Sheffield show some steel to steal a win over Watford..

Match report on BWPL Championship One encounter Watford v Sheffield at Gloucester G1 Leisure centre – Saturday 17th March. Report by Mike Eggleton

Team: Peter Pickford, Cameron Baker, Jared Baker, Sam Carling, Nandi Cseh, Danny Davis, Petar Djordjic, Will Eggleton, Andy Holt, Jack Pickford, Jack Warman, James Warman.
So here we were in the frozen wastelands of Gloucester for the final two matches of Championship One BWPL. And how nice it was to see almost as many Watford spectators as players. Eleven parents had made the journey to watch a team that included three sixth formers and five university students.
Today Watford faced Sheffield, one of the league’s top teams.
Watford started in positive fashion with James Warman hitting the post and then defending well as Sheffield countered. But Sheffield then went ahead from the pit, even though four Watford players swamped the attacker.
It was impossible to fault Watford for their attacking spirit, but they continued to be denied by the woodwork, a blocker or a great save from the goalie. But while Watford were frustrated, Sheffield steadily built their tally, ending the quarter with a 4-0 lead.
The second quarter did not start well, with Watford conceding an early penalty. This time the woodwork came to our rescue. Watford were peppering the Sheffield goal, while Peter Pickford kept Sheffield from extending their lead.
And then a cheeky bounce shot from Cameron finally got Watford off the mark.
This was the inspiration the team needed. James followed up with Watford’s second on a 5m foul and shot. Suddenly the Sheffield bench and coaches weren’t so smug. Jack Warman then fed brother James, who brought the score to 4-3 with a cracking 5m shot.
But a determined Sheffield quickly stopped the rot, converting a man-up and penalty to end the quarter with a 6-3 lead.
The third quarter started with a great period of end to end polo. But one of the Sheffield team’s dissent caused one unhappy chap to receive a straight red card and we had a penalty. James converted to complete his hat trick.
But Sheffield’s fitness now started to pay off. Counter, after counter, after counter saw them extend the lead to 9-4 by the end of the third quarter.
The Sheffield dissent struck again in the final quarter, as another Sheffield player was shown the red card for inappropriate communication with the referee. But this didn’t stop them extending their lead to 11-4. Then Sam Carling, stranded in the attacking half during another Sheffield counter, got Watford’s fifth goal, as he reaped the benefit of a great save by Peter.
12-5 after yet another Sheffield counter. Then Andy Holt made his parents’ trip to Gloucester extra special, as he capitalised on some confusion among the Sheffield ranks to get our sixth goal.
But Sheffield closed out the match with two goals in the final minute to end well deserved victors at 14-6.
Some good fighting spirit from Watford. If only they could have given their second quarter performance during the whole match. If only the Sheffield woodwork had been more forgiving. If only, if only. All this and more was discussed over an Italian meal at Topolys in the evening.

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