Lacrosse Blues edge Portsmouth in extra-time thriller

Sam Spurrell - Sports Reporter 29 January 2010

Lacrosse Blues 6 Portsmouth 5

The Cambridge Blues Lacrosse team produced their greatest performance of the year so far, and continued their 2010 winning streak in superb fashion.

From the first whistle, the teams were evenly matched, the Portsmouth attack holding the ball confidently, but Cambridge defence matched them in almost every respect. Yet Cambridge found themselves on the back foot as their attack barely saw the ball.

Fortunately, the experienced Cambridge defence stepped up to the challenge and Portsmouth were unable to do much with the ball.

However, Portsmouth scored first. After a terrible lack of communication between the referee and the Cambridge defence, the game was restarted after a penalty while the Blues were still distracted and Portsmouth took advantage of the opportunity.

In the second quarter, the Cambridge attack held the ball better and soon the Blues got their first goal, coming from Todd Nichols.

Once again, Portsmouth still held the ball for great portions of the quarter and managed to edge in front after a well finished goal that just escaped the Cambridge defence.

The Blues struggled at the beginning of the third quarter, conceding two goals, and after 10 minutes, a third went in. Cambridge were 5-1 down, yet they weren’t about to give up.

Todd Nichols scored an incredible under arm shot that the goalie could do nothing about, followed quickly by a third, and Cambridge managed to salvage some of the stability they had lacked after half time.

The fourth quarter Blues team was an entirely different entity. The defence pushed out more, knowing that they had to win the ball to win the game.

The Portsmouth attack continued to threaten, but was shut out by Captain Sam Spurrell who made 5 saves. In midfield, Phil Hall won all of the face-offs to give Cambridge some more time with the ball, and in attack Nichols completed his scoring of the day with two more goals and Cambridge now brought the scores back to 5-5.

In extra time, both teams tested the defence, but with no success. In complete contrast to the first quarter, Cambridge were now almost entirely attacking the Portsmouth goal. It was only some good saves that kept them in the game.

The game went to golden goal. After almost two more periods, Ian Ralby on the crease who dumped the ball over the goalie’s head.

It was an incredible comeback, coming from 5-1 down to snatch victory 6-5 after four periods of extra time.

Sam Spurrell – Sports Reporter