LX CLUB at Lille Hockey Tournament

13-14th March 2010

Ronchin Hockey Tournament-Lille,1996-2010

It is fourteen years, since the newly formed England LX Hockey Club, attended its first International Hockey Tournament, at the Ronchin Hockey Club.
Old Jacques, the French President, was there then, and still, at 82,plays in all their games, albeit for 5-10 mins ,as a ,once sprightly defender.
For most of those years, LX have won the competition, except for one year, when the pitch was being re-laid, and last year, when, inexplicably we achieved last place but one, and didn't even win the wooden spoon !!
This has been partly due to a considerable strengthening of the opposition, with the addition of Wales o60 squad, Scotland,and Egypt, all of whom raised the bar significantly.
Also last year, LX was not up to its usual strength, and thus paid the price.
At the time of writing these advance notes, Team LX 2010, looks to be a much fresher kettle of fish, with several new young bucks of around sixty stiffening up the old guard no end.
With a squad of thirteen to marshal, Captain.Richard Clarke (Chairman Elect-may he dribble into Eternity),rolled the players to everyone's satisfaction, in terms of pitch time-never an easy one to call !We kicked off with a comfortable,2-0 win against the Dutch (Sexty -Plussers)with goals from Sudesh Naher and Brian Stokes.
This was followed with a 4-0 trouncing of Alliance, with more goals from Sudesh Neher, Bob Grenside, Graham Martin, and Brian Woolcott.
It should be noted that although this last goal was generally acclaimed to be the best of the tournament so far, Captain Clarke remarked that, with points being awarded up to a maximum of three goals, the fourth, last and best, didn't really count for much at all !!!
Some people are really difficult to please !!
The third and final game of the day saw us pitted against the French (Pansards),who, recognising the formidable strength of LX, packed their 25m area and ruthlessly hacked and barged us into a sterile draw.
The day closed with LX top of their pool. With several teams in the other pool on equal points Wales and Scotland had a penalty shoot out to determine the winner and runner up of their pool which Scotland won. LX thus faced Wales as the runners up of their pool for a place in the final, where it finished nil all, and then LX threw it away by losing the resultant penalty shoot out by one shot (Wales had already had some practice at a penalty shoot).
Wales then went on to beat Scotland in the final, leaving LX ,a modest third.
It should perhaps be pointed out that LX were the only team not to concede a goal throughout the Tournament and that their goalie Alan Dures only touched the ball once during the five games.
So it was then, that we bore home only the third largest trophy, but also a gold medal.
How can this be, I hear you say ?.
Well, the French gave one to all they played, so we did come home with the gold after all .
Once again, all our thanks to Ian Russell for his considerable spadework in setting up our trip and to Captain Clarke for his leadership on the field and to voluntary umpires, Martin G, Lomas R, and White G.

Brian Woolcott (General Manager et al)

The Squad :Richard Clarke (capt),Brian Woolcott(manager),Richard Lomas, George Hazell, Alan Dures, Bob Grenside, Neal Stone, Graham Martin, Guerney White, Adrian Money, David Read(the other one, not the fixtures sec), Sudesh Nayer & Brian Stokes,