On the 26 May 13 Basingstoke Bluefins ‘B’ team played at home to Southampton University ‘B’ team in the their last Hampshire league match of the season.  The Bluefins team was Leapold (in goal), Davitt, Lay, Flemming, Masson (Senior and Junior), Stone, Taylor, Burns, Hutton, Cleverley, Harding and Tate.

This match was going to be a hard test for the mostly young Bluefins side as the Uni side included some of their more experienced players and the team fitness overall was higher.

The first period was a very tight affair with nothing really between both sides.  Bluefins prevented Uni from scoring by adopting good preventative approach of man marking the opposition and getting behind the ball quickly when they lost possession.  Within this two goals on the counter attack from Masson (junior) and Stone, good defending by Flemming held the visitors at 2 – 2 at the end of the first period.

Bluefins continued with the same tactics and discipline into the second.  Plenty of opportunities were occurring to Cleverley who had worked very hard to find the space and position to shoot Bluefins but was unfortunate in that the Uni goal keeper prevented them taking the lead with some good saves.  Leopold at the other end was just as busy and in fine form.  However, Unit came away at the end of the second slightly in the lead at 2 - 3.

Ability to score, the pace and movement in the game changed early in the third period to Bluefins advantage.    Goals from Lay, Stone and Davitt against no return saw Bluefins in the lead for the first time at 5 – 3.  However, by the end of the period Uni had reversed the scoring and led 5 – 6 mainly through superior fitness.

With nothing between the two teams going into the last and fourth period, it was Uni who continued with their scoring momentum.  The scoring another 4 goals for no return from Bluefins (2 of which were the result of exclusions against Masson (Junior)).  2 goals from Stone late in the period left the final score of 7 – 9 to Uni.

Throughout the match we should not forget that Hutton, Tate, Taylor, Harding and Burns all worked very hard of the ball for the team.  Well done to them.

When comparing the match against how the team played at the beginning of the season.  This match was a very spirited game and all should take credit from the result.  The Coach (Masson senior) observed that the focus and attitude of the team is more has changed.  Players are taking from what they learn into matches more and are identifying things that are not doing right.  This is viewed as encouraging sign but equally frustrating for the players/team at times.  But in the end it should develop the team to beat the likes of Uni next time.

Well done to all who played

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