LX at Lille
1/12/13 March 2016
Squad: Cliff Peck (GK), Roger Girling, Roger Lomas, Sudesh Nayar (Manager & Captain), Sarbjit Dehl, Martin Hall, Graham Jackson, Mike Patton, David Sheridan, Tony Taig, Paul Bateson, Paul Edwards, John Stone
The Lille Tournament this year felt the impact of the upcoming World Cup in Australia, with the number of teams down to 6 compared to 10 in 2015. The participating teams were France A, France B, Eburons (Belgium), Scotland, Alliance and LX Club England. In the first round, on Friday and Saturday, each team played the other five teams. In the play-offs on Sunday the top four sides played in the semi-finals, followed by third-place play-off and the final. Teams finishing 5-8 were also involved in play-off games.
The LX team lined up in a 4-3-3 formation. With Cliff Peck in goal, the back 4 were Mike Patton, Roger Girling, Sudesh Nayar and Roger Lomax. The midfield was rotated with 3 from Paul Edwards, Graham Jackson, Martin Hall and John Stone. The forward line comprised 3 from David Sheridan, Tony Taig, Sarbjit Dehl and Paul Bateson.
France B won 3-0 (Martin Hall, Graham Jackson, David Sheridan)
Semi against France B won 2-0 (Martin Hall, David Sheridan)
The most challenging opponents, as expected, turned out to be France A. We started very slow indeed. Perhaps the beers from the night before plus the 9am start had something to do with it. A bit of slack defending allowed the home team’s best forward to enter our circle and take a well-placed strike past Cliff in goal. From then on LX started to gain control of the proceedings. Numerous scoring opportunities were created, but good goalkeeping supplemented by off-target shooting left us struggling for the equaliser. A draw was finally secured by a great opportunist strike by Martin Hall in the dying seconds. The rest of the pool games were a much easier affair by comparison.
LX dominated the semi-final against France from beginning to end. The final against France A was perhaps our best display of the weekend.
We were delighted to have the support of Hazel Girling, Jenny Taig, Jenny Sheridan, Julia Bateson and Pam Nayar on tour, most of them braving the Lille weather (which was quite wonderful this time round) to provide vocal encouragement to the team. As far as evenings-out are concerned, we were rather shocked to find out the Aux Moules is no more! On Friday night we had the usual fine team dinner at Brasserie La Paix (a venue first discovered by Richard and Sarah Clarke). Saturday night found us all at another delightful restaurant called Chez Max. Definitely worth going back to next year.