LX over 65 reds continued their preparation for Barcelona with a triangular tournament against the LX 65 whites and Welsh over 65’s. Each side was to play the ‘other’ side twice, giving each team 2 hours of hockey.
Captain David Blackmore set up the side in a well-established 4,4,2 system consisting of Richard Boutcher and Ian Burnham sharing goalkeeping duties. A defence of Ian Knox, Bede Grossmith, Robin Conway, Graham “Harry” Ramsden and Colin Mc Connell. The midfield was David Blackmore, Stuart Perry Mike Leatt and Andy Bradbury. The forward line was John Housham, Julian Smith and Kevin Coleman.
Game 1 versus Wales over 65’s
LX began the game well, passing with confidence and dominating the opposition. The Welsh defended well and found an excellent outlet through Martin Richards who ran at the LX defenders with pace and skill.
LX had the majority of possession and forced some short corners, but they were well dealt with by the Welsh defence. The Welsh managed to force a short corner and although Richard Boutcher got a stick to the ball, it was deflected into the roof of the net giving the Welsh a 1-0 victory.
Game 2 versus LX 65 whites.
The red team changed their formation slightly putting Robin Conway into the bottom of the diamond in midfield, leaving David Blackmore to be more creative in midfield. For the first 20 minutes this worked well, with the reds putting a stranglehold on the game and Andy Bradbury scoring a thunderbolt of a goal. The whites persisted however and came back into the game in the last 10 minutes without ever really threatening the red goal.
Game 3 versus Wales over 65’s.
The LX 65 reds seemed to get stronger as they played more. This game was played higher up the pitch, which caused the Welsh more problems as they visibly tired. There were some excellent leading runs from John Housham, Kevin Coleman and Stuart Perry which put pressure on the Welsh who were forced to defend deeper and deeper. Mike Leatt was unlucky, when he hit the post with an artfully disguised reverse stick shot. The pressure continued and from one short corner, Kevin Coleman took the ball away from goal and smashed it in reverse stick to gain a victory over the Welsh who were happy to keep the sore to just one goal.
Game 4 versus LX 65 whites.
LX 65 reds continued where they left off against the Welsh with a dominant display against the LX 65 whites. Firstly scored after a superb move starting from left back, being moved on via Mike Leatt, then transferred to the right and continued via Stuart Perry and then onto John Housham who calmly finished the excellent sequence of play. Another chance went begging when a hard ball was hit into the D, and Julian Smith got a touch past the keeper, which sadly, the umpire didn’t see and therefore no goal was awarded. LX red second goal came when Kevin Coleman again showed his prowess in front of goal with another well taken finish.
As with the first game between the 2 sides, the whites came into the game more towards the end and they got their due reward when a typical pin point pass from skipper Ian Mackie found Des Osborne on the 25 who drifted into the D and rifled it past the dive of Ian Burnham.
Again skipper David Blackmore stated he was pleased with the levels shown by the reds and called for plenty of pre-tournament training ready for Barcelona.