The first thunderous showdown of the SEMLA season approaches as early Championship favourites Spencer travel to Hillcroft with both teams’ 100% win records on the line.
Sparks will fly in the heavy metal local derby as two talented offences try to break down organized and athletic defences.
Spencer have been cranking in 14 goals a game while their near neighbours are not far behind, averaging 12 a match.
Hillcroft, who have stiffened their defensive wall this season, had a rest weekend while Spencer dispatched Reading Wildcats 15-6 to underscore their potential.
“Reading are always tough but we turned in our best performance of the season which was really pleasing,” said co-captain Rob Holmes. “It is really starting to come together in attack. We had seven players on the score sheet and scored some slick, team goals.
“Hillcroft are in good form too so we’re excited for Saturday. It will be another tough game but if we play like we know we can then I’m confident we can come out on top.”
Tom Roche was dominant at face off and Jonny Clarke restricted the dangerous Brendon McCann to just two goals as Spencer maintained their high-octane start to the season.
“Spencer are as good as advertised,” commented Reading skipper Paul Milner. “Very strong defensively and fluid in attack. Defensively they were very tough to break down and when we did their goalie came up with some big saves.
“It was a good game though and I think we caused them some problems. We learned a lot from the game and I hope we will better equipped to give them a sterner test in the return fixture.”
The Men in Black may not be totally back but they fired out a warning to the Premier League with a nine-man 10-7 victory at East Grinstead.
Both Spencer and Blues signposted a revival at Hampstead and another step on the road to redemption was achieved with their first win since February 22 and only their second victory of the year.
Alex Adler recovered from a recent injury to lead the attack and grab two goals with marksman Tim Fuchs cashing in with five.
“It was very pleasing and a bit of a relief to get our first win of the season,” said Hampstead’s Dennis Tobin. “We are rebuilding and slowly gathering strength. East Grinstead were tough opponents so it was a hard fought victory.
“We hope that we will be able to field a balanced team for the coming games and better reflect the strength of Hampstead this season.
“But the loss of captain Marc Banas from a broken leg at Reading is huge. He is now at home for the start of a long recuperation; the team will have to pull together more to make up for his absence. Marc had to overcome a knee injury which kept him out for most of last season and now, to his further frustration, this leg injury and operation will keep him out for another season.”
Blues had to dig deep for a 7-4 win at Purley, who used their experience and tactical nous to disrupt the Champions’ free-flowing style.
With LDO Harrison Parr pulling the strings, they soaked up pressure and snatched two man-up goals to take a 2-0 lead at half time. But Blues gradually took control.
“We enjoyed the majority of the possession but Purley held us with an educated and tactical approach that kept them in it right to the end,” said Blues’ skipper Dave Cluney.
“We always looked the stronger team but had to wait till the second half before we became more clinical with our finishing. The scoreline was a fair reflection of the effort and planning that Purley had put into the game and served as a subtle reminder of the intelligence and experience that lies at the heart of their team.”
The Welwyn v Bristol game was postponed for one of the more unusual excuses in lacrosse – moles and badgers dug holes across the pitch rendering it unplayable!
East Grinstead 7 – 11 Hampstead
Purley 4 – 7 Blues
Reading 6 – 15 Spencer
Welwyn P-P Bristol
Bristol Bombers v Hitchin
Hampstead v Purley
Hillcroft v Spencer
Reading v East Grinstead
Blues v Welwyn
Photo Credit: Lippens Photography
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