LX CLUB v Norfolk Masters
Taverham, Norwich, 13 April 201
This was the second of these fixtures arranged by Chris Wildee, the first in 2013 having resulted in a fine 4-2 win for LX. The boys from Norfolk were out for revenge in 2014.
A county under 16 tournament was being played out on the neighbouring pitch which meant the average age of hockey players across the facility was about 40 years. A totally useless statistic but it might help you feel better! It's amazing what you can do with numbers isn't it and I am reminded of Wink Martindale's record from the 60's,"Deck of cards", when the number of every card had a meaning. 7 of course reflected Sunday and the day of rest. This match was going to be no rest however and that number would come back to haunt the gallant men of the LX team.
Early exchanges were even as players sussed out their counterparts. First blood went to Norfolk as an incursion down the right led to a well struck shot at the near post which keeper Wildee parried but could not prevent crossing the line.
LX pressed for an equaliser and it duly came from a delicate deflection from the ageless Mike Surridge. 1-1 remained the score at halftime.
Norfolk started the second half strongly and regained the lead when a clearance bounced kindly for their attacker . Not to be outdone, Phil Bugg (guest), who had a lively game throughout, penetrated their circle, crossed and a welcome deflection took the ball into the net for an equaliser. Buoyed by this , Phil continued to exploit his pace , got round the back of the Norfolk defence and his determination enabled him to force the ball home to put LX in front.
Norfolk had some substitutes and were able to rotate their players to good effect and equalised soon after. The game looked to be heading for an honourable draw when Norfolk got the benefit of a short corner decision quickly followed by a penalty stroke and the number of goals became 7 , which together with the goals from last year became 13 goals over the two matches and an unlucky combination for the boys of the LX Club.
Still, there's always next year!
Thanks go to Chris Wildee for organising the fixture, the umpires who included our own Alan Baker and whoever organised the weather.