Northampton 7-6 Warwick
As the Warwick team arrived at the University of Northampton they were informed that we only had ten minutes to warm up before the match.
As the match started it was clear that the team had not properly warmed up or got their eye in yet, and this incident set the tone for a disappointing result.
Northampton dominated for most of the first quarter having several shots on goal with the magnificent Deelan Maru showcasing his shot-stopping ability to prevent the home side taking the lead.
Though the Warwick defence rallied against the Northampton pressure, eventually the opposition scored twice in quick succession. The hosts led 2-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter continued in the same vein. Warwick were still struggling to shake off their lethargy, and Northampton stretched their lead to four goals. However, captain Rhys Hill showed defiance by dodging through the Northampton defence twice to score.
It was towards the end of the second quarter that the Warwick attack finally began to find their rhythm and a succession of shots followed. Though failing to hit the target, the momentum was in Warwick’s favour as the half-time whistle blew.
It was within the third quarter where Warwick began to show just how dangerous their attack can be, penetrating the Northampton defence several times. Hill scored twice more to take his personal tally to four and dramatically level the scores.
At the other end, Northampton struggled to breach the Warwick defence and would have kept a clean sheet in this quarter but for a dodgy call from the referee, which lead to a Northampton goal. At the end of the quarter it was 5-4 to Northampton.
The last quarter began at pace and Warwick flew out of the blocks, with Rhys Hill scoring his fifth of the match and Jono Fernandopulle also scoring to give Warwick a 6-5 lead.
The game became very nervy and with five minutes to go Warwick wilted under heavy pressure from the Northampton attack. A combination of the Warwick defence and defiance from Maru rebuffed several attempts on goal, but Northampton finally scored to even the score.
It was then, in true heart-breaking fashion, that Northampton scored late at the death to clinch victory and steal the glory. The first loss of the season was a bitter pill to swallow, but there were still several positives to take from the match, especially from the second half.
It truly was a game of two halves, with Warwick failing to get into the game during the first half and then dominating in the second. Perhaps it was the lack of a proper warm-up, but no excuses can be made for most of the first half performance.
But as a team, they will learn from the loss and it will improve our mental resilience for the next match.
Warwick Mixed Firsts 16-7 Birmingham Medics
Warwick Women’s Firsts 16-5 Birmingham Women’s Seconds
Warwick Women’s Seconds 25-4 University of Bedfordshire