Our Men’s team advanced to the quarterfinals stage of this season’s Referee’s Cup after overcoming an 18 goal deficit as they beat Eastern Otter 30-5 on the night.
The team last won the Referee’s Cup back in 2015, were runners-up in 2016, quarter finalists in 2017 so 2018 would hopefully see the team back in the latter stages of the competition.
However the team were handed a huge task in the opening round as under the competitions rules each team is awarded a handicap score based on their final league position from the 2017 campaign. As Watford finished the Premier Division season in sixth & Eastern Otter were third in Division Three they were awarded an 18-goal advantage.
On a night when ten Watford outfield players all scored & Andy Holt lead the line with nine goals the team set about their task from the start as they raced into a 3-0 lead. Otters pulled a goal back mid-way through the quarter but then Watford hit six unanswered goals for a 9-1 lead but with the first quarter coming to a close Otter scoring a second for 9-2 (11-23).
The second period opened with Otter getting their third of the night but again Watford were soon on the attack and hit seven straight goals to extend their lead to 15-3. A penalty awarded to Otter allowed them to score their fourth and moments later a fifth but straight from the re-start a pass back to Nandi Cesh just inside his own half and he took aim and scored from 15m with time nearly up another goal from Watford meant half time was reached with the score at 17-5. But the team were still six goals behind on the handicap (20-26).
Into the third period and with Otter starting to run out of steam and Watford’s superior fitness as a Premier Division side started to show as the team ran in a further five goals to nil to move the score on to 22-5 (25-26), now only one goal behind.
The final quarter & could Otter hold Watford back, no chance as the team first levelled the handicap scores via a Luke Sperry goal & then took the lead on the handicap via a Steve Behr lob shot. With Otter now behind on the night their sprits started to drain and with a further six goals Watford won the match 30-5 & (33-26) on Handicap.
The team now have a home draw against fellow Premier Division side Sutton & Cheam in early July a team they have met at the quarter final stage in 2017 & Finals in 2016 both times Watford have lost to there Surrey opponents so hopefully it will be third time lucky for Watford & they can book a place into the semi-finals for 2018.
Team & Goal-scorers in brackets:
Peter Pickford (GK), Steve Behr (2), Andy Holt (9), Matt Irish (2), Danny Davis (4), Nandi Cseh (3), Luke Sperry (3), Luke Rogers (2), John Pickford (2), Petar Djordic (2), Will Eggleton (1), Richard Hime.