Quickfire destruction of the defending champions

THERE’S no stopping Indies.

Even in Steve Waldrom’s absence, Tom Still’s side had the firepower to blow away the defending champions inside 16 minutes at Footes Lane on Saturday on their way to extending their winning start to the season and their lead at the top of Men’s Division One.

They ended the first half with an astonishing ratio of a goal every five minutes and they had slowed down in the second quarter.

Games between two of the ‘big three’ are not supposed to be like this.

Indies set out on the front foot – scoring inside the opening minute through Josh Kendal – and simply did not look back.

Casuals were missing the defensive excellence of Adie Peacegood, but they could still boast plenty of quality and experience.

On this occasion, though, they could not cope with what was thrown at them.

Four minutes in they were two down when Rory Chamberlain doubled the Indies lead and Kendal scored his second after 10 minutes.

Alex Setters converted a penalty stroke on 16min. and the contest was as good as over before the midway point of the first half.

Will Dawe guided in the fifth after more good work from Kendal in the 20th minute and although Casuals had a couple of chances as the half progressed – Rob Turville making a good save from Chris Lowin’s drag flick and and David Morris hitting the outside of the post with a lofted effort – things got worse for them before the interval.

On the half-hour, Still exerted his authority as captain to have the shot at a short-corner and although his initial effort was blocked, he made no mistake with the follow up.

Moments later, College youngster Josh Saunders got in on the act, managing to sneak the ball home despite Casuals goalkeeper Emma Atkinson getting a piece of his shot with her left hand.

Having been in the unusual position of trailing by seven at the break, Casuals deserve credit for their second-half approach and performance.

Turville was called into action a couple of times in the opening five minutes before Still showed his defensive nous to read an attempted interchange between Alex Bushell and Andy Whalley at a short-corner.

Indies were happy to hit on the counter, though, and extended their lead on 48min. when Kendal thumped home after cutting in from the left to complete his hat-trick.

The men in black eventually got a consolation from the penalty spot with 10 minutes remaining, Bushell converting the stroke after Lowin’s short-corner drag flick was inadvertently stopped on the line by Carl Pugh’s knee.

Indies had a couple of chances to match their score against Casuals from the opening round of the season, but good defending from Angus Hunter and a fine save from Atkinson denied Jake Swaisland and Kendal respectively.

They were more than happy to settle for eight, though.

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