Grand Masters Hockey World Cup- Cape Town, South Africa


Day 1 Wednesday 15th September

England LX 60+  3 - South Africa B 1

The 1st match against South Africa B XI – an unknown quantity - so we set off with a little apprehension.   First choice was which end to play from and who was it that chose that we were to play directly into the sun?!  (As if by magic it had disappeared by half time).   We started well with the midfield not allowing them to dwell on  the ball and so began to dominate, which resulted in a number of short corners the first of which the goalkeeper made a good double save from Mark Watson and Mike Harris shots and the third resulted in a penalty stroke from a foot on the line .  This was expertly converted by Parmjit to the goalkeeper’s right.

We dominated midfield and the opposition mainly tried long balls which were dealt with comfortably by our defence.
We continued to dominate with Geoff Lucas and Dave Durrans prominent but tended  to play too much down the centre or in straight lines and at half time we were disappointed not to have added to the score.

Andy Barnes joined the fray and got into a good position with his first touch but his effort was saved.  We continued to create chances and a move down the right and a lobbed shot cum cross was swept into the net by Max Hamber. Shortly after another short corner resulted in a  penalty stroke  , this time for stick interference at the follow up , which Parmjit this time slotted to the goalkeepers left.

The game then became a little scrappy and in a rare venture into our half we gave away a penalty corner for not being 5 yards from a hit just as the final whistle went. From their only short corner Bill Goodrich save the shot but it rebounded to one of their players whose first time hit went in the corner.

One down six to go!

Day 2 Thursday 16th September

Day off. 

Day 3 Friday17th September

England LX (O60s) 5  v England LX (O65s)  0

The O60s were soon in front through a Mike Harris strike and then we expected to push on but the O65s had other ideas and their combative mid field denied us the time and space.. Nigel Stofton and Doug Barnes tackled well for any breaches that were made.
We did have chances but were not clinical in front of goal and Alan Dures dealt well with any shots and it was still 1-0 at half time.
The crucial second goal came as the mid field began to dominate and stretch their older opponents and  a Geoff Lucas pull back provided Trevor Denison with the opportunity to slot home the second. The 6Os then began to take complete control and Parmjit looped a third after good work from Roger Girling.  The fourth came from a switch across the back from left to right with Dave Read sending Dave Durrans away and his cross along the face of the goal allowed Trevor Denison to deflect in a fourth.  Trevor Denison’s pace down the left was causing havoc and an astute pass from Roger Lomas set him on a fine run down the left to the byline and led to Max Hamber tapping in at the far post to complete the scoring.

Day 4 Saturday 18th September

England LX (O60s)  16  v De Zestigplussers (O65s)   0

Pre match attention centered on captain Ray Jeff. Sensational treatment from the lovely Moira had put his dodgy knee into such fine working order that it was immediately replaced with a new ailment. Would he put his now suspect back to the test in this crucial third day encounter? No said Moira and Ray had to take a back seat , or rather a front seat on the bench as manager. What an auspicious decision that turned out to be.
Parmjit scored within the first minute with a fine finish and went on to complete his hat-trick within the first ten. Roger Lomas then added two from penalty corner strikes and Parmjit added a further two.
Neither were allowed opportunities to score any more in the second half but England LX O60s continued to dominate and goals came in regular stream adding another nine second half goals. Is this 16-0 a record score for an LX team ? No doubt some of our elders can give an authoritative verdict.
Probably easier to say who didn’t score but next seven in no particular order  came  from Geoff Lucas , Dave Durrans another brace from Trevor Dennison , two from Bill Pickersgill – promoted to left midfield , and a short corner from Mark Watson. This was fantasy hockey but the dream world was not without its nightmare moments.
Bill Goodridge , having done nothing right or wrong was substituted with Dave Ewing and LX played with eleven outfield players. Andy Barnes resting himself for future needs showed his mastery of tactics within the rules. Your correspondent lost consciousness and the nightmare grew more vivid. What strange affliction made him imagine in the 54th minute coach and captain  put the aforementioned goalkeeper now without goalkeeping kit into the center forward position and his first touch was to stop the ball (with the stick borrowed from Ray) and his second to fire the ball into the net, this to be followed , mirabile dictu , with a second goal four minutes later!
The unreality of the situation was reinforced by the ecstasy this produce among our lady supporters , the like of which Bill had given up all hope of inspiring whilst encumbered by his goalkeeping kit.
Finally a word of appreciation for De Zestigplussers although with an impossible task they stuck to it with enthusiasm and were second to none in sociability in the post mortem session at the bar.

