LX CLUB at European Trophy Tournament, Bra, Italy

6th to 10th June 2012

Report of :> LX Red Over 60's

Report of :> LX Red Over 65's

Report of :> LX White Over 65's

Full report of :-> Over 70's with photo

Overall Results after last day

Over 60's

LX Red win Gold beating Holland in final 3-1. Santa Bansal won the highest goal scorer in the over 60's category.
LX White finish 6th out of 12

Over 65's

LX Red gain Silver finishing second behind Germany on one goal difference. Gordon Small won the highest goal scorer in the over 65's. German Singh also scored 5 goals
LX White finish 5th

Over 70's

LX having already won Gold before the last day played Germany on the closing day and drew 0-0 . This last result was largely due to fine goalkeeping by Alan Dures who won Goalkeeper of the Tournament in the over 70's category. Frank Hardy won the highest goal scorer award in the over 70's

A Report by an Innocent Bystander on the Tournament as a whole
with some reference to LX Red over 65's.

BRA     June 6th to the 11th.

I did not discover the Mary Celeste abandoned in the Saragossa Sea but with my fellow LX team mates when we arrived at the Roero Park Hotel in Bra it was in a similar condition.

We were met by Henrico, an elderly croaky voiced grey haired gentleman who doubled up as the manager, porter and gardener who gleefully informed us the staff had been given the week off as the booking agent had told him we would not require food or drink for the week. After a long delay as we paid our Tourist Tax of 1.20 euros a day we found our rooms and then by necessity went on a search for sustenance.

By sheer chance I was one of the advance party who stumbled on the local Pizzeria and settled down for a quiet beer and stringy stuff with cheese and meat. This establishment was to become the savoir of many LX players during our stay.

Next day after a breakfast of cold delights we ventured to Bra in various forms of transport for the opening Ceremony performed at the Town’s two excellent water based astro turf pitches amidst a tented village giving off a very convivial atmosphere.

That over my team, LX Red Over 65’s played the Welsh and despite a 2-0 lead at half time we there was no further score and this was possibly the result that cost us the gold.

Back at the Hotel the discussion changed to food and once more we ventured into the town of Sommariva Perno only to find the bars and cafes closed as it was a public holiday. However charm, as can only be performed by an Innocent Bystander persuaded the owner of Ristorante Fiordfragola to open his doors and he performed miracles in providing a six course meal washed down with copious supplies of wine with a final flourish of fire water (grapper) to finish the evening. As we left we were confronted by 42 glasses of ……. and invited to drink the contents.

Next morning arrived in a haze. Another drive to Bra and a game against some chubby Italians. Two goals in each half meant a 4 nil victory and we had yet to concede a goal.

That evening under the leadership of our Coach we ventured to Alba, a town of ancient beauty, and enjoyed a meal at a roadside café.

The next game was against LX Whites who set off at a furious pace but soon found themselves 2-0 down despite the brilliance of Colin Kimber in goal. In the second half Tony Jones out sprinted German only to see his shot go tantalizingly wide of the goalkeeper who was asleep sitting on his backboard. As the Whites showed their age we scored another 2 goals to win 4-0.

Later in the day we played the Dutch team who were undoubtedly the best side in our Tournament. We were lucky to reach half time at 0-0 largely due to the Dutch centre forward’s desire to walk the ball into the goal rather than give it a hard whack. Eventually our luck ran out and a freakish goal was scored coming off a defender’s foot and looping into the roof of the net while I was pinned to the ground by a grinning Dutch forward.

After consultation between the two Umpires the goal was given and the scene was set for a thrilling finale ten minutes. The Dutch attacked looking to add to their score but were thwarted by our excellent defense, and then in one of our rare breakaways we were awarded a stroke calmly dispatched by German. Tempers were rising and the crowd erupted when Gordon slipped a ball under the keeper for us to go 2-1 up with five minutes to go.

Lloyd and John M. then decided to substitute themselves after chatting to the Egyptian Umpire about female camel drivers and we finished the game unworthy winners with only nine players on the pitch.

Our final game was for the Gold and we had to win so we were slightly surprised when the tacticians suggested a defensive formation to start the game. Despite this first blood went to the Germans with a short corner awarded after Nigel decided he was not going to be pushed about any more by a rather robust German forward, subsequently dumping the gentleman on his back. This did give me the chance to make an incredible save not seen by many and the same German missing the rebound six inches away from our goal. Despite our constant attacks we failed to put way our chances and the Germans were still a threat with their sporadic breakaways. The final whistle came all too soon and we sportingly had to settle for the Silver Medal.

The sky’s then opened and we had our first rain for a week cutting short the closing Ceremomey leaving us to enjoy a farewell drink in the shelter of the wine tent.

To round off our trip Sally Maylam had scoured the Italian slopes and found a picturesque restaurant overlooking the vineyards for our team dinner. An excellent meal in good company enhanced by Italian wines of an excellent vintage. It only remained for our Modest, Charming Social Secretary to reward those participants who had made our stay so memorable. Bob Purshouse for his excellent organization. John Oakshat for his undoubted enthusiasm in trying to put young ideas into old heads and a small gift for all the players for their contribution to the team ethos. My final duty was to dish out the fines to those players and wives who had transgressed during the week. Over 160 euros was raised and after deductions a worthy sum was given to the World Cup Fund for Oxford.

Other memories of the week on the pitch was the goal scoring genius of Santa, the saves of Eric Best and even better by Alan Dures. Like a vintage wine he improves with age.

Off the pitch the commeradie and friendship which is a feature of LX Hockey coupled with visits to many of the beauty spots culminating in helping John Longden find his long lost youth at a restaurant in Pollenzo.

Innocent Bystander

 

Opening of Tournament and first three days.

The Tournament opened in bright sunshine to each team walking onto the pitch to their respective National Anthem.

The teams are divided into three categories of over 60's, 65's and 70's

After three days of play :-

Over 60's initially divided into 2 pools of 6 teams

LX Red in pool B have played 4 games and won them all - beating Wales 2-0; Germany B 8-0; Holland B 4-0 and Eygpt 11-0

LX Blue in pool A have played 4 games and won 3 and lost 1 - losing to Germany A 0-1; beating Scotland 2-1; Belgium 1-0 and Alliance 1-0

Over 65's  divided into 2 pools of 4 teams

LX Blue/White in pool C have played 3 games - losing to Germany 0-3; drawing with Alliance 1-1 and losing to Holland 0-2

LX Red in pool D - no results at present available.

Over 70's in one pool of 3 teams playing each other twice.

LX have so far played 2 games (each of 2x 30 mins as opposed to the other teams each 2x 20mins) - drew against Germany 1-1 and beat Holland 4-0.

 

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