Grand Masters Hockey European Tournament Trophy 2011- Neuss, Germany.

 ENGLAND LX Club Red over 60's

Day 1  Monday 22nd August 2011

England LX Red over 60's  3  v Germany two  0

Playing the host nation in the opening game of any competition will always be a challenge. However under the excellent guidance of Captain Barry Mills the squad had made good use of preparation time at Bowden and at Oxford and was in confident mood.
The opening exchanges were inconclusive but gradually LX gained control. The deadlock was broken by an excellent run and finish by Parmjit Bolina. After turning round 1 - 0 at half time a second goal was added shortly after the re-start
. A well struck short corner by Mills was turned in at the post by Geoff Lucas. Just reward for all the work on the training ground. A 3 - 0 victory was secured with a well taken strike by Brian Hopkins after further good work by Bolina.
This satisfactory result was achieved through a committed squad performance. Although rarely called upon, the commanding presence of Bill Goodridge in goal gave everyone confidence. The composed , resolute defence of Ewing, Watson, Mills and German Singh ensured that German chances were very restricted. The work rate of midfielders Harris, Grinham, Lucas, Patton, Durrans and Harbijan Singh ensured that the home side never got into their stride and the speed and penetration of Denison, Hopkins, Wood and Bolina provided scoring opportunities throughout.

Day 2  Tuesday 23rd August 2011

England LX Red over 60's  5  v Nederland Two  0

The second match of the LX Red campaign in Neuss was against The Netherlands 2 team. In the first few minutes there were some fairly robust challenges for the umpires to consider as the Dutch team tried to impose themselves on their opposition. Fortunately, no injuries resulted and possession was more or less evenly contested until Parmjit Bolina managed to wriggle through some intended tackles in the circle before passing the ball neatly to Trevor Denison to tap in for the first goal. Soon before half time Brian Hopkins gathered the ball from a goalmouth scramble and struck a fierce shot from a narrow angle, which was stopped on the goal line by a Dutch foot. He then stroked home the resulting penalty flick for a 2-0 lead for LX at half-time. 

Almost immediately after the start of the second half Parmjit Bolina gathered a pass deep into the opposition circle, neatly turned his marker and somehow squeezed the ball into the goal at the near post. A few minutes later Trevor Denison recovered the ball near the corner flag from a misdirected penalty corner attempt and crossed it to “Man of the Match” Parmjit Bolina, who again eluded his marker and this time passed across the face of the goal to Lloyd Wood, who scored at the far post. After this LX spent most of the rest of the game encamped in the Dutch half and it was no surprise when Brian Hopkins deflected a firmly struck pass from skipper Barry Mills past the Dutch goalkeeper to secure a comfortable 5-0 win for LX

Day 3 Wednesday 24th August 2011

England LX Red over 60's  9  v Wales Two  0

Alarm at 0600, a lot of breakfast, bus at 0730 for an 0840 start. The skippers rousing team talk contributed to a good opening spell of passing and pressure on the opposition. However we soon lost shape as a feeling of 'my turn' produced a series of abortive goal scoring attempts. With fine tuning of positions and some later substitutions by AB, assisted by NB our shape returned to force home our advantage. First half goals came as a result in open play from centre striker Pami Bolina (2) and Lloyd (1), Brian (1) following Trevor's fine tap in goal from a Mike Harris cross. Half time 5 - 0.
In the second half we pilled on the pressure with further , but productive penalty corners with poacher Brian touching in a Watson corner, followed by a German Singh goal at the still gaping far post. Brian scored two further goals resulting from goal mouth melees to complete a fine 9 - 0 victory and 9 out of 9 points after 3 days and on track for gold.

Day 4  Thursday 25th August 2011

England LX Red over 60's  5  v Alliance  0

With 3 victories and 19 goals under their belts the LX reds were surprisingly subdued as they approached their game against Alliance, needing only a draw to secure gold position.
Even though skipper Mills scored the opener through the legs of their GK after three minutes, LX still continued to play somewhat nervously against an increasingly improving Alliance who themselves went close on a couple of occasions.
A missed penalty flick didn’t help matters but confidence was restored by a Geoff Lucas goal after 24 minutes. Half time 2 – 0.
An early goal in the 2nd half by Bolina effectively killed off the game and goals from Hopkins and Durrans (arguably the goal of the tournament for the Reds) sealed the victory and thus the gold medal.

All four victories were achieved by a technically strong team but underpinned by a close team spirit, created by the management skills of Mills, Barnes and Watson, enhanced through the changing room banter of Bolina and Goodridge  and the seemingly bottomless pot of kitty-master Ewing. And then, of course, there was always German!


Day 5  Friday 26th August 2011

Day off