Bowdon/Deeside Weekend June2/3
SATURDAY 2nd June
LX v North Wales Select
The North Wales Select talent and their selection of a number of players nearer to fifty than sixty proved to be too great a burden for LX. From the outset North Wales showed their intent with strong running and control down the right which quickly resulted in the first goal. This was soon followed by further play down the right. Only this time the ball was transferred to the back of the circle from where a solo dribble past a number of LX defenders finally resulted in a penalty stroke before a shot on goal was taken. The resultant outcome was a 2-0 lead for North Wales. North Wales continued to dominate the play but LX buckled down to some great defensive play with two fine saves by Allen Dures and a goal-line clearance by David Wright keeping the score to 2-0 at the interval.
In the second half the defensive activity for LX resumed
but Hindley, Margerison, Mack, Pearce and Wright continued to frustrate North
Wales who were content to play the ball about without the endeavour of the first
half. North Wales persisted in this mode, failed to score from a further penalty
stroke and paid the penalty. LX activity in the opponentsʼ half increased and
after a number of sorties into the North Wales circle LX prompted by Alan
Jackson and David Wright, scrambled a goal when Adrian Money deflected Bill
Warrender's shot in a goal-mouth melee. This 2-1 situation proved to be LX's
undoing. North Wales rallied late as LX tired and reverted to individual strong
running and dribbling which finally resulted in two further goals before the
LX (England) v Bowdon
Once again LX strived to get the better of Bowdon and started the game full of running but were unable to penetrate the Bowdon defence albeit that LX passing and control up to the danger area was swift and tidy. The play continued in much the same pattern with LX having the territorial advantage and the LX defence coping adequately with any threat from the Bowdon attack but without either side troubling the goalkeepers. As in the previous year, the deadlock was broken when Bowdon seized onto a bad back pass by LX and swiftly converted their chance into a goal. Undeterred LX continued to press forward and from their second penalty corner created the best chance of the game when Steve Stowell (perfectly positioned) failed to level the scores. To add to the LX misfortune, Bowdon went further ahead on their second penalty corner when the direct strike averted German Singh who was protecting Alan Dures left- hand post.
Determined to correct this situation LX made full use of their squad numbers by making regular substitutions and , as a result, again had the territorial advantage but Bowdon's defence held fast. The substitution system proved effective to the extent that it kept Bowdon from making only a few counter-attacks and allowed LX the major control of the ball. The benefit of this was that Neil Major was allowed to support well up in attack and from one such occasion his cross from inside the circle was deflected into goal to give LX a fighting chance to recover, to at least a draw. A further goal proved illusive and Bowdon, once again, reminded LX that chances must be taken. The two good chances they took were sufficient to give them their 2-1 victory. However, it was encouraging , to hear after the game that some of our opposition thought that, on this occasion, they were fortunate to come away with a win.
After the games representatives form all sides were joined by the ladies and by a number of the Bowdon stalwart supporters in the pavilion where we all enjoyed a pleasant and convivial dinner, for which LX expressed their thanks.
LX (England) v Deeside Ramblers
For the opening twenty minutes LX played some of the most direct and constructive hockey that they have played in their practice sessions and this time they were rewarded with three goals. This session was mainly down the right with Peter Sharpe regularly reaching the back line, but the first goal came from a direct pass from mid field by Ken Wilcock to an unmarked John Land in the circle who deflected the ball past the advancing keeper. The second goal was directly down the right with an interchange of passes between Steve Stowell and Peter Sharpe ending with Steve Stowell's swift shot before the keeper reacted. Once again an attack down the right found Peter Sharpe on the back line and this time his pass to the head of the circle was met by Ken Wilcock whose first time shot entered the roof of the net. The pace could not be maintained and the remainder of the first half did not produce the display of the opening. As a result Deeside were able to press forward and they ended the half with a spell of pressure on LX defence but they were unable to trouble Alan Dures; their two or three penalty corners being swiftly shut down by Neil Major.
The second half saw Deeside change their tactics. They were much tighter with their marking in mid-field and when this failed they conceded the mid-field to allow LX to advance. LX were now forced to break down a more packed defence. As they had done on Saturday LX made full use of their numbers with regular substitutions so that they were able to keep the pressure on Deeside and as a result added two further goals. The goal of the day came from a series of short passes from defence to attack with Mike Surridge being the scorer. Steve Stowell added to his tally when his first time deflection of a well struck free-hit at the far post beat the keeper. Deeside were rewarded for their endeavours when, as in the first half, they were able to break out of defence in the latter stage of the game and prevented an LX clean sheet. The final whistle ended a convincing 5-1win for LX to revenge their defeat of last year.
Old Wulfs 0 v. LX 0
Having been run off their feet at Bowdon the previous afternoon, LX were relieved to find a much better match of ages for this fixture, with both sides fielding a number of over 70's.
Opening brightly, LX were immediately into their stride and threatening the Old Wulfs goal. Only a couple of well timed interventions by defenders preventing LX going ahead.
With 10 minutes gone, LX thought they had taken the lead when Alan Jackson finished a move which he had started, moving into the 'D' on his own and beating the 'keeper. The 'goal' was disallowed for an unknown technical offence. The pattern of play continued, with LX constantly attacking and Old Wulfs kept on the defensive but the score remained 0-0 at the half time whistle.
Prompted by LX'er Ray Jeff in midfield, Old Wulfs came more into the game and Mike Fripp in the LX goal at last was brought into action but full backs Leon Mack and David Margerison kept the Old Wulfs forwards, led by LX'er Graham Martin under control. With both sides tiring, the game became more open and LX again threatened to break the deadlock with David Durrans and Bill Warrender both going close. Tom Darlington and Gilbert Grace on the wings were prominent and LX were awarded a series of penalty corners but were unable to convert. With David Wright pushing forward from midfield, LX continued to apply pressure but it was all to no avail and the whistle went for an honourable draw after a very enjoyable encounter.
After the games everyone enjoyed the informality of a more than adequate BBQ with a few drinks. Deeside's hospitality was again worth all of LX's thanks.