1st Grand Masters European Trophy

Braxgata, Belgium 2nd - 5th June 2010

Report of LX Senior Grand Masters 'A' Team by Bill Warrender

Day 1 - 3rd June 2010

LX SGM ‘A’ 4 v LX SGM ‘B’ 0

Playing their first game in glorious sunshine, both sides were determined not to concede an early goal and early nerves were on show. With the ‘B’ sides first attack being repulsed , the A’s swept upfield and a Tony Henman cross ran to John Land who put the ball into the goal with a reverse stick flick. Stung by this reverse LX B swept forward but were unable to penetrate the LX A defence. As the LX A were largely in control of midfield LX B struggled to develop their moves but achieved one short corner which was convincingly saved on the line by Alan Jackson. LX A then consolidated their lead when a cross from the right from Tony Henman was deflected into goal by Bill Warrender. Gerald Wilkinson added a third with a solo effort but Brian Woolcott had a chance to reduce the arrears before half time.
Opening the second half three goals to the good LX A had difficulty adding to their tally as the B defence, with Gurney White outstanding, broke up the attacking moves. The A’s finally added a fourth goal when Gerald Wilkinson laid the ball across the face of the goal for Bill Warrender to convert.

Day 2 - 4th June 2010

LX SGM ‘A’  1  v.  Netherlands  SGM  0

Having negotiated the difficult first match against LX ‘B’, LX ‘A’ now needed a convincing win against the Dutch in order to put themselves in pole position to win the over 70 section of the competition. Taking the game to the opposition from the start, LX pressed forward and created good scoring opportunities both from short corners and in open play. However, the Dutch were robust in defence and worked hard to deny the LX forwards time to finish. With half time approaching, a Dutch foot prevented a goal and Bill Warrender slotted home the resultant penalty stroke.

Rearranging the forward line for the second half brought Tony Perryman into the attack. Moving forward again with purpose LX should have gone further ahead when Tony Henman laid a great cross onto the penalty spot, only for Tony Perryman’s effort to go sailing over the crossbar! Continuing in the same vein, a sweeping move up the left with Colin Pearce and John Land finished with the goalkeeper having to make a smart save. In spite of the pressure, LX failed to add to their tally and had to be content with a 1 goal win.

Day 3 - 5th June 2010

LX SGM ‘A’ 1  v.  Germany SGM  1

This match would once again prove the decisive game to decide the winners of the SGM competition, but with LX holding a single goal advantage, only a win for the Germans would be good enough.
Opening with determination, LX immediately moved onto the attack and the Germans found their defence under serious pressure. A sharp raid down the right produced a good opening, but John Land’s shot rebounded off the crossbar and was cleared. Gerald Wilkinson then drifted into the circle and fired against the upright. With all the play in the German half, it was totally against the run of play when a sole German attacker mishit his shot across the circle and the combined efforts of Colin Pearce and Alan Jackson succeeded in diverting the ball into their own net!
Turning round with a 1-0 deficit, LX redoubled their efforts to make sure that the trophy did not slip away. With the Germans totally involved in trying to contain the LX forwards, their attack carried virtually no threat.
As the minutes ticked by it appeared that LX were about to be thwarted but were awarded a penalty stroke when a German body prevented the ball from entering the net. Bill Warrender stepped up to the mark and his flick gave the ‘keeper no chance.
LX continued to strive for a winner but it was not to be.
Once again, Mike Fripp in the LX goal made his contribution in his organising of the defence, not having a touch of the ball in either of the last 2 games.

Squad:  G. Hazell (Capt.); A Jackson; A Money; G Grace; C Pearce; A Holden; B Tubb; P Danson; T Henman; J Land; G Wilkinson;
T Perryman; M Fripp; W Warrender: