18th March 2012

 ‘Goalkeepers star in East Anglia

 LX Club 1 – Harleston 2

This long running and always closely contested enjoyable fixture was arranged once more after a year’s break.
Whilst the farming community who are part of the Magpies are urgently seeking rain at this time, the match was played in excellent conditions on the superb water-based pitch.
During the initial part of the game, Magpies pressurised the LX back four of David Young, George Hazell, Nigel Steed and David Read, and with
Alan Dures in tremendous form, the opposing team (Captained by LXer Les Howlett), defied the opposition for some twenty minutes.  However, a penalty corner eventually led to a Magpies’ goal, after Alan Dures had parried a fierce shot, but Roger Kent for Harleston had positioned himself by the LX right post to scramble home a goal.  Despite this set-back, LX were not deterred, with excellent running on the wings by Bob Grenside and Tony Jones, but Kim Steggles in the Magpies goal was on top form, even to the extent of surprising his fellow players, to deny the LX forwards and midfield from scoring.
The midfield of LX were by now driving the game, with John Grinham at centre midfield playing superbly, well supported by Mike Surridge and Sudesh Nayar, the latter pressed into a more midfield role before the game started.
  Finally one of Mike Surridge’s sophisticated runs resulted in a penalty stroke for the LX team, and Mike’s equalising goal ended the first half at1-1.
The second half had LX Club controlling the game, and the number of penalty corners awarded kept on rising, with Graham Martin, at centre forward, running into spaces behind the opposition’s defence and winning the penalty corners.
  At the LX Club’s end, Alan Dures made some fantastic saves with excellent perception smothering the efforts of Magpies very useful centre forward, Malcolm Berry, with his quick runs and shots at goal.  It was perhaps inevitable that he would outrun the LX defence, eventually rounding two defenders and Alan, to score a fine goal to give Magpies a 2-1 win.
The eventual result was decided by an excellent save by Kim Steggles, following a superb LX Club penalty corner shot.
  Somehow Harleston’s goalkeeper got his ‘extended’ right kicker to this excellent shot.

So to date from this long running fixture (and which both Clubs wish to continue) is six wins to Harleston, five wins to LX, and three games drawn.  Enjoyable fixtures such as these do just not end in playing, and as always the hospitality at Harleston again lived up to the expectations of all who participated.

Many thanks were given to Tony Williams, the Match Manager, who has for so long organised this fixture (now 14 in number), and he once again managed to select balanced teams.  Umpire Graham Ramm chose Kim Steggles, the Harleston goalkeeper, as his ‘Man of the Match’. 
Tony Willams, on behalf of both teams, thanked Vaughan Dearling and Graham Ramm, for umpiring the game in a highly suitable professional style.
  He also acknowledged the contribution of the catering team who provided an excellent meal.
Finally, many thanks should go to all the lady supporters on Mothering Sunday who supported the match.
  Our LX Club supporters also included the LX Club’s second oldest member, John Gordon (Ipswich HC), who still plays occasionally, and umpires on a regular basis.

LX Club Team:  Alan Dures (GK), David Young, George Hazell, Nigel Steed, David Read (Captain), Mike Surridge, John Grinham, Sudesh Nayar, Bob Grenside, Graham Martin, Tony Jones.

Umpires:  Vaughan Dearling, Graham Ramm.

Match Report: David G Read