A New Venture : LX Over 65 Gathering in Nottingham
LXers all arrived in good time to congregate by the pitch signpost at the Nottingham Hockey Centre, an important focal point that gives directions to the 6 playing areas available! Bedecked in blue track suites, such a fine body of players attracted more than a passing interest from the ‘locals’. More glorious weather and the water-based pitch 1 provided the perfect backdrop for a gathering of 28 Over 65s keen for competition. This was a new venture in the LX calendar and, more importantly, it was an opportunity for some newer members to meet others for the first time, and returners from injury to re-new older friendships. The aim was to have 2 balanced squads with the keepers; Dave Webb and Richard Wilsdon spending half a game with each squad. These were:
in Red (13+1) – Nick Kennerley, Dave Lees, Stu Forrest, Chris Bollig, Ian Knox, Robin Conway, Tony Neeve, Paramjit Hayre, Steve Seymore, Colin Mc Connell, Martin Hall, Peter Glading, Paul Dallas and managed by John Housham; and in white (12): Jan Ahmed, John MichalIk, David Bain, Peter Reid, Gavin Stones, Steve Crute , Jeff Jackson , Mike Leatt, Graeme Welsh, Paul Bateson, Nick King, Steve Li,
The pitch session started with a good warm up period including some dynamic stretching, unopposed stick and ball and small sided games. Everyone agreed that the value of an in depth warm up really helps with our ability to start the game ready mentally and physically….and what followed was 4 quarters each of 17.5 mins of match play. The 2 captains for the day, Nick Kennerley and Jan Ahmed sorted out the formations and had also recruited our umpires for the day, Peter Denley and Lawrence ‘Mac’ McCran.
In a game that was full of invention, a little first touch rustiness and plenty of turnovers, there was no shortage of goal scoring opportunities. Each team had the upper hand for periods; whites dominated the first 10 mins but could not convert 9 D entries and several PCAs. The balance changed as reds wrestled back control of the midfield and pushed hard for a score. This pattern continued throughout! All efforts were repelled except one when Nick King ‘roofed’ one from close range for whites only to be ruled out as the first strike from a PC. In the second half, shots from Crute, Leatt, Welsh and Li drew saves from Wilsdon and some ball juggling by Conway, Mc Connell flashing the ball inches wide and Housham coming on for 5 min cameo at the other end for reds were all to no avail as both keepers, who had excellent games, refused to give up their clean sheets!
The game finished 0-0, but was far from a boar draw. We were delighted to have a very social post-match pint on the terrace bar in glorious sunshine after the game. Paul Bateson netted £150 in the collection for the LX nominated charity, Motor Neurone Disease. Many thanks go to our umpires who kept us in check, and Graham and Dave Griffiths who made us most welcome at the Nottingham Centre.