LX CLUB at
LX took a well balanced team to Lille which was well represented over the ages - 5 members over 70, 6 in the 65-70 group and 3 in the over 60s. All gave a good account of themselves, and it was good to see both Keith Hunt and Brian Woolcott amongst the scorers.
We had decided this year to stay in the centre of Lille, which is a charming small city, very vibrant with a University population, and a strong Flemish influence evidenced by the architecture in and around the Grande Place. Everyone successfully negotiated their way to the Novotel Hotel (and the separate parking!) and the group ate out at La Paix Brasserie on Friday evening - a much enjoyed evening, with good food and wine, a wide choice on the menu, interesting dining room above the brasserie and excellent ambiance. Once again, we were fortunate to be supported by our wives (14 players, plus Eugene Murphy as umpire, and 13 of us were accompanied) so we sat down as a party of 28 for supper. Saturday night we broke up into smaller groups and enjoyed the choice of the many nearby restaurants. I accomplished my main objective of the weekend with a Moules et Frites dinner, washed down by 'pression' copper coloured Leffe beer.
The Super Vets Tournament at the Club Ronchin received 7 teams - Zestigplussers, Welsh GM, Scottish Thistles, France, Eburon (from Belgium), Alliance and LX. It was round robin, 3 x 25 minute matches on each of Saturday and Sunday, with a final between the "top two". The standard was higher this year, particularly from the Welsh, who are attracting new recruits to their GM side, and the Dutch. LX defeated the Dutch (2-0), Eburon (6-0), France (1-0...well scored Brian!) Alliance (1-0) and drew 0-0 with the Scottish and the Welsh, all games played to a good hockey standard and in a nice humour. In the final, LX narrowly lost to the Welsh (0-1), but given we had played more matches the same morning and they were decidedly younger (!!) we were a little disappointed but not dismayed! Many thanks to Brian Stokes for Captaining, Eric Best for Keeping, John Land for being kitty master, Eugene Murphy for both umpiring (and i/c the other umpires), Sudesh for once leading a convoy of 6 cars to the hockey ground (all done to Sat Nav) but really to all for being such a great group on and off the field, and especially for our Ladies and their enthusiasm, understanding and company! It would be difficult for an ageing LXer such as myself (Richard) to not mention the youthful legs (and consummate skills) of Sarosh Talati - what is the secret Sarosh?
We all left after the mid-afternoon closing ceremony uninjured, cup (second place) in hand, in good humour and as far as I know, all have returned safely to these shores.