on Sunday 11th March 2007



This was, I believe, the first time that a team of mainly Over 70s players played a full match in England.  This game was also used as a continuation of the Over 65/70s trial held the week before at Surbiton.

It provided the opportunity to see some 70s players in action again, including Mike Mann, whose wife - I hope she will not mind my saying so - is also over 70 and still playing regularly. It gave Gilbert Grace a chance to try his hand at right wing and enabled Tony Perryman (one of the two underage players in the team) a chance to show his fitness as he had missed the trials.

LX got off to a cracking start with Dominic Bann spinning his magic and putting the ball in the goal within 30 seconds which so mesmerised the umpire that he reckoned that there must have been an earlier infringement somewhere and gave LX a free hit outside the circle.  Dominic’s tail was up at this seeming injustice, and he went on to produce a hat trick to settle the issue.  The opposition were stunned by our agility and were trailing 0-4 at half time.  The second half was a different story. Havant put in a number of attacks and had dominating spells that resulted in their scoring two goals to cut the LX lead.  However two breakaways enabled LX to draw the second half and run out 6-2 winners overall.

Points of note included:

•  a phenomenal save by Havant’s goalkeeper (David Whittle–the former Great Britain Team Manager) from a rocket strike by Keith Hedley;
•  a penalty save by Mike Fripp when the match was turning in Havant’s direction;
•  another masterclass in close control by Dominic Bann … but he did pass on two occasions;
•  Gilbert Grace’s fleet-footed moves down the right wing with obscure twisting and turning movements which frequently flumoxed his opponents. 

This was a most welcome fixture for the more aged LXer’s, played on a good quality pitch and ably organised by John Davey, who played a sound centre half for LX against his own club and scored one of the goals, with two more coming from Gerald Wilkinson.

Team: Mike Fripp, John Truman, Mike Mann, Geoff Turk, John Davey, Tony Perryman, Gilbert Grace, Dominic Bann, Keith Hedley, David Simms, Gerald Wilkinson.