LX CLUB at European Trophy Tournament, Bra, Italy

6th to 10th June 2012

Bra tour LX Over 70’s team

First Game.. A tense start for the English - England v German

Knowing the Germans had already drawn their earlier match with the Dutch, England over 70s went in with determination to take the game to the opposition .England forced the pace at the start through Ken Wilcox at centre, whilst the forwards continued to harass the German defence, causing forced errors. One was followed up by Tony Henman who struck a nice shot at goal which was diverted in by John Land. Unfortunately, in the vigorous struggle that followed, Mike Sprange was pushed over by the German half and was forced to retire with back problems. The changed formation which resulted involved 3 subs entering the field of play which probably disrupted the English play. It also allowed the Germans to re-establish their composure. In the second half the German team kept up the pressure such that a shot from one of the German forwards into the 'D' was slightly deflected and well picked up first time by a German in the 'D' resulting in an equalizer. After that the defence remained solid with John Longden, Nigel Strofton and George Hazel thwarting their efforts. The remainder of the game finished in stalemate with neither side converting opportunities. Keith Hunt was always next to the oppositions left post to receive long passes pounded on to his stick, but they all seemed to evade the glory moment!

Result : England 1 Germany 1

Game two… England play with composure and success - Holland v England

In the knowledge that the Dutch team had already beaten Germany , it was decide to follow up the start of the previous game with forwards Henman & Hardy hastling their defence. Mid fielders Wilcox and Howlett were then able to pick up the resultant miscues from their defence. After 15 minutes it was rewarded when a strong hit from Ken struck from 30 yards out was deflected into the goal by Hardy. Thereafter the English side became dominant with our centre midfield dominating the show. By half time we were two nil up with a second magnificent run into the ‘D’ From Ken Wilcox to blast it into the corner of the net. A third goal after the half was no less impressive as George Hazell hit a poor through ball which was came off a defenders stick into the path of John Land just over the half way line whereupon he made a solo run through to their D ,weaving his way through 3 players to calmly slot the ball neatly past the goalkeeper. By now the English side was rampant and even George Hazell was seen to be heading towards their D. Perhaps the tidiest of goals came through Alan Jackson who set a up a series of triangular moves round the Dutch defence with Frank Hardy finally striking the ball calmly in the net from 5yards out. The final goal came with Ken himself striking the ball sweetly from a short corner into the right corner of the oppositions net. The English side , playing its second game of the day, felt they were in a commanding position to win the tournament.

Result : England 4 Holland 0

Game three… England reaffirm their dominant play - England v Holland

With a much changed formation ( no Ken Wilcox!) the team entered the game with some trepidation, especially as Holland had defeated the Germans the day before. The game plan was established that we should make attack the best way forward. And the team continued in the same fashion as their previous game with Holland. It started with an early goal from Hardy hit sweetly on the run from the edge of the ‘D’ into the right corner of the net. This was followed by yet another amazing goal from Keith Hunt, where by positioning himself a few yards from the left hand post of the German goal was seen to hurl himself headlong at a bouncing ball across the ’D’ from the right and managed to squeeze it in through an impossibly small gap between the keeper and the goalpost. The second half saw the team tire noticeably’ but again the defence stood strong. Nigel Strofton, a tower of strength in defence, also deflected a short corner from the inside post to keep them at bay. A final twist came at the end when Brian Woolcott on the right wing danced around two Dutch forwards on the edge of the D and calmly proceeded to finalise with a third goal.

Result : England 3 Holland 0

Game four ….The Anti-climax last game - Germany v England

England having an unassailable lead in their category and buoyed by their last two success were now under the captainship of John Land but with a walking wounded side. Nevertheless they still went into the game determined to put one over the Germans. Early efforts of solo runs by several of the forwards seemed to suggest that a win was on the cards. But the early vigour combined with tired legs and strained muscles soon showed through. Valiant play by the wing halves Adrian Money, and Gilbert Grace and Mike Sprange enabled the defence to avoid attacks from the flanks. Meantime Terry Howlett with some help from an injured Nigel Strofton valiantly baulked the way of their mid field but the pressure was incessant. Out of this inferno (it was hot!) arose the super star of the match our goalie Alan Dures who made save after save in the first quarter of the second half. The best of which was a shot to the inside of the right post at short range which he managed to parry off just past the post. The defence played magnificently which enlivened the forwards and John Land nearly sealing the game 3 yards off the line trying to loop the ball over the keepers head only to miss by a few inches. Meanwhile Keith Hunt from the left wing was deflecting balls into the centre of the oppositions 25 yard line allowing the inside forwards to run into their D, but tired legs and ineptitude failed against success.. A draw was a good result

Result : Germany 0 England 0