Day 5 Sunday 19th September

Day off

Day 6 Monday 20th September

England LX (O60s)  2  v De Zestigplussers (O60s)  2

This was a tight match in which LX put together a close passing game at the outset and although they took the game to the De Zestigplussers, the oppositon managed to negate much of what was thrown at them. The first LX short corner from Mark Watson found the goalie’s pads and the second was also saved. LX were unlucky not to be awarded a stroke early on and then to have  dubious penalty corner awarded against them ten seconds later.
Parmjit Bolina’s dribbling was tightly defended by at least one man, whilst Trevor Dennison’s speed and passing on the left did not directly result in any goals.
Mike Harris’s work weaving through the opposition and linking with Geoff Lucas and Roger Girling was often swept up by the opposition.
LX had the majority of the game with De Zestigplussers occupying their third with their front three over the half-way line when they cleared the ball from defence. On these occasions LX defenders had to contend with De Zestigplussers’ centre forward drifting up and back in front of their left midfield.
Around the LX circle there were a number of attacks which were thwarted and counter attacks mounted with short passes to supporting halves and midfield, keeping De Zestigplussers under pressure.
With a change of personnel in defence and midfield to spread the pressure load LX earned a further penalty corner which Roger Lomas put to the goalie’s left foot. The opposition brought their attack deep into the LX circle winning a corner and  the first goal of the match was scored  from the left by their centre forward  with a deflection inside the right post, putting them 1 – 0 up.
LX heads did not go down and despite the opposition’s attritional attacks Dave Durrans beat his man on the right and his cross a yard off the line was jabbed into the roof of the net. The scorer unrecognized by the Technical delegate, Mr Morley Pecker, due to a lack of shirt number was dubbed Doppio Zero ( Double Zero or no number/ as his shirt was inside out after a long night out with South African friends ), was later identified as Max Hamber. Score 1 – 1.
At half-time with the same score line the mood was upbeat, our back-injured, now non-playing captain Ray Jeff instilling confidence in his spiel that LX should win the game. The line-up remained unchanged at the restart. The opposition left defence continued to get away with verbal and physical abuse of tricky Dave Durrans as he put the opposition under repeated attacks. However, a bit put out by this developing pressure situation, Dave found his remonstrations resulting in a yellow card putting him in the sin-bin.
De Zestigplussers’second goal unfortunately came from an intercepted pass from defence which they fed to one of their front runners who put the ball inside the left post past Bill Goodridge. Again Max Hamber equalized from a cross in front of goal, supplied by Dave Durrans who retrieved the ball on the byeline when the opposition stopped, thinking that the ball was out of play, to make the score 2 – 2. Apart from Max’s shots into the goal other LX shots at goal did not find the backboard. It is certainly fortunate for LX that Max could not make the South African Trials and so came to play for LX in this World Cup.
With the final corner awarded at full-time the LX injection went wide of the mark and the switch foundered when an opposition defender put the ball wide to end the corner and the match.
This was always likely to be LX’s toughest match but the LX team was worth a win but could not better a strong opposition in De Zestigplussers.

Day 7 Tuesday 21st September

England LX (O60s)  3  v Germany 1

Having suffered a draw with Netherlands ‘B’ it was imperative that LX secured a win against a German team that responded to predictions of a defensive game, relying on set pieces and breaks, to win. LX played their best game to date in the tournament and the short passing game and excellent support play from all players, each with a strong team ethic, gave them a distinct territorial advantage throughout the match. Any threat from the Germans was snuffed out by solid marking, secure defending and impressive tackling back by all midfield players. Despite such LX dominance it was late in the first half before the ball went wide on the right to Geoff Lucas who supplied a pass to David Durrans who scored with a well hit shot from a narrow angle. Shortly before half time, LX made it 2-0 with a quickly taken free hit by Pami Bolina. He drifted into the circle unopposed and as the Germans challenged the decision he scored from close range on the left of the goal.
Despite continued LX dominance in the second half Germany were awarded a disputed penalty stroke that Bill Goodridge managed to get his hand on but the ball slid into the net. Fired up by this unexpected set back LX built more pressure through exceptional team play, patience and a new resolve to find the wingers. By this stage the German tactics were under some pressure due to the superior fitness , of all those capable of being on the pitch ,in the LX team. The patience and pressure paid dividends with Trevor Dennison supplying an excellent cross from the left. The Germans were deceived by Geoff Lucas who looked to be taking a reverse stick shot but Roger Girling struck an angled shot from his open side, past a transfixed German rearguard. Further chances came the way of LX but the best opportunity fell to Andy Barnes who fired a shot at the keeper’s pads.
The feature of this LX win was the blossoming confidence in the team play through a short passing game

Day 8 Wednesday 22nd September

England LX (O60s)  7  v  Sables  0

This was a very one sided encounter which ended in a 7-0 victory for LX O60s. Sables achieved their target of keeping the score down to less than ten goals.
LX started well , despite having no less than 7 people under treatment wiyth the lovely Moira. Trevor Dennison firing home from a worked short corner in the first two minutes. Mark Watson converted a second short corner five minutes later.
Despite the good start LX only scored one more before half time when Parmjit Bolina seized upon a partial save and flicked it into the net.
Sables continued to defend solidly. , with their keeper making a number of good saves. Ray at last played some hockey as a warm up for the evening dancing but LX did not score again until half way through the half but three goals were added in quick succession through Bill Pickersgill , Parmjit and Andy Barnes.
David Read scored from a pass from last action of the game from a short corner slip .
LX dominated the game and forced no less than 22 short corners but the final score did not reflect the difference between the sides.
Thirteen of the team have now scored in the competition

Day 9 Thursday 23rd September

England LX (O60s)  5  v  Alliance B  0

Needing only a win of any score in this final match to convincingly beat the Dutch Over 60’s on goal difference for the Tournament Trophy and send the still optimistic Dutch onlookers back to the beer tent to drown their sorrows, eleven weary LXers took to the field against eleven equally weary international mercenaries from Alliance.
Playing sensible hockey from the start, the LXers took early control, and goals from Roger Lomas, Geoff Lucas and Pami Bolina ( 2)  quickly settled all nerves and a retreat of the remaining despondent Dutch onlookers.
The final goal came from a renowned jinky run from Dave Durrans (albeit slower than usual )  easing through the pain barrier, giving Andy Barnes the opportunity to mishit from one metre out, and Indian Gymkhanas goalkeeper , Michael Scott, to miss a save too, the ball trickling over the line. The end of a long Tournament
The LXers had given their all, a very professional performance, and another convincing win, with any occasional Alliance foray easily quashed.

The glorious sunset over Table Mountain and distant Lions Head, brought a fitting end to  an equally glorious LX Over 60 campaign , and another hard earned and well deserved Trophy.