Our 3A’s have been in fine form in recent years. A development side with a great mix of experience and youth- they have been promoted repeatedly in recent years and now act as our top team in the East League sunning themselves in the heady heights of division 4SW and captained by Nigel Knight.
Yet on scouring the history books (and Keith Lewis’ archive) we find that vein of success lies deep and furthermore have European success (and large amounts of dutch beer) in their blood.
SOUTHGATE TRIUMPH IN EUROPE
On this occasion I am not referring to the Men’s 1s, but to the 3A XI who took Europe by storm in 1981 to win the “Leymeppers” Tournament at Were Di Hockey Club in Tilburg, Holland held between 14th and 17th August. Before the report on the Final, I would like to mention that the team had been building towards this victory in the preceding years. For example, in the 1979/80 season under the Captaincy of Tim “The Colonel” Dodds ably assisted by Vice Captain, Warwick Hoyle, our playing record was P 23 W 18 D 4 L 1 Goals For 54 Goals against 23. In comparison, the Men’s 1s record that season was P 18 W 15 D 2 L 1 Goals for 54 Goals against 17. From about 1976 until 1984 there was a core of players in the 3As who enjoyed some good hockey and great camaraderie until it was decided that we were stopping the progress of other members in the Club and the team was broken up. It was somewhat ironic when a few years later in 1987/88 the Flagons was formed and many old 3As formed the nucleus of the new veterans’ team. The following report originally appeared in The Monthly Horn – Official Souvenir Magazine for the Tilburg Tournament and was, to the best of my knowledge, written by Graham Watson. After the preliminary round robin matches, we won our semi final 4-2 in a penalty shoot out after a 0-0 draw. And so, to the match report on the Final between Southgate 3As and Temse (Belgium).
“After team photographs, the game started and Southgate were soon camped in their own half. However, lessons had been learned and some resolute defence ensured that no goals were scored before half time.
Under almost constant pressure, Southgate were looking for a breakaway and it came not long after the change of ends. A move involving all of the left side of the team brought the only English short corner of the game, which Thuggie struck cleanly home after another superb stop by Jelly. The sound of ball hitting back board was music to Southgate ears and apparently to those of the predominantly Dutch crowd who cheered loudly.
The goal put new strength into Southgate’s play and although Temse continued to press hard, the tourists seemed more than a match for them. The forwards and mid-field players who had run non-stop all weekend, found overdrive and the Captain blocked the Temse centre forward’s every move, as he had done all game. Messrs. Lewis, Nicholls, Phillips and Willmott played admirably to stop most of the attacks before they reached the Southgate circle.
After a stoppage for attention to a Temse player who had come off worse in a head-on collision with the Sweeper, the last few minutes saw balls being hit away from the Southgate end in all directions (and still Tim Buckle was chasing). Eventually the final whistle blew and the unbelievable had happened – a side which had been described by their Captain thus “A drinking side lad – plenty of style” had won the Tournament.
There was much cheering and drinking and the prizegiving saw a parade of dwarves singing “Hi ho, Hi ho” to collect the trophy. Also (inevitably I suppose) there was a speech from Willmott during which an invitation was issued to all present to join Southgate in the delights of “Screaming Agrippa”. This invitation was accepted in large numbers who enjoyed the delicate mixture of alcoholic drinks.
Unfortunately, Southgate had to leave at 7.00 pm to catch the train for their homeward journey. There was not enough time to thank people for their friendship and hospitality or to fully celebrate the win (or in at least one case to shower). So, a marvellous weekend at the Were Di Hockey Club came to a premature end.
The train saw the consumption of the remaining imported liquor, so the meal on the boat was welcome, if not necessary.
After dinner, some retired to bed whilst the hardier souls topped up their alcohol reserves (in some cases for the entire journey) and discovered that the crew’s quarters were not particularly well hidden.
Monday morning saw the party unable to get on the bus to Sheerness station (full, not drink) so Skunk bargained with a coach driver who took us to London.
Thus ended the tour to Holland – Southgate Rule, 3A?”
Keith M. Lewis.
16th March, 2021.
PLAYER PROFILES OF THE TILBURG 1981
CUP WINNING TEAM
Alan Limer “Bear” Captain. Was asked in the Final by the opposition centre forward “I came here to play hockey, how about you?” An inspiration on the field from Right Back and off it from horizontal. His captaincy, by example, led everyone to give all they had in pursuit of the Trophy and a good time.
David Nicholls “Skunk” “Sidney” Organiser. Roving Left Back and opportunist. Provider of patriotic headgear and extremely able cabaret chorus. Did not sleep until certain that his team were taken care of. Hissing Sid rules OK!
Warwick Hoyle Found the elixir of life. Ran like a rabbit, drank like a fish. Also did not sleep until on dry land. Covered more ground than anyone except ……..
Ellen Man of the Tour. High level of skill and effort. Low level of attack on defenders (Ellen bites yer legs!) All purpose forward. Best looking member of the side. The first Dutch lady 3A XI member?
Graeme Phillips “Jelly” The wobble returns. Stopping and distribution exemplary. Was played as forward link, but often seen dribbling ball out of the Southgate circle. Enjoyed tour. Quote “Is this side really based on Southgate’s fifth team?”
John Willmott “Winker” Master of Ceremonies. Showed abnormal flair on the pitch, normal flair off it. Fund of jokes, songs and trick items, inexhaustible and inexcusable. Lost weight at Right Half.
Graham Watson “Thuggie” Constant headache – had one and was one. Hit properly when it mattered. Overheated rapidly. Drank most liquid, least alcohol. Stayed upright even when under attack. Team seamstress and sweeper. Quote “I hate mornings”.
Keith Lewis Pinkest member of the side. Kitty master by popular demand. Skilled use of sledgehammer on the pitch. Dribbled length of the pitch several times, length of the bar once. Fine attacking Left Half. Quote “I like international hockey”.
David Limer Improved minute by minute as Goalkeeper – can now kick the ball with both feet off the ground. Only conceded 0.5 of a goal per game on average – did not give anything away. Sense of humour very dry even when soaked internally.
James Glennie Whitest member of the side. Supplier of crowns. Demon Winger. Exile from Norfolk. Had a couple of foot faults. Spotted dancing with Hoyle (and anyone who was in their way). Proved that you can get a quart in a pint pot.
Tim Buckle Stranger to some, stranger than others. Picked up stick for first time in two years and will probably play regularly because of this Tour. Did not stop trying (on and off the pitch). Likes port and Genever. Winger.
The Captain comments “The Tour was marked by the unusual discipline on the pitch and the predictable lack off it. The low goal scoring rate was mirrored off the pitch”.
v Goirle 1-0 (Ellen)
v D.H.S.T. 1-0 (Phillips)
v Were Di 4 1-1 (Watson)
v Olympia 1-1 (Glennie)
v Push 2-1 (Watson, Ellen)
v Temse 0-1
League position 2nd
v Were Di 2: 0-0 (4-2 on penalties. Scorers in the order in which they were taken Phillips, Watson, Ellen, Lewis)
v Temse: 1-0 (Watson)