|Date||18 February 2018|
|Team||Men's 1st XI|
|Opposition||OLTON & WEST WARWICK|
|Venue||Sports Training Village (Sitec)|
|Result||D 2 - 2|
The third match after the winter break had all the potential to be a tight affair. Bath were sitting fourth in the table, having won and drawn their last two games whilst Olton would be confident after a convincing 4 – 2 victory over Havant the week before were sitting one place below in the table in fifth. Team Bath started the match well, maintaining possession and moving the ball with ease between the defence and midfield lines. John Jackson and Toby Vaughan controlled the tempo of the match with ease and along with Louis Wrenn, Tim Nurse and Toby Heywood Bourne managed to release a number of dangerous passes to willing runners in the forward line. Early pressure from Team Bath paid off as some intricate skill around the corner of the shooting circle gave Bath their first penalty corner of the day. The initial shot was run down by the first runner before Ben Edge managed to get the ball goal-bound again with John Jackson getting the final touch and deflecting into the goal. Bath continued their early pressure for much of the first half. However, a number of chances were created without little outcome. Harry Skinner and Peter Scott produced some wonderful moments of individual flair but Bath seemed to be lacking that final touch when it mattered most.
Despite the continuous pressure, Olton started to work their way back into the game. A number of their experienced players becoming more involved as the game went on. A series of mistimed tackles around the Bath 23 allowed a direct ball to be fired across the Bath shooting circle. Harry Sherlock was the recipient of the ball across and deflected past the helpless Stephen West in goal. Bath attempted to recover their composure and early dominance however, another well-judged ball into the shooting circle and deflection from Martin Ebbage allowed a boisterous Olton to take the lead before the half time whistle.
The second half saw a much more even affair occur. Both teams had spells of possession and were clearly frustrated by a number of missed opportunities. Both team’s frustrations were evident for all to see as a number of cards were shown by the umpires. Bath survived one spell of 9 players on the pitch after Peter Scott was shown yet another yellow card – bolstering his title at the top of the ill-discipline chart for Team Bath this season. Olton produced some dangerous direct balls into the shooting circle while Team Bath concentrated on a more patient periods of possession. It wasn’t until the 62nd minute that this tense game delivered its next goal. Team Bath managed to win possession off the Olton left half, before interchanging passes with Tim Nurse allowing Ben Edge to put the final touch on the equalising goal. The last eight minutes of the game became more and more open as both teams pushed for the decider. Ultimately, the match finished in a 2 – 2 draw, quite possibly a fair result given both sides endeavours. Bath now look ahead to their next crunch game against Cardiff next weekend.