Basingstoke Aquadrome played host to the Hampshire Lady Richmond Brown Trophy Tournament for Senior men on the 18 May 13.  Competing this year were teams from Southampton (University and City), Portsmouth and Basingstoke Bluefins.  The matches for the tournament were played over 2 quarters.  Within which each team would play each other.

Basingstoke Bluefins 9 man team (the smallest of all teams present) consisting of Mike Sheath, Mike Steer, Trace Morgan, Gavin Bridger, Tristan White, James Stone, Ade Davey, David Trewhella and Iain Masson (player/coach)  opened the tournament with a game against Southampton Uni very spritely.  They exploited Uni’s poor handling and positioning skills by marking tight and holding good defensive positions.  This provided Bluefins an opportunity to counter attack to great effect.  Running up a score of 8 – 0 by the end of the first quarter with the goals from Davey x 3, Steer x 3, Stone x 1 and Trewhella x 1.

The second quarter saw Uni coming slightly back into the match with a couple of early goals.  This put some pressure on Bluefins.  However, with a reply of another 6 goals (Trewhella x 3, Masson, Steer and Stone all with 1 each) from open play.  This saw Bluefins the surprise worthy winners by 14 – 4.

Basingstoke Bluefins second match was against a stronger Southampton City side.  This was a much closer match.  Playing very similar traditional play both teams took up high defensive positions behind the ball tactics resulting in a much closer match. Goals from Davey, Steer and Trewhella ensured that Bluefins remained in the game.  The score at the end of the first period it was 4 – 3 to Southampton. 

The second quarter saw Bluefins come back into he came more by improving their general play.  Although it was still a tight match, goals Morgan, Davey and Trewhella and some great stops by Sheath in goal saw Bluefins tie level.  A goal from Davey and another from a man up position by Bridger close to the end of the match saw Bluefins into the final with a win of 8 - 6.

The final was against a surprising Portsmouth side.  Who like Bluefins had won both their matches by very similar score lines.

Opening play was fairly tight with Portsmouth having the better of the play in the first quarter of the final.  This was largely due to Bluefins being unable to create flowing attacking play when taking the ball from defence into attack.  Goals Davey, Steer x 2 and White gave Bluefins a slight lead at half way point by 4 – 3.

The second quarter was played very similar to the first with nothing between both teams.  An early goal from Stone saw Bluefins stretch their lead to 5 – 3.

However, the pressing of the Portsmouth team did not give up. They drew level and then scored again on the counter attack with less than two minutes to go.  This put Portsmouth into the lead by one goal.

Despite a very spirited effort with some fast and furious play from Bluefins resulted in Steer and Davey both going very close.  But, Bluefins could not get the much needed equaliser.  With the game (and the trophy) finishing 7 – 6 in Portsmouth’s favour.

The team concluded later that although losing the final was a disappointment, beating both Southampton sides and getting into the final on the same day was an unexpected positive.

Additionally, it’s the coach’s view that the lessons learned should help support the growing momentum of constructive and more disciplined play from the Senior Men’s Team.

Well done to all those who played.

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