GGMs and LX Reds on Sunday 8th August at Oxford Hawks

GGMs and LX Reds continue their preparation for South Africa in convincing fashion

The England GGM and LX Red squads played against the Ancient Britons on a very warm and sunny afternoon on Sunday 8th August at Oxford Hawks. The Ancient Britons were also using these games in preparation for their tour to Hong Kong and Australia in November.

The first game, between LX Reds and the Ancient Britons, started quietly with both sides giving games to players new to their squads, but it was LX who settled the quickest and they took the lead after 10 minutes. Trevor Denison made a quick break from defence and his pace enabled him to get beyond the Ancient Briton defenders and into the circle. His shot was well saved by the AB’s keeper but Parmjit Bolina, following up, was able to put the ball into an empty net. The lead was increased 10 minutes later when Geoff Lucas found himself unmarked at the top of the circle and shot accurately past the keeper. The third goal soon followed, Parmjit dribbling into the circle and passing to the unmarked Trevor Denison to score.

LX continued to dominate in the second half but were unable to increase their lead until, midway through the half, a pass into the top of the circle was deflected to Parmjit who took the opportunity to score his second goal. Geoff Lucas also added to his tally shortly before the end of the game when, unopposed, he picked up a pass from Trevor Denison and scored from the top of the circle.

A couple of minutes before the end of the game, the Ancient Britons scored a consolation goal when a centre from the right was picked up by their centre forward who place his shot just inside Bill Goodridge’s right hand post.

In spite of the 5 – 1 score line, this was a good test for the LX Reds; their defence coped well with several concerted attacks from the Ancient Britons and, on more than one occasion, Bill Goodridge was called upon to make crucial saves.

The England GGM squad had held a practice session during the morning under the direction of John Oakshatt and they looked like a well prepared team in the game against the Ancient Britons. They were confident on the ball and their passing and movement off the ball was soon opening up gaps in the AB’s defence. Ken Wilcock was prominent in midfield and Richard Clarke was finding plenty of space down the inside right channel. After 18 minutes, Mike Surridge broke down the left wing and his accurate cross field pass found Richard Clarke who took the ball into the circle and struck a firm shot past the AB’s keeper. The GGMs increased their lead before half time, Adrian Stephenson scoring from a well worked penalty corner move.

Shortly after half time, Ted Hayes added a third goal after good approach work from Brian Perryman and, with the ABs beginning to feel the effects of consecutive games in the afternoon heat, it was no surprise when Adrian Stephenson scored his second and GGM’s fourth goal. To their credit, the ABs continued to try to find ways past a solid GGM defence and they were rewarded with 5 minutes left in the game when good work down their right created the opportunity for their left wing to score. There was still time for the GGMs to add a fifth goal, Ken Wilcock’s firm pass finding Brian Perryman who beat one defender before shooting past the AB’s keeper.