By Tim Coe
Fantastic mix of players in season end clash
The sun beat down at Culford on a day which saw our promising youngsters take on some of our most tried and tested - well - oldsters. As the International squad assembled we were treated to the colours of Wales, England, Barbados and Ireland being unveiled - the biggest surprise of the day being Patrick Sullivan (Ire) arriving in a shirt that wasn't Irish green. He very quickly pointed out it was the red of Cork!
Given the FIH International rules, the game was played in quarters and the first fifteen minutes was very close, finishing 0-0, with the Internationals showing their class and composure on the ball. Early into the second quarter, the ball fell to Ian Konrath (GB) in the D - he made no mistake and tucked the ball away to give the masters the lead. The lead seemed certain to be doubled when Kwame Emmanuel (Bar) looked odds-on to score his first goal at Bury. However, some phenomenal goalkeeping by Maddie Stuart diverted the ball wide leaving Kwame to look up to the skies for further inspiration.
Half time came and both sides came back hydrated and refreshed and early into the third quarter, Katie Bedford doubled the lead for the Masters. This left the final quarter to be played, with the masters clinging to their two goal lead.
Soon into the fourth quarter, the Academy side were awarded a short corner which was worked perfectly, and saw Francesca Konrath tuck the ball away at the far post. The youngsters were hot on the heels of an equaliser but couldn't quite get there before the ball got to Kwame Emmanuel (Bar) who finally secured that elusive goal. The relief was evident as he sunk to his knees to the roars of the onlooking crowd. The Academy side, of course, didn't give up and kept pressing and were soon rewarded through a great individual Lottie Adams goal. Despite late chances at each end the game finished with a 3-2 win for the International XI.
Huge thanks to Alex Bibby, Jet Konrath and Annemarie Vis for their work with the academy and getting the team ready for this game. Similarly, massive thanks to Norman Ballard for bringing together such a great team. And last, but by no means least, thanks are due to Matt Hyndman and Tony Cooke for umpiring such a fantastic game.
For the record the teams were:-
Maddie Stuart/Max Woods - both England
Patrick Sullivan - Ireland
Tony Bass - Wales
Paul Calver - England
Mike O'Connell - Ireland
John Grinham - England
Norman Ballard (Captain) - England
Mike Surridge - England
Ian Konrath - GB
Jet Konrath - England
Katie Bedford - England
Kwame Emmanuel - Barbados
Under 16 Academy
Maddie Stuart/Max Woods
Jessica Konrath (Captain)
Katie Slark- Hollis
Well played BSE HC - a tremendous afternoon at Culford again.