Bristol & West [6-1] Keynsham
The excitement was palpable for the first game of Bristol & West's rejuvenated mixed team. With the men's and women's sides of the club going from strength to strength and the appetite for matches stronger than ever the squad arrived at a sunny Thornbury to play the first game of the campaign against a strong Keynsham team.
Although the team was assembled from players representing 6 teams from across the club, you could be forgiven for thinking that this was an established outfit as the starting 11 moved the ball confidently in the face of some early pressure. A solid defensive partnership of Ollie H. and Joy switched the play nicely while the strong midfield axis of Eloise, Si, Hannah Biggs and Dave stifled any opposition passing combinations.
When the opportunity to go forward presented itself there was no going back for the team in orange. Continual fluid movement from a forward line of Annabel, Nat R. and Molly created the space for Dan Lusmore to bag an early brace before Molly slotted home to make it 3-0. A late attack saw a 4th goal put away by Dave Vernon ensuring smiles all round at half time.
Looking for answers, the Keynsham umpire swapped his whistle for a stick at half time. Undeterred by this new attacking threat, the B&W defensive line held firm with noticeable performances from Lauren Fortune and (Little) Ross, who seemed to second guess every attacking move.
This set up the foundation for the forward line to hunt for more goals with Dan completing his hat-trick and Si B. getting in on the action on the end of a Dave Vernon cross.
A clean sheet looked to be in the bag as a new defensive partnership of Oli Nevin and Eloise denied a flurry of late attacks, as Keynsham sought a consolation goal. After a relatively quiet game, RJ sprung to life with a full pitch stick clearance followed by a diving intercepted pass at the top of the D. However, Keynsham got their reward shortly after as their front three combined to round RJ for a clinical finish.
While the 6-1 result was satisfying, more rewarding was the supportive atmosphere from the whole squad topped off by some fantastic fluid passing and link-up play. With votes across the board, Annabel picked up a deserved player-of-the-match for an accomplished performance and tireless work rate up-front. The weekend was topped-off with a welcome pint and roast dinner and excitement about the remaining games of the mixed campaign.
There's still time for all club members to get involved in one of the mixed games. Find out more and let us know your availability on the Mixed page of the website.