The 2002/03 league season is now over, the long wait until next Autumn is with us. Kit bags will remain untouched (an probably unwashed) for six months. All we can hope for is an England win in the rugby World Cup and maybe the odd win during the cricket over the summer.
The 2002/03 season was dominated in the South by Hampstead and Purley. Individually Hampstead arguably have stronger players, but the core Purley team have been together now since the late 90’s when they replaced Kenton as the South’s top dog. Purley’s collective qualities showed through in the end as they picked up the double honours of League(*) and Flags cup.
How did Spencer fair this year?
It’s not been Spencer’s best season. We’ve been through a transition year regarding players. A combination of injuries, player unavailability through work commitments and retirements resulted in minimal squad numbers for most of the season. Lacrosse is a tough sport at the best of times, but without fresh legs on the bench, it’s going to be difficult.
Our major problem this year has been scoring goals. Our average goals per game was only 4.6 – we needed this up nearer 10 as our average goals against was 13.7, that’s not too bad. Most games followed a similar pattern. A good first half with only a couple of goals the difference, followed by a bad second half when we needed fresh legs from the bench to cut out unforced errors and maintain ball possession.
A few players to specifically give thanks to this year; Colin Byrne playing every game either for the 1st team or the Wasps. Alan Walker and Rob Gooch ever-present in defence. The midfield core of Sean Peak, Glen Gardener, Leigh Keegan and Dan Hughes were solid – Dan had another outstanding season winning face-offs, well over 90% including games against the likes of Purley and Hampstead. Up front, guys like Ross Hudson, James Bowyer and Jason Byrne did not have an easy season but worked hard and will gel over time.
I said ‘transition’ earlier because Spencer has a strong junior programme and our Under-12’s won the Southern Flags Final beating Foxes 8-7. The Wasps team (a combination of Spencer ‘A’ and Walcountian Blues ‘A’) has some good young talent in the 14 – 16 year age group. We hope some of these players will make a successful jump into the senior 1st squad next year. Players like Will Walker in attack and Toby Rule in defence have the size and skills for the senior game so we look forward to bringing them in next season.
Other seniors players? We hope some of the guys who picked up injuries this season will be back to fitness for the Autumn, together with those who were unavailable through work/travel. As usual we will be running some Sat/Sun training sessions in the Summer ready for next season. Keep an eye on this web site around July 2003 for details as they are posted. If you fancy trying out lacrosse, or have played before (home or abroad), contact us. We have opportunities for all abilities and ages within the Spencer Club through our senior 1st squad, Wasps team and junior programme.