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Over 60’s: LX 5 v 5 Devon and Cornwall – 6 Jan

The damp drizzle danced up off the Dawlish coast, and down on the players warming up for the contest ahead. Captain John Wiseman briefed his 14 strong contingent that include Dave Richardson on his LX debut. There was time to ‘size up’ of the opposition, who had 4 LX members in their ranks, as both teams showed enterprising play from the off. It was clear though that by going toe to toe in a close passing game, LX had the edge and made 2 break throughs. The first was by Grossmith charging forward from a defensive position to slam the ball in on the half volley for the opening goal. Further LX pressure brought a couple of penalty corners and the second was converted close in by Robin Conway who calmly dispatched a topped shot into the net from the left. The opposition changed tack and looked to use a longer, quicker ball to stretch LX with great effect and swiftly turned the tables to take a 3 – 2 lead. The game intensity only increased as LX regained control with some slick passing. Leatt tackled back to win the ball on our 23 and linked up with Barrett, who moved it onto Wiseman and then into the D for a trademark goal from the industrious Coleman.… and LX were level.

The pace never slowed in the third quarter as the D&C long and exceptionally accurate ball kept the game fully stretched. Black and Osborn were kept busy in defence with Nash and Mumford pulling strings in the middle for LX. However, it was D&C who made the breakthrough with some strong attacks through the left inside channel to pull 2 goals ahead. LX got back on the bike quickly. Great advantage by umpire Andrew Harvey in the LX D was a platform for a brilliant 4 pass counterattack that brought LX level through Coleman. LX then really turned the screw. Umpire Martin Stoneman reached for his pocket as Foster was ‘dive tackled’, when surging forward through the middle: but his hand stayed there to keep the contest finely balanced! A series of enterprising attacks and penalty corners saw shots rain in on the D&C goal; Small had a rebound shot cleared off the line, efforts by Foster, Richardson, Leatt, Wiseman and Mumford were all repelled until that man Coleman jabbed home to square the match at 5 – 5. 

LX pushed for the win with more slick inter play. D&C remained very dangerous on the counter as Coxy thwarted a couple of one on ones.  If it was raining, no one noticed. As the final whistle blew on such a rousing opening game to 2022, there were massive smiles all round….but it was far too wet for a photo!

Players continued to talk about it all the way to the Langstone Hotel where the evening’s entertainment, so brilliantly arranged by Bill Goodrich, was about to begin. Many thanks to our umpires and all involved with the organisation of the Westerlies New Year event.