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Things are heating up in the South men’s leagues,  the Flags finalists have all been decided, which means 3 finals on one day hosted by Reading Lacrosse Club on the 14th March.  For those that don’t know, FLAGS is the traditional name for the English knock out tournament. Teams are seeded, dependent on their league status, and entered into one of three levels; Senior, Intermediate and Minor.

Once in the draw it’s a straight “winner takes all” right through to the final.  It is a great opportunity for clubs from the East and West divisions to compare standards.  Through to the Senior final are Spencer (South London) and Hitchin (Hertfordshire); Spencer, have beat Hitchin twice in the league and will go into the game as favourites, but who knows on the day.

In the Intermediate it’s a repeat of Last season’s final, Bath v Cardiff Harlequins, both from the West, Bath hold a slight upper hand in league games, just like last year, but Cardiff took the flags and that really spoilt the Bath party. In the Minor its Spencer 2 (East) against Penarth (West), this one should be close, Spencer 2 are very experienced whilst Penarth (just South of Cardiff in Wales) are full of youth.

Predictions on a post card.
Why is it called “Flags”, apparently in the very old days (yes before this bloggers time) there were no cross bars on the goals, just a couple of 6ft posts with flags on the top, seems it was tradition for the winners to take the flags off the posts as the spoils of the game. I’ve seen the South Flags, and they are over 100years old, kept in big wooden cases, quite a bit of history on one old bit of embroidered cloth.

Goal mouth action top right, see the Flags and no cross bar

Goal mouth action top right, see the Flags and no cross bar

On the development front it has been real quiet, it’s the end of Half term (mid semester) all the schools, and hence the coaches, are away on break, mostly skiing, out of sight out of mind. It doesn’t stop the “Money go round” though and bids for finance at local levels are in the pipeline.

The Regional Pop Lacrosse tournaments are starting to roll out, this week its Hampshire,  lots of 11 yr old kids running around with pop lacrosse stick, I love it, their enthusiasm is contagious.  At the club we’re about to host the National U12 8 a-side tournament, on the recreation ground in Bath,  and that will trigger the invites for the Bath eights in September, it’s one of the biggest in Europe and takes a lot of pre planning. E Lacrosse filmed the whole thing in 2004.
Me ,I’ve got a wedding to go to (my Bro) at the weekend, way up next to Lake Windermere in Cumbria,  lots of family and lots of booze. Oh, and I have a Birthday on Tuesday, celebrated by refereeing the aforementioned Pop tournament, then coaching the girls team, might get a pint in afterwards.  :)

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