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Men’s Veterans Tour to Bordeaux

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Over the weekend of the 13th to the 16th May fourteen of the men’s section ventured to the Tournaments des Chateaux for the over 45’s  festival against ten teams from France, Spain and Banbury…

The tour started ominously with Tom Gilman managing to pick someone else’s bag up whilst disembarking from a bus on the first leg of his trip resulting in a diversion from Gatwick to Victoria to retrieve his own bag…an easy (/expensive…) mistake, I hear you say.

Hawks dominated their league in the first two days winning all their matches comfortably against Tulse Hill/ Santander and two Bordeaux sides setting themselves up for a semi final against French side Rouen who fielded some decidedly youthful 45 year olds.   Hawks tactics provided for a strong defence ready to unleash the mercurial Mark Crowley up front.  The Rouen tactics relied mainly on plying Hawks with copious amounts of red wine the night before at the splendid gala dinner at Chateau Bertinerie.  Hawks were unable to find their rhythm (or legs) and succumbed to 3 goals despite Jim Felix’s best efforts.  The 3rd /4th place match saw Hawks lose to another French side Veperanos as the weekend took its toll and injuries reduced numbers…( Rob Oldershaw…ball to mouth/ Mark Shirley….general fatigue/  Bear Smith…..calf strain from unidentified dancing injury).

Hawks might not have won the festival but we did win the hearts and minds of our French hosts from SAM Hockey Club and the many other clubs who attended.  We hope this will now be a regular tour with the fixture in May 2017 likely to be in Brussels. We were also really pleased that Doug Harris (Hawks 2014/15 season) was able to join us, flying in from Vancouver for the occasion.  Doug presented a Vancouver Hawks Hockey Club shirt to Tom Gilman as ‘Man of the Tournament’ for his services to Story Telling and general chaos.

The Team consisted of……

John Black, David Cooke, Mark Crowley, Steve Elliott, James Finlayson, Jim Felix, Tom Gilman, Doug Harris, Chris Hutton, Gary Mahon, Rob Oldershaw, Bear Smith, Mark Shirley, Richard Venables.

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