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3312009_2_actionIt’s funny how the smallest things can just grow out of all proportion.

One of the Bath players (only just 18) slipped and ran into one of his own defenders in the warm up before the Cardiff Harlequins match. The resulting dead leg meant he had to stand out of the game. That night it all went crazy, he ended up on the operating table having large, and deep cuts down either side of his thigh, the “Dead leg” had caused Compartment Syndrome, his thigh was sliced open (and kept open) to release the swelling. It is a rare condition, especially in the thigh, it is usually found in the calf muscle and can cause drop foot,  only the second case the consultant had seen. Sadly the player was booked to go to the US for a couple of summer camps, at this rate he’ll be lucky to play next season. Could have been worse though, people have lost a leg down to this thing.

On a brighter note, Cheadle LC, one of the biggest in the country came down to Bath for a two game weekend, winning both games, although the first was pretty close fought, 9 to 6 in the end. Being an outpost of Lacrosse these visiting teams are important, kids need games.  In the evening the Cheadle kids went on a ghost tour of the city, one kid was heard saying it just wasn’t scary enough, let’s hope the local specters didn’t here that and decide to up sticks and haunt Cheadle, some poor tourist guide will be out of a job.

The Men’s game in the South is coming to its final climax, Bath beat Portsmouth University and now go into the East v West Playoff on Sunday 4th against Croydon LC, playing for the right to take up the bottom slot in the Premiership. Should be a good close game and a fitting end to a good season. There will also be a “Best of the West” v “Best of the East” game for all comers for each league plus a Veterans game for the over 40’s (not a vast amount of running in that one).

On the development front, it looks like there may be a new club formed in Maidstone, Kent and Plymouth University are starting to turn out a side.  Bristol City Council held three days of School sport, which Lacrosse was a big part of, the coaches, mainly from Bristol University Ladies team managed to keep nearly 400 kids occupied over three cold windy days, running mini tournaments and giving out medals.

Several clubs are gearing up for Easter tours, the biggest being Spencer (South London) who take a team of U14’s to the US East Coast., a remarkable achievement, these kids have saved and fund raised for this chance, let’s hope they have a great time.

For me, Easter is a time to get a break and recharge the batteries, or maybe watch some Lax, you never know.

The pictures are from the Cheadle tour of Bath.

3312009_1_squads 3312009_3_action

What a great weekend, I love the Flags. Three good senior games, plus the South of England Men’s Lacrosse association (SEMLA) ran the Harrow cup at the same time, the Harrow cup is for U17, U14 and U12 teams in the South. Basically lots of Lacrosse players of all ages in one place, Reading Lacrosse club. Reading is pretty central to most of the cubs in the South, so is often used for tournament and the like. Plus it’s a great venue, good fields and good facilities.

Spencer LC a team from inner London won two of the senior trophies, Minor and Senior Flags, whilst Cardiff Harlequins repeated last year’s victory over my team Bath.

Bath LC joined with Portsmouth Pythons to form a team for the U17, but didn’t do too well, although the kids enjoyed themselves. So much so that we split the squad and they played for another 35 minutes after the tournament was over, well worth driving the mini bus for.

On Sunday all the American Local development officers met up for the end of season wash up, free lunch on me.

Development wise things are really starting to bubble, looking towards September, who wants a coach, which clubs will be expanding, new clubs, etc etc. All this means a lot of miles on the motorway by the Development team, I’m clocking over a 1000 miles this month. For the connoisseurs, the coffee at Michel Wood Service Station is pretty much exactly the same as at Reading, but Reading has Ben and Gerry’s ice cream, I think I’m addicted to Cherry Garcia!

Photo 1 some action from the Intermediate flags.
Photo 2 The Cardiff Keeper had a wonderful game.
Photo 3 The combined Portsmouth Pythons, Bath U17 squad.

It’s tournament season, especially for the Ladies game and as one of the staff, mucking in is the name of the game. The National Schools tournament over 4 days brings together all the big Lacrosse playing schools at U19 and U15 age groups, it’s open to 1st and 2nd teams (strings) so involves literally thousands of school girls, dozens of coaches (both kinds, the ones with a whistle and the ones with wheels)  and of course lots of spectators (mummy and daddy). For the staff that means wearing fluorescent jackets and waving your hands around a lot.

Bus drivers though, in my experience will do exactly as they want to, it amazes me how those guys throw those huge monsters around, especially when you see “mummy” unable to get into a parking bay in her 4 wheel drive Chelsea Tractor.

One big advantage of the whole event is that I get to catch up with lots of the School Community Officers, they are out and about managing their respective teams, friendly rivalry of course.

For those not in the know, the English Lacrosse Association in conjunction with the large Private girls schools employ American graduates with Lacrosse coaching experience, they stay for a year (some longer) and basically coach girls Lacrosse. They are spread out a bit and tend to really look forward to the times they can get together and have a wee drink or two (or more!). For the Guys it’s all based around clubs, and they run mixed training at all sorts of levels and ages. As the South Development Office I have to keep a “paternal” eye on the current crew, we have a couple of mass meetings a year, and mine are due this weekend, cool.

For me the big highlight has been Bath LC’s first ever junior girls game, we took 20 girls up to Rendcomb College near Cirencester for a couple of games, considering half of them had never played on a full sized field, I was extremely pleased with the results, losing 7 to Nil and 3 to 2, definite improvement. I just need to get them a uniform now!

Wednesday was Pop Lacrosse day, in Wiltshire this time, 90 kids all running about, great stuff.

Like I said it’s tournament season.

The National U12’s went really well, although my lot struggled, but they are only 9 yrs old and some of the 12yr olds are giants!

Me I’m a year older, feel it too, my Bro got married, we all got very drunk, the wedding was cool, sort of mix between western and Chinese, we elders had to drink tea with the couple and offer “sage” advice. Tough for me as I don’t even take my own advice.

Flags finals and Harrow Cup (U17 boys) over the weekend, as I said before predictions on a post card.

Photo 1:  SCO’s all together, Apparently Americans are the best :)
Photo 2:  After a goal at Rencomb

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