LX Hockey Club v Pistons SHC 12th August 2021 at Southgate HC

For one reason or another, registrations were thin on the ground for this fixture. However, two or three Pistons players (who were also LX members) kindly transferred to join the LX ranks and we were also grateful to four guest players from Iceni Rex (whose fixture against Pistons on the same evening had been cancelled). Thus a squad was formed and the fixture could go ahead. An added bonus is that two of our four guests have since completed application forms to join LX.

Efforts to get the game played were rewarded by the surprise inclusion within the Pistons ranks of one John Shaw, arguably one of GB’s greatest ever players. John very rarely plays these days, more’s the shame  as he proceeded to give a hockey masterclass which was much enjoyed by everyone present. Rolling back the years his first touch was excellent, as were his vision and his ability to thread accurate, expertly weighted and disguised passes, a real education for everyone present on how to try and play the game.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Pistons won a very enjoyable game 2-0, although LX played their part and if they had taken their chances the game could just as easily have finished 2-2. Both Pistons goals came in the first half, the first the result of an excellent team passing move and the second courtesy of an excellent advantage by the umpire (not sure who that was). The second half remained goalless, this was partly due to the excellent efforts of one of the LX guests, Chris Harrington, who at half time was given the unenviable task of trying to man-mark John Shaw, but also due to outstanding performances from both goal keepers, Cliff Peck in the Pistons goal and John Ingram Marriott custodian for LX, only going to prove that, like fine wine, GKs get better with age. Indeed, in the last ten minutes LX pressed strongly and Cliff was forced to make excellent saves, first from Martin Fuller in open play, then from a fierce Dave Dixon short corner strike.

After the game LX retired to the Southgate clubhouse for a beer and to mull over what might have been if chances had been taken and to enjoy the legendary Southgate Michelin starred cottage pie. All in all a very enjoyable evening with some excellent hockey played by both teams (but especially by John Shaw). Thanks again to the guests from Iceni Rex who made the game possible and thanks also to Graham Ramsden for captaining the LX squad and to Colin Warne who was forced to drop out due to injury but who kindly umpired one end. £70 in donations was also collected for LX’s chosen charity, MNDA.

LX Squad: John Ingram Marriott, Chris Bollig, Gavin Stones, Peter Glading, Dave Dixon, Graham Ramsden (capt), Chris Topham, Trevor Denison, (Guests: Nigel Seagers, Bill Wickham, Chris Harrington, Martin Fuller).

Umpires: Graeme Welch, Colin Warne

Graeme Welch