LX  North East Tour  

  on 12/13th October 2016

Is n’t it great when a plan comes together?
When the opportunity to regenerate the North East Tour was first discussed some 15 months earlier with Steve Crute and Mick Christopher, we could only dream of an outcome so good as was experienced in October this year.
Steve Crute and Mick Christopher pulled together a most enjoyable programme for the tour , including a programme for the evening written in Geordie speak!
The fun started on the Tuesday evening and continued with hockey at Newcastle on Wednesday and Durham on Thursday as can be seen from the below team reports

Report from the Bede squad

Played 5, won two and lost three. Clearly we didn't pray enough on Tuesday or Wednesday night before Bede retired to bed, otherwise I feel sure the Venerable Bede would have been there supporting and influencing our tactical play. 

Having missed out on the Lindisfarne Oysters and the Whole Roasted Squirrel on the Tuesday evening at the Court Inn, Bede were clearly not jumping around the pitch or scurrying after the ball like a squirrel after its nuts! Despite that, locum player grafted in for the first match, Paul Dallas, scored the first of his four tournament goals, providing us with an initial victory against Percy. There was considerable debate about the origin of Percy. Did it relate to Percy of Thomas the Tank fame or Percy the 1971 comedy film about a man who suffered a painful injury to his..., but no he was a Norman Lord of Northumbria.

On Wednesday evening, we were all treated to an excellent dinner at the Radisson Blu on the banks of the Wear whilst being thoroughly entertained by fellow LX'er and 1964 Tokyo Olympian John Land who took us through his Olympic experience of 52 years ago, far cry to the Rio games of last summer. He was ably supported by words from Steve Crute, Robin Wilson and new chairman David Ewing with images of the first days play provided by Dave Webb who had nothing better to do whilst standing in the Hadrian's goal. Did we really see left handed sticks in action in a film clip of the 1936 Olympic games?

The final day's sport took us to the excellent Durham University Sports club and playing fields where Bede got of to another good start beating the home Rievers team 1:0 in the first match with a well taken Vince Smith goal. Somehow or other my mind has blotted out the three other matches from my memory - perhaps it was the local beers, but whatever, we all thoroughly enjoyed the resurrected North East Tour and would strongly recommend that LX'ers get their name down on the waiting list for 2017 as soon as possible. 

Strangely, I seemed to have managed a match report without mentioning the word hokey - an old Northumbrian spelling of our chosen sport!

Rob Oakley

Report from the Percy squad

The NE Tour was a great success with a lot of good hockey played over the two days along with the usual mix of camaraderie, banter and social interaction.

The teams were well matched and most of the games close. Hadrian led by John Housham won all of their games and whilst they played well the discernible difference between them and us was Paul Dallas who was outstanding over the two days.

Percy started well against Hadrian on the first day and dominated the first half. Alas none of the pressure and chances were converted into goals.Hadrian came out much the stronger side in the second half and a well struck short corner by Gavin Stokes was enough to win the game.

The game against Bede followed a similar pattern and whilst Percy put together some decent passages of play, poor ball retention and forced errors from pressure on our defence allowed our opposition to score two well taken goals.

The next day saw us lose two of our Reivers players and gain Steve Mills and Kevin White.

We switched to a 3-4-3 and looked a lot more balanced although once again Paul Dallas gave us a lot of problems in the game against Hadrian. Same outcome as the previous day. Lost 1-0.

With Steve Mills organising us from the back the two remaining games saw us create more pressure in the final third and goals by Roger Britton and a rare goal from Jeff Jackson gave us a well deserved win over Bede.

The final game v Reivers saw a lot of tired legs but Sudesh suddenly found his range and lasered some fine balls from defence down to our forwards. Ali Robertson began to find space on the left and a well worked move saw Roger Britton score his second goal of the day.

So overall a great couple of days, good company and plenty of competitive hockey. A big thank you to Steve and Mick.

Away the lads.

Jeff Jackson 

Report from the Hadrian squad

1st game v Percy - 1-0 win
We started our NE campaign in a very tentative way having to absorb significant pressure from the opposition who remained well on top in the first half. However our defence marshalled by David Webb was up to the task and kept out several short corner supported by Colin Ithurralde and Roger Girling holding things together at the heart of the defence. The half time talk addressed the situation and we took control of the second half by stepping up a few yards from the back and the whole team moving the ball more quickly. This resulted in a number of opportunities and a well won short corner from which Gavin Stones scored the winning goal. The bad news
was that we had lost Brian Woollcott through injury during the game.

2nd game v Beds - 4-0 win
The transformation continued into the next game which saw us score three goals in the first half. Lakhan  Kandola from a short corner, Nick Kennerley through one of his drives into the D and Paul Dallas from another short corner. Although we continued to play some excellent hockey particularly down the right through John Grinham, only one further goal was added, again by Paul Dallas. A great result to end a very enjoyable day.

3rd game v Percy - 1-0 win
The next day we were joined by Angus Brogden and Clive Hicks who both fitted into our pass and move (as much as we could) style of LX play. It wasn't quite as fluid as the day before but enough to chalk up our third win by a goal scored by Paul Dallas which was passed around the keeper into an empty net. The only way we could get passed him.

4th game v Reivers - 1-0 win
And so we continued into our 4th game again winning by a single goal through Gavin Stones plan B short corner which took a deflection before looping over the horizontal keeper into the net.

5th game v Beds - 1-0 win
BY the 5th game the legs were very tired and there wasn't much that didn't ache. However we marched on to our fifth and final win. Yes it was another Gavin Stones short corner thumped straight and true into the corner of the goal with only 5 minutes of the game left. Apart from the first half of the first game David Webb didn't touch the ball more than 6 times.

Played 5 won 5, goals for 8, goals against 0 - got to be an LX record !!


The club’s thanks go particularly to Steve Crute and Mick Christopher but also to Robin Wilson, Dave Webb, John Land and the 3 captains, Rob Oakley, John Housham and Jeff Jackson. It is a few years since the previous North East Tour fizzled out on a cold, wet March day in North Shields but this bright and fun resurrection looks certain to be a most popular destination in the future. Next year’s event is included on the calendar . You would be well advised to get your name down early!

Roger Girling