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THE WEST OVER 70’S DIVISIONAL MASTERS TEAM 2018

THE WEST OVER 70’S DIVISIONAL MASTERS TEAM 2018

Abbeydale Park, Sheffield 28th/29th April 2018

It is always an honour to play for the West and this year was no exception. Our
team comprised some players of long standing prowess but also players who were
new to Divisional Masters Hockey. Regardless of status the team all worked
together on and off the pitch which added to the enjoyment of the weekend.

Men’s Masters Regional over 70’s Tournament West Match Reports

 

 North 2 West 0

We started at a furious pace and inside the first five minutes Harris, Griffin and Smith made and contrived to miss three very good chances.

After that the North settled into a ten man defence and our further attempts to score were thwarted before we entered the circle.

The more we pushed forward we left ourselves exposed at the back enabling a telling pass from Durrans to Yardley who sprinted goal wards. He skipped around our man who used to play for Bengal Tigers, then into the circle shooting past a helpless Kimber whose prostrate figure lying on the floor reminded us of Bambi on ice rather than a finely tuned athlete.

The second half followed a similar pattern with the North giving the ball to Yardley at every opportunity. A brilliant save from our deputy goalkeeper kept the score to 1-0 but another foray into our circle was converted to make the score 2-0.

 This was a game we could and should have won and resulted us finishing one place lower than anticipated.

Written by the Ghost of Tony Griffin 

West 1 East 0

 Disappointed by the result of the first game against the North, the team, inspired by Captain Brian’s pre-match team talk, took to the field against East with renewed focus and vigour.

West quickly settled to the task in hand. The midfield three, Brian, Mike and Tim were soon initiating   attacks down both flanks for the attacking trio of Dave, Austyn and Tony to put the East’s defence under pressure.  Midway through the first half West’s efforts was rewarded when a cross into the D from the right was cleverly deflected, by Tony, past the helpless keeper.

 East sought to recover and were themselves seeking to break down the West’s defence. The back four John, Mark, Sudesh and Patrick were much tighter on their men than against the North and keeper Bill had little to do to demonstrate his self-professed athletic prowess!

In the second half East sought to use Adrian Stephenson to capitalise on breakaways, but the replacement defenders, Brian and Peter, supported Sudesh and Mark to snub out any opportunities and support the new midfielders Gray and Gary. The half’s keeper, Colin, proved an eminent replacement for the irrepressible Bill! West continued to dominate the game and were awarded several short corners but were unable to convert them. West were never seriously challenged in the last quarter and held on to their narrow lead to take the match 1-0.

John Youings

 Midlands 0 West 1. 

Having lost to the West by 1 - 0 for the last two games, pre-match, Ray Jeff, the Midlands captain, exhorted his team to ensure it would not be the same again. And, on the face of it, the Midlands team was strong enough to avoid defeat for a third time.
In his pre-match briefing, Brian Perryman identified the long, hard hit of German Singh as a danger to us and encouraged us to give the Midlands sweeper no time to wind up for the long pass.
Opening pressure from the Midlands was stopped, by fair means or foul. The foul resulting is a series of Midland short corners taken by Singh which were either stopped by Goodridge in goal, Nayar on the goal line or simply went wide under pressure from the West runners. As instructed, the West attack harried the Midlands defence with good runs from Leaverland, Griffin and Harris. After 10 minutes the first substitutions were made with the score 0-0.
The substitutions had an immediate effect. Block, now playing at left mid-field, intercepted an under-hit pass between Midlands’s mid-fielders and passed to Griffin whose shot, despite being less than hard, had enough force to cross the goal line.
The West should have been two up within minutes when they were awarded a short corner. Smith's initial shot on goal was blocked by the Midlands runner and the ball went to the West’s right. Leaverland crossed the ball in front of the keeper and Block slapped the ball goal-wards.
The ball struck a Midlands stick was thereby lifted and hit the back of the net above the back-board. After awarding the goal, the umpire, influenced by the umpire at the West's end, changed his decision stating Block's shot was the first shot on goal and therefore lifted too high.
Play after was evenly balanced, the highlight being a Goodridge save, palming a lifted shot high and wide.
The second half was much like the first. West maintaining stout defence and swift counter attacks. It was marred however by an injury to West's most tricky attacker, Griffin. As instructed, Griffin had closed Singh down as he wound up for a big hit. Unfortunately, Singh's extended follow through struck Griffin above the knee. The blow caused swelling so great that Griffin took no further part in the match and was sorely missed in the following game against the South.
Patrick

Post script. The umpire had the good grace to admit he made a mistake and should have allowed Block's goal!

South 2 v West 1 

This Match was the last West match and mathematically could have resulted in us winning the Tournament. Having said that it was a very unlikely scenario as the South had won all their games, with an impressive goal average.

 Motivated by our inspirational Captain we competed well in the first half, but were undone by two goals from Stephen Stowell. After the second goal it would have easy to let our heads drop, but this did not happen and we went into half time believing we could come back and this proved to be case.

We put pressure on the South in second half and forced a short corner and although the move initially broke down the ball remained in the D and an accurate pass to Mark Watson resulted in a rasping shot, leaving the keeper no chance.  It now looked as though we could go on and actually draw or win as confidence built up and the South appeared to be tiring.

 It was not to be, but as the South had at least seven outfield England players to our one (the one being a human dynamo Brian Perryman) we were not too disappointed with the defeat.

The match was played in a good spirit, with good umpires.

 

Congratulations must go to the South, who had prior to playing us played some excellent hockey.

Austyn Leaverland