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Over 50s Masters team was relaunched in 2017 providing quality social hockey for the more experienced player.

Over 50’s V Taunton Vale – 21st January 2018

It was a very damp afternoon for us to pursue our challenge in the national leagues. With a single loss and two byes behind us we were confident of some sort of result at this stage.

Taunton were, it has to be said, very good. They were organised, they arrived early and warmed up well. This was simply not fair!  However we soon got our own act together and although spent much of the first half pinned back in our own half, by the break we were only two goals down.

Unfortunately a little mix up with the oranges during the break meant