portsmouth led 7-5, with goals again from Lyons and Milbourne.
In the final two quarters Portsmouth put the game to bed with further goals from Lyons and ‘Bob’, who helped confirm victory for Portsmouth with an impressive 12-8 victory.
Given that the previous Mens Lacrosse team hadn’t won a game in two years, this year’s team exemplifies the improvement and determination of the current crop of players.
Southampton’s Lacrosse team are not only better funded, but are two BUCs divisions above Portsmouth, making this one of the results of the weekend for Team Portsmouth.
Speaking to The Galleon post-game, six-goal hero Barnie Lyons, said of the team’s preparation for the game: “We’d a great game [on] Wednesday against Kingston, where we won 21-8, [which] was good preparation for weekend. [We] fielded a strong side, and we wanted it a lot more than [they] did, our attitude was a lot better than theirs.”
On his stand-out performance in which he netted six-times, Lyons continued: “I was pretty nervous early door, [and] dropped a couple at the start, but it clicked at some point. [The] last couple of weeks my shooting has just clicked, so yeah, [it] was one of those day where it all goes right.”
Portsmouth currently sit second in their BUCS league behind Brighton, and have one fixture left against local rivals Chichester. Given the team beat them earlier in the season 20-0, the team are confident they can finish the season in a strong vein of form. However, the team are just beyond reach for BUCS promotion.
Despite this, the strides that the team have made, and the crowning achievement against Southampton at Varsity, tops off what has been one of the most stand-out performances from an AU club this year. The Lacrosse team will hope to continue their successes next year alongside the new VP for Sport, Campo.