Sunday 17th March 2013

‘Deserved Harleston Win Despite LX Second Half Supremacy’


With a strong squad lined up at a busy Harleston HC hosting other events, the LX Club team was quietly confident of at least gaining a draw from this always strong fixture.

However, Harleston this year, with their Vintage side playing away at Canterbury and with other injuries and absentees, had to supplement their team with somewhat younger players from the two Norwich Clubs and Bury St. Edmunds. Despite this, LX Club got off to a bright start gaining several penalty corners.  However, once into their stride, the home side started a scoring run, firstly with Roger Kent down the centre, then Andy Podd, and two individual goals after long runs by Malcolm Broadway.  It would be fair to say that the defensive back four of Nigel Steed, Gurney White, David Young, and Sudesh Nayar was rather stretched during the first half.  However, drafting John Grinham back into defence stabilised the situation, but unfortunately at this stage, Henrik Kjellin, playing as a forward aggravated a knee injury.  Mike Surridge’s wise words at half-time were positive.  “Forget the first half, and let us win the second one”.

After being 4-0 down at the interval, the second half for LX was a different story, which started with a run by Adrian Stephenson, who’s excellent cross found Rob Oakley, who just missed a stick thickness contact for a goal. On the positive aspect,  Norman Ballard, tenacious as always, won the ball deep in the LX defence, passed to Mike Surridge who dribbled his way forward, slipped the ball to Roger Girling, and his cross found Adrian Stephenson on the left to make the score 1-4.  Four more penalty corners were awarded to LX, but without success, until Norman Ballard directed a push across the circle, and Adrian Stephenson scored with a high lob, the umpire deciding the push across the circle was the first shot at goal, bringing the score to 2-4, but in the final minute Andy Podd for Harleston snatched a goal, to give the home team a well deserved victory with a 5-2 win.

The teams and their LX supporters adjoined to the Clubhouse and enjoyed the usual high standard hospitality with food prepared by Kirstin Cumming.

Many thanks to the two umpires who have officiated this game on many occasions, namely Vaughan Dearling and John Pestell, who also managed the Club bar.

 Tony Williams (LX Club and President of Harleston) carried out his usual brilliant organising, particularly getting together Harleston’s team at a late stage.  Therefore, also many thanks went to the invitation players who stepped in to make this game very enjoyable.  Perhaps this format can be followed in the future. To date, results are 7 wins to the Magpies, 5 wins to LX, 3 games drawn. (Organisation all down to Tony).

LX team:  Chris Wildee, Nigel Steed, Gurney White, David Young, Sudesh Nayar, Roger Girling, John Grinham, Mike Surridge (Captain), Rob Oakley, Norman Ballard, Adrian Stephenson, Henrik Kjellin.

Match Report:  David G Read