LX  Intra Club day and John Oakshatt Memorial

 31st January 2016

Felsted School , Essex

 This Intra club day organised as usual by Mike Surridge has always been a popular affair, but this year it took on an added flavour. Mike had encouraged and cajoled his good friend and colleague John Oakshatt to coach the England Over 65’s back in 2009, a role which John retained before winning his last gold medal in The Hague in 2014, during which time John earned the respect of and made friends with , so many people from the LX family. John was also instrumental in helping junior hockey in the East. His family were represented on this occasion by his daughter Naomi, his wife Ruth and sons Simon and Jack being out in New Zealand.

As a result of Mike’s initiative the number of members wanting to play swelled significantly and Mike was left with the task of balancing out 4 sides.

Despite a damp drive to the ground, the Essex sunshine came out to greet the players on arrival and following a coffee, a beer and a minutes silence , the games began.

The winners of Hansen’s Harriers and Girling’s Goshawks would play the winner of Evans’ Eagles and Perry’s Peregrines  in a winner takes all final.

The Harriers and Goshawks played out a 0-0 draw leaving the result to be decided by the toss of a coin. With Kim Hansen still wiping the sweat off his brow, the shy and retiring but still fresh, David Gill called the toss and a delighted Girling’s Goshawks progressed to the final!

Meanwhile, on pitch 2, Perry’s Peregrines were getting their wings clipped by Evans Eagles. The result , 3-1 with goals from Deanne Evans, the afore mentioned Naomi and David Gill for the Eagles with Chris Parker in full flight, pecking his way through  to register for the Peregrines.

In the play off for 3rd place, the Harriers won nesting rights. Ian Knox dive bombed in to grab the early worm , only for Steve Seymour to swoop low and mean to equalise for the Peregrines. His feathers ruffled, flight leader Hansen regained the Harriers perch with the winner.

A substantial flock gathered around the aviary to witness the final between the Goshawks and the Eagles although there was a distinct lack of cooing as the well preened contestants entered the pitch. Both sides had their chances but the respectful Goshawks gave due reference to the inclusion of Chris Townsend, headmaster of Felsted , playing in the Eagles side and when Deanne Evans, daughter of Bruce (another with Felsted connections) threatened, the mesmerised Goshawks defence watched open beaked. A cacophony of squawking Eagles is not a nice sound but thankfully that was the only goal of final.

The 60 or so that had gathered for this great day retreated to the pub for some of Wendy’s wonders and to finish as they had started – with a beer.

Evans’ Eagles
: Chris Jullings, Chris Surridge, Deanne Evans, Naomi Harger, Martin Mehinick, Terry Howlett, Bruce Evans, Norman Ballard, Chris Townsend, Gerald Wilkinson, Paul Surridge, David Gill.
Perry’s Peregrines
: Mike Armsworth, Graham Menzies, Peter Wright, Nigel Steed, Bob Jameson, Chris Perry, Chris Palmer, Steve Seymour, John Stone, Clive Whittle, Mark Hollingsworth, Graham George, Gilbert Grace.
Hansen’s Harriers
: Richard Boutcher, Adrian Robertson, Jim Tranter, Tim Smith, John Grinham, Kim Hansen, Ian Knox, Rob Oakley, Jim Mason, Bob Purshouse, Adrian Stephenson, Austin Leverland, Brian Woolcott.
Girling’s Goshawks
: Mo Umney, Chris Blake, Phil Hutley, Ed Hall, Graham Ramsden, Mick O Malley, Roger Girling, Andy Hodge, Mike Surridge, Ken Wooding, Mike Gale, David Sheridan, David Brampton.

Umpires: Frank Lockhart, Mark Surridge, Imtiaz Sheik, Steve Mills

Report by Roger Girling