As the season nears its conclusion this game was a bright spot to look back on.
Ashton are indeed the bottom club in the division but Stops played good lacrosse against enthusiastic and sporting opposition. Paul Bowden sustained an injury early in the game that caused him to leave the field, leaving the squad of just 10 reduced to nine for the remainder of the match.
The opposition generously agreed to some flexibility on the off-side rule and Stops went on to dominate the game with superior ball control and greater tactical awareness. Despite some missed scoring opportunities a 15 goal tally reflected Stops superiority as goals came from Peter Hibbert (6), Mark Woodhead (5) and Chris Sullivan (4).
Peter Woodhead and Peter Hibbert as the only two recognised midfielders in a squad of nine worked incredibly hard, repeatedly coming up with the ball against their Ashton counterparts. The defence was sound, but rarely seriously troubled by the mediocre attack of the opposition.
With just two games outstanding it is likely that next season will be played out in Division Premier Three, but on the basis of Saturday’s performance at Ashton Stops can look forward optimistically to a successful year at a competitive level.