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West Men O65 Regional Tournament report

West O652018West Great Grand Masters at Regional Tournament

Cannock - April 2018

The West O65s gathered at Cannock for the Regional Tournament last weekend - what a fine body of men!

First game against the South, as per usual, was always going to be a hard-fought affair. South fielded eight of the current England squad and added in Sutinder Khehar (GB and England international from ’79 to ’83) to mastermind the midfield. The first 5 minutes saw the West defence under pressure and the second short corner led to South’s first goal: an unfortunate deflection off a West stick. West tried to establish a solid platform for their attack with Peter Whitby, Dave Ward and Jon Marshall working tirelessly in the midfield.  However, the score remained 0-1 at half time. Again, at the start of the second half, South applied pressure and scored a second in the first few minutes: another unfortunate deflection past Richard Wilsdon in goal. Now the South were in a commanding position and played out the game to win 0-3. Not the best start to the West’s campaign!

Match 2 saw the West taking on the East. Although, initially the team looked more composed, some poor passing and lack of control allowed the East midfield to gain the upper hand. Despite the best efforts of goalkeepers, Dave Parker and Richard Wilsdon, more goals were conceded: a second 0-3 defeat.

Refreshed after the Saturday evening wining and dining, the West were expected to build on the previous day’s experience and score a few goals! However, the North, who had also lost two games on Saturday, proved to be rather more resilient. They harried and chased continually, giving the West no time on the ball and generally disrupting their play. Charlie Lane, Brian Hiscock and Bob Lees-Barton saw more of the ball in attack and the West secured a short corner or two but failed to score. North created a couple of good attacking chances and took them well, to leave West with a further defeat: 0-2

So, West had to put their best efforts into the final game against the Midlands to salvage some pride! This was a tight midfield battle, with Dave Ward, Peter Whitby, and Jon Marshall mixing it with the opposition. Upfront, Brian Hiscock, Charlie Lane and Roger Britton were causing problems for the Midlands defence and won a number of short corners, but again without conversion. Late in the second half, the supporters did get excited when John Smith’s short corner shot struck the backboard, only to be disallowed for an obstruction to the defence! Final Score 0-0

West’s best performance of the weekend, but highly disappointing for the squad.