Sunday 22nd March 2009

‘Great Game versus the Magpies’

Result 1-1

This twelfth annual fixture between the two teams enjoyed lovely spring weather at the superb Club facilities at Harleston with its two excellent pitches and clubhouse.
Tony Williams, the LX Club Match Manager, had not only selected excellent weather, but finally was able to select two well balanced teams, despite having to reorganise the LX Club team several times because of recently arranged trials on the same day. 
The LX team got off to a strong start with the forwards on the attack, well led by Adrian Stephenson and David Brampton.  It was from a long pass by the excellent Chris Perry, playing at right back, that enabled Adrian to slip an accurate pass to David Brampton, who crisply scored a superb goal from close range.
With the inside forwards of Graham Martin and John Grinham ably covering the area between the 23 metre lines, Magpies’ creative players were prevented from making progress.  Tony Williams on the right wing enjoyed ‘jinking’ past his Club team mates, sending across some excellent crosses which just evaded conversion into goals.
The second half was mainly dominated by the Magpies, but the skilful Terry Howlett at centre half, and rotations of David Young, Mick O’Malley and Sudesh Nayar, generally managed to keep the forceful Les Howlett and LXer Norman Ballard (guesting for Magpies) at bay.
Inevitably, as the LX team tired Magpies got on top, and despite several valiant saves from John Steward (guesting from Ipswich Vets) in goal, Magpies got the important equaliser, when David Alexander’s fierce shot was well saved by the LX goalkeeper, the ball being hit again into LX’s circle, and the tenacious Dick Ling at centre forward deflected the ball into the top of the net.
Peter Halls for Magpies then just hit wide with his shot, but LX Club with a really positive team spirit just held on to achieve a very well deserved 1-1 draw.  Mention must be made of the very welcome assistance given by John Gordon, who turned up to watch. John started as umpire, then turned his hand to organising the substitutions and timings, which was very much appreciated by the LX team.
After the game, Magpies laid on a superb buffet prepared by Sue Williams, plus very enjoyable desserts prepared by the wives of the Magpies players.  Many thanks go to the two Harleston umpires, Vaughn Dearling and John Pestell, whose performances can only be described as excellent.  To date the results are:  Magpies 5 wins, LX Club 4 wins, 3 games drawn.
The final thanks must go again to Tony Williams, the LX Club Match Manager, given all the difficulties he had in getting two teams of equal skills together on the day. 

LX team: John Steward, Chris Perry, David Read (Captain), David Young, Terry Howlett, Sudesh Nayar, Mick O’Malley, Tony Williams, John Grinham, Adrian Stephenson, Graham Martin, David Brampton. 

Match Report: David Read