Sports round-up: Bede’s old boy James hits hat-trick for England

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Bede’s old boy James Norwood scored a sensational hat-trick for his country last week.

James, pictured above, currently at Forest Green Rovers, was selected to play for England C in their warm up match in Bermuda on Tuesday, June 4.

James, who has had a terrific season scoring 16 goals for Forest Green, travelled with the 16 man squad in preparation for the up and coming International Challenge Trophy.

The game kicked took place on Tuesday evening (11.30pm GMT) and James came off the bench to fire a second half hat-trick as England C overpowered a youthful Bermuda team. His first goal came in the 53rd minute when he got on the end of a cross and headed the ball pass a stranded Dill in goal for Bermuda to put England up 3 – 1. In the 70th minute he beat the offside trap and calmly slipped the ball pass the advancing goalkeeper to give England a 4-1 lead. And he completed his hat-trick when England C were awarded their second penalty of the game in the 80th minute, with Norwood stepping up and making the score 5-1.

After the game James was declared Man of the Match.

Despite England C including 14 newcomers in their travelling party, Norwood said the team felt cohesive and should be confident ahead of their upcoming International Challenge Trophy campaign.

“We’ve only trained for a few days but the standard was top quality and we’ve got to learn a lot about each other,” he said.

“Everyone has done themselves justice for another call-up. We need to maintain this kind of form to stay in the squad, but if it’s the same squad going into the International Challenge Trophy then I definitely fancy our chances. There were only two lads who have played for England C before and I think we gelled perfectly.”

The England C’s travelled out on Saturday June 1 and, after a relaxing Saturday evening following the eight-hour journey, the squad took part in their first training session on Sunday morning at the National Football Centre in Hamilton. Monday was more hectic for the group as, in addition to a more intense training session, the players visited local schools to talk to pupils about their experience in the game. Both sessions were well received and enjoyed by both the children and the players involved.

“It was a dream debut and I can’t believe it to be honest,” admitted James. “Last season (at Forest Green) was a lot better for me; I got a lot more goals and assists and I felt my overall game came on nicely. Hopefully I can build on it next season.”

David Legget, Head of Football at Bede’s said: “ After a marvellous season for Forest Green Rovers, James has continued with a fantastic performance in the match for England. His man of the match award was richly deserved. We are looking forward to watching his further progression for both Forest Green Rovers and England in the coming months.”

Piltdown Golf Club

Optimus Plate

The men have had a tough time this week. In the Optimus Plate competition (off scratch, for the best golfers) they lost to Slinfold Park away by nine matches to three, and in the Exclusive Plate (off handicap, for Category Two and Three players) they lost to Beauport Park by three and a half to a half.

So much for external challenges. A more gentle and congenial occasion was the annual mixed match between the Over-65s and the Over-75s. The result was of no interest to anybody, but the lunch certainly was, especially as it culminated in a speech by Simon Dougall, the club Vice-Captain, who spoke without a note and reduced his audience to continuous and helpless laughter.

The main event in the ladies’ week was the Open. Fifty-two ladies took part, from 17 different clubs; they enjoyed the course and found it very challenging. As usual the lady members did a great job, ball-spotting, making biscuits, serving refreshments and generally being kindly hosts. This day too was rounded off with a great speech, this time by Mary Whitty, the Ladies’ Captain. Mary skilfully spices her talks with titbits of interesting, sometimes surprising, information, such as that the first Piltdown Open was held in 1925.

Piltdown Men’s Invitation Meeting is a two-day affair, held this year on June 8 and 9. The Saturday comprised nine holes of four-ball better-ball, nine of greensomes and nine of foursomes. There were numerous lesser prizes: the overall winners were Charles Lewis (“an extraordinary performance”, as he himself described it) and his guest Peter Bowley, of Stanmore Golf Club, with 57 points. Second were Terence Coghlin and Ian Cooper (East Sussex National) with 52; Guy Humphry-Baker and M Taylor (Crowborough Beacon) were third, also with 52 but losing on countback. Seventy-two players took part.

On the Sunday 50 competitors played 18 holes of greensomes in the morning and 18 of foursomes after lunch. The winners over the 36 holes were none other than the President of Piltdown GC, Robin Walters himself, and his guest Robert Burnett, of Woking Golf Club, with a fine score of 79 points.

The runners-up were the youngsters Alastair Edgell and his guest Harry Clancy (76); and third were Ken Bulteel and Brent Sercombe (West Hill) with 72.

Bay View Golf Club

Monthly Medal

For the second time in three months, the monthly medal at Bay View Golf Club ended in victory for Derek Button. In strokeplay over 18 holes, he took gold with a net score of 61. This was exactly the same net score that earned him the top prize in April, though this time he just squeezed in on countback from Dave Shier, who for the second month running had to be content with a silver medal. The bronze went to Geoff Morley, three strokes behind, recording his first monthly medal success. He also won the prize for a tee shot nearest the pin on the short fourth. In a separate strokeplay event over just nine holes, the winner was Russ Parsons, net 33.5, ahead of Phil Erridge (36) and Elsie Reeves (38). A second “nearest the pin” prize, for a tee shot at the eighth, was won by Roger Bryant.

Uckfield Gymnastics Club

Medal Extravaganza

No fewer than 12 Uckfield Gymnasts were selected to represent Sussex last week.

Uckfield Gymnastics Club Head Coach Janice Binder, a Level 6 International Performance Coach, said: “The gymnasts upheld our high quality of gymnastics to gain tremendous results. We used this competition to try out some new skills the gymnasts have been working on and most of the gymnasts were able to compete without major errors.

“Not only is it an achievement in itself to represent Sussex, but to come away with so many medals just show’s that dedication and hard work pays off.

“Congratulations to all the gymnasts, coaches and parents for yet another great competition.

Also I would like to wish on behalf of everyone at the club the best of luck to Abigail Brooker and Georgie Moors at the British Espoir Challenge championships at the end of June.

Pictured left: some of the Uckfield gymnasts.


Level 5

Anastacia Georgiou 1st overall and 1st in Sussex

Lucy Gunn 2nd overall and 2nd in Sussex

Lily Harman 6th overall and 5th in Sussex

Skyla Eldridge 7th overall and 4th in Sussex

Alice Read 11th overall and 6th in Sussex

Level 4

Sofia Davis 1st overall and 1st in Sussex

Megan Hassall 2nd overall and 2nd in Sussex

Eleanor McCarthy 5th overall and 3rd in Sussex

Ria Sanderson 6th overall and 4th in Sussex

Level 3

Parris Bryan 1st overall and 1st in Sussex

Espoir Challenge

Georgie Moors 3rd overall and 1st in Sussex

Abigail Brooker 4th overall and 2nd in Sussex.