Sunday 18th April. Bury St Edmunds 3 LX 3
A Day for the Debutants.
Six days after the Government’s move into Step 2 of the ‘roadmap’ allowing outdoor sports to re-start saw a team of LXers enjoying the sunshine in deepest Suffolk.
Following EH guidance spectators were not permitted in the immediate vicinity of the pitch within the Walled Garden at Culford School. The wives/girlfriends instead went on a walk around Culford Park escorted by Gill Grinham and Kay Hazell. And the local inhabitants did not disappoint with a deer, a heron and a fox putting in an appearance.
The umpires were the husband and wife team of Alan & Mary Baker. They have been umpiring this annual fixture since 2008, and this would have been their 14th consecutive game in charge, were it not for last years covid-cancelled fixture.
Perennially a hard fought fixture, both teams had squad of 14 players with ages ranging from 60 to 80+On the pitch things started badly for LX as they sought to find rhythm and get accustomed to who does what.The team fielded 3 new LX members Chris Bollig, Andrew Cutting and Howard Walker. About 5 minutes into the game a long pass from Dykes found Bass unmarked and he rounded Dave Webb in the LX goal to put Bury ahead.As the half wore on LX were stringing passes together and taking control of the midfield. A short corner allowed LX to level the score with a fine strike from Trevor Denison. This only added to the team’s confidence and a second goal was shortly to come via a well hit cross from the left wing from Pete Newnham which was expertly deflected into the goal by debutant Andrew Cutting. Shortly before half time a third goal came from the stick of Mike Banham, brought up from the rear to deliver his trademark short corner strike.Half-time: Bury 1 LX 3.It was stale mate for much of the second half, with both teams mounting attacks only to be thwarted.Bury were next to score when a shot from a Bury forward was stopped on the line by defender’s foot, not the goalkeeper’s! Jerry Herod made no mistake putting away the resulting penalty stroke.LX had a slender one goal lead and tried all they could to get ahead but Bury held firm, with particular thanks to a mobile Patrick Sullivan in goal. Then, slightly against the run of play, we saw a repeat of the first goal when Dykes’ long hit found Bass, who controlled a bouncing ball, and deftly ran it between the advancing keeper’s legs to bring the scores level. Both sides pressed for a winner but time, as always, caught up with us.Full time: Bury 3 LX 3.This was a most welcome return to hockey with everybody giving their all as you would expect, and rounded off with a beer and a curry at The Woolpack. It was a delight to see what so many doing what they do best __ playing hockey and having a good time together.Until next year…..

Attached find pics (I hope)LX Squad. Standing: Mary & Alan Baker, Pete Newnham, Mike Banham, Steve Seymour, Howard Walker*, Chris Bollig, Trevor Denison, Nigel Spencer-Knott, Pete Glading, Ian Knox.Kneeling: Andrew Cutting*, Graham Colombe, Graham Ramsden (capt), Chris Thornhill and Dave Webb (GK)*debutants.