Sheffield Weekend, Abbeydale Sports Club, Sheffield on 20th/21st June 2009

Saturday.              Invitation XI  1  v.  LX  1

With Roger Lomas’s invitation side being an unknown quantity (apart from LX’er’s Andy Holden , Colin Pearce and Roger), and having being plied along with the supporters with coffee and cake beforehand LX opened in tentative fashion endeavouring to attack down the wings and feel out the opposing defence. As wingers Brian Woolcott and Rob Allchin were being well supported from midfield by Ray Jeff, David Wright and Bob Purshouse, this allowed LX to create a number of good opportunities but the forwards were unable to take advantage. Getting their act together, the Invitation XI were able to build pressure on the LX defence who were forced to defend a number of threatening attacks, but a solid defence marshalled by Rod Cochrane at sweeper meant that the ‘keeper was well protected. With half time approaching a flowing move from LX looked like breaking the deadlock but the final shot was inches wide of the right hand post.

The game was now finely balanced between two well matched sides and the second half began as both teams were striving to establish superiority. After only 5 minutes, LX found themselves a goal down. A raid down the right allowing the winger to reach the by-line and put in a cross resulted in a deflection from an attacker’s stick to sneak into goal past an off balance ‘keeper. Spurred on by this reverse, LX raised their game and a ball out of defence from George Hazell was fed into the path of Graham Martin, who held off the attentions of the defence to put the ball into goal, only to discover that the Umpire had blown for an infringement within the ‘circle’. Amends were made for this a few minutes later when Graham Martin was on the spot to put a cross firmly into the roof of the net. The final 1-1 score was a fair result although LX could consider themselves unlucky to have had a goal disallowed.

A first class evening was then enjoyed by all at the Sheffield Park Hotel where most of the LX team and partners stayed , and  when members of Roger’s invitation sides joined us for a meal in true LX style. 

Sunday.                Invitation XI  2  v.  LX  3

The Invitation XI having been strengthened by the arrival of reinforcements (including LX’er David Durrans), LX were anticipating another stern test and the game began with LX having to soak up early pressure , and after a spell with exchanges being fairly even , the Invitation XI then began to enjoy a lot of possession .  LX were disappointed to concede a goal when Jim Standish was left exposed and the opposing centre forward was able to score at the second attempt. Endeavouring to raise the level of their game, LX moved on to the attack and a sharp foray into the opposition half enabled quick ball to be fed through to Brian Walcott, lurking near the left hand post, who expertly guided the ball past the startled ‘keeper! With their tails up, LX moved further into the lead from a fortunate short corner when a shot across the ‘keeper from Gerald Wilkinson was deflected into goal by Bill Warrender. At this stage LX were beginning to establish some supremacy, but were unable to add to their tally before the interval.

Opening the second half brightly, LX continued to threaten and moved further into the lead when another enterprising raid down the right involving Bob Purshouse and Gerald Wilkinson was rounded off when Rob Allchin provided a cross and Bill Warrender was again on hand to put the ball over the line. At 3-1 down the Invitation side were keen to get back into the game and changed their formation and a drive down the middle from David Durrans gave them the opportunity to reduce the arrears. With time running out and both sides tiring from their exertions with opportunities at both ends the final whistle went with LX happy with a sound performance in another well balanced contest.

The games was followed by a Carvery Lunch at Abbeydale Sports Club for both teams and their supporters and the weekend was finished off in convivial style. The LX partners who were there in number enjoyed the hospitality and watching two good matches in the Sheffield sunshine . Ray Jeff who captained the LX team gave a vote of thanks to Roger Lomas for putting a great programme together with two very enjoyable matches on a good watered pitch and the social events.

Team:  Rob Allchin; Rod Cochrane; George Hazell; Ray Jeff; Graham Martin; Bob Purshouse; Jim Standish; Gerald Wilkinson; Brian Woolcott; David Wright; Bill Warrender.

Other LX member’s in the Invitation XI:  Andy Holden; Colin Pearce; David Durrans and Roger Lomas.

Umpires: Tony Moffat; Chris Darling; Andy Pettigrew; Paul Harriman.