A stunning second half blitz of goals took the Cardiff Cyclones to a great win over the local league table-toppers Basingstoke Bulls, in an entertaining match in the Thames Valley.
The Cyclones were missing a couple of regulars, giving Mavericks players Kat Trelawny and Rich Oyler a chance to step up in this early Sunday morning fixture.
The Bulls were first out of the blocks, establishing an early 2-0 lead, but once the Cyclones hit their stride, four unanswered goals gave them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish all game. First stand-in captain Zoe Rose earned and dispatched a penalty, some great team work left Oyler a simple drop off shot which he duly converted, then another penalty and a simple runner from Max Lloyd put the Cyclones in command. Tight defence and good ball movement allowed the Welsh side to keep the lion’s share of possession and frustrate their opponents, whose patient build-up play and good finishing kept them in the game. Half-time arrived with the score at 7-4 in favour of the visitors. By then though, the Cyclones had six players on the scoresheet and were starting to flow.
The first few minutes of the second half was all Cyclones, as a barrage of long shots flew in from the front right corner, Ruth Campbell landed the most, and Ramzi Barbir claimed the longest of the bunch, only a pace in from the corner. Both teams traded goals through the middle of the second half, but with the Bulls forced to come out and defend near the half-way line, gaps began to open up, and short-range efforts from Susan Jones, Ian O’Sullivan, Kat Trelawny and Dave Thomas put the gloss on an excellent team performance. Captain Julie Prosser will be pleased to hear of the defensive effort which restricted the Bulls to a handful of shots throughout. Eight second half goals for Basingstoke came thanks to some accurate long range shooting, but it was no match for a 13-goal second half haul from the visitors, getting all nine squad members on the scoresheet, with plenty of excellent shot selection and rebounding.
A relatively comfortable 20-12 win was a good return for longest away trip of the season, and will give the team plenty of confidence for the rest of the regional league season, but possibly more satisfying will be holding the free-scoring Bulls to 12 goals, when they’ve racked up 23 and 25 in their local league.