Varsity victory was already assured, but no true Warwick athlete could ever pass up the opportunity to drive another nail into the Coventry coffin. Early on a Sunday morning, when few people would think it sensible to venture out to deepest Cryfield, Men’s Lacrosse compounded our rivals’ misery with a ruthless 9-3 win.
With the unusual pre-kick-off formality of the teams facing each other completed (described as “a moral obligation not to kill each other” by one of the two Lacrosse freshers who, in truth, carried me through this report), the match began. The aggressive side of the sport was plain to see – one highlight was four Warwick players mercilessly surrounding an opponent and leaving him in a heap on the floor.
As well as this borderline assault, the home side were pretty useful in possession. Most of the early play took place in the Coventry half and it was no surprise when Warwick opened the scoring from close range. The visiting side was backed by impressive numbers on the touchline, but they had little to shout about. Their first shot at goal brought a good save from Warwick’s keeper before a defender picked up the loose ball to escape, pursued by an army of sticks.
The hosts continued to live up to their newly-crowned status of league champions and a second goal seemed a matter of time. I’m sure it was magnificent, but my notes tell the story: ‘2-0 – missed the goal.” More Warwick efforts peppered the visiting keeper and it took some good saves to ensure there were no more goals before the break.
The match briefly became scrappy, highlighted by a brilliant moment when a Warwick player lost hold of his stick and attempted to rugby tackle his opponent to the floor
The second half was more of the same, but Warwick’s heavy defence’ (as I was reliably informed) continued to hold firm. A determined drive from Coventry’s number 69 created space for a team-mate, who finished easily. 2-1, game on.
The match briefly became scrappy, highlighted by a brilliant moment when a Warwick player lost hold of his stick and attempted to rugby tackle his opponent to the floor. He missed the tackle, but that was the last error Warwick would make all day.
Yonny Lee scored from close range to restore the two-goal cushion, before Rory McGrath went close. Warwick were starting to show their superiority and a quick-fire brace from captain Aakash Dezai put the match beyond doubt. As was often the case during the weekend, Coventry frustrations began to boil over – one Coventry player screamed “give me a f*cking option” when there was, you’ve guessed it, no option.
Coventry pulled one back but Warwick were on fire. Four second-half goals brought the final score to 9-3 – Storm Doris wasn’t the only force Coventry had to contend with over the Varsity weekend.