LX v Warlocks

Sunday 25th September 2016

LX Team: Craig Eales (GK - guest), German Singh, Brian Stokes, Graham Jackson, Zahid Arain, Mike Patton, Henrik Kjellin, Richard Slator, Sarosh Talati, Balbir Singh, Gavin Stones, Pami Bolina.

Result:  Lost  0 – 2

As last year, the weather was kind to us for this annual fixture with some warm sunshine and little wind; not the normal conditions one expects to play in at Lord Wandsworth College.

The LX squad of 12 duly arrived, most on time, and after the usual match preliminaries involving sorting out playing positions, etc., the game got underway with LX, all over 60 playing against a Warlocks side with ages ranging from 42 to 70+ (Warlocks goal keeper).

The match was definitely one of two halves with LX playing poorly in the first half and then upping their game in the second half.  LX started slowly and were gradually put under more and more pressure.  There appeared to be a definite lack of enthusiasm from some of the LX players and lack of communication in the defence allowed the Warlocks to move the ball freely to their free running forwards.  Warlocks first goal came from a free hit on the 23M line which was struck firmly into the LX ‘D’ and deflected into the goal by their unmarked forward; the goal keeper stood no chance.  The Warlocks second goal again came about as, once again, some poor defensive play and lack of a firm clearance out of the ‘D’ allowed Pami Bolina, guesting for Warlocks as one of their players did not show, to gratefully swept the ball into the LX goal.

LX did make the occasional break into the Warlocks half and up to their ‘D’ but more often than not a poor pass or no pass at all and loss of the ball meant that the LX efforts were unrewarded and they then found themselves under pressure once again.  However, one of the LX attacks did result in a firm cross from the right travelling across the face of the goal to the unmarked left mid-fielder (no name!) who manged to sweep the ball wide of an open goal.  LX down 0‑2 at half time.

The second half saw a much better performance from LX.  Enthusiasm returned, the playing formation was retained, defensive work improved as well as the passing.  This was a much more even half with some good hockey played by both sides but neither side able to make the break through and score.  There is little more to say other than to say “thank you” to the LX players for turning matters around, putting a lot of hard work and effort into the game thus making the second half a far more enjoyable affair and playing the sort of hockey that I know they can do.

A very welcome and social post‑match lunch, along with liquid refreshment, was then provided at The Four Horseshoes pub.

Thanks go to German and Balbir for making the 6 hour round trip from the Midlands.  Thanks also go to the umpires Roy Woolley (Warlocks) and Graham Beck (LX) for a well controlled game and ensuring that it was played in the correct spirit.

Richard Slator