The Cotswold Floorball League 2018 came to an exciting end when the 'B' Team final was contested between Dormer House and St James & Ebrington. The former had made history by reaching all three finals. They are also to be thanked for allowing all three final matches to be played at the Fire Service College during what should have been their regular PE sessions. This was a great opportunity for several players to experience play on what was nearly a full sized playing surface. Unfortunately, Dormer House had already lost the Girls final (3-4 to Temple Guiting) and the 'A' Team final (3-4 to Ilmington).
Dormer House had won the qualifying match 2-1, but lost unexpectedly to lower ranked opponents and were only a point clear at the end of qualification.
The final started brightly for Dormer House when Will Droy robbed a defender and struck home within a minute. It was six minutes before St James & Ebrington could muster a shot at goal, only for it to be cleared. St James & Ebrington gained the ball, but Droy repeated his 'daylight robbery' and made it 2-0. Half way through the period the Camden side finally started to impose themselves, William Warren's pass found Oliver Haydon unmarked to pull one back.
Straight from the face off Droy forced Ethan Hill into a good save, cleared to his own attack and made Finlay Holland-Bird make his own save at the other end. After this spell of end to end play Dormer House were dominating the attacks once more, Droy once more stealing the ball, dribbling and scoring for a 3-1 half time lead.
The impression would be that Dormer House were a 'one man band', yet each player played his or her part, clearing the ball to where it could be best used whilst their opponents tended to hit it straight back to a waiting Dormer player. Within a minute of the restart a free hit was earned which Droy struck home. At 4-1 the match would appear to be over. Soon after another Dormer House attack was thwarted ... by a power cut! The lights went out just before the ball was struck home and the referees had no choice but to have a neutral restart. Joshi Gibb and Lily Lewis had a good game, ably supported by observer David Rushby. Lily has refereed nearly sixty of the 145 matches played during the season.
Another Hill save from Droy quickly led to a St James & Ebrington attack. Holland-Bird saved well from Oliver Beale's snap shot, but could not prevent a score on the rebound. Three penalties in quick succession led to both teams playing short handed and St James & Ebrington benefited from the extra space. Billy Corner moved into the corner and crossed for Beale to tuck the ball home. At 4-3 down the visiting team now had the belief that they could win. As dormer House tired their opponents pressed forward. This time, for the first time, it was Beale's chance to rob a defender, force a save and lift the rebound over the prostrate Holland-Bird. With only two and a half minutes to play Dormer House peppered the opposing goal. Droy had the goal at his mercy with seconds to go, yet Hill saved once more.
4-4 at the close of regular time and no chance to play an extra period the match moved to a penalty contest. Each team chose five players. The first two shots were missed. Beale put St James & Ebrington 1-0 up, only for Victor Scates to level. The rest of the shots were missed or saved, including Jack London's great effort which squirmed off the post.
Into 'sudden death' Beale shot wide then Droy sent his shot goalward only to see Hill somehow get across to parry the ball away. William Warren netted and the team waited to see what would happen with the next shot. It was sent narrowly wide, leaving St James & Ebringto as winners of the 'B' Team Competition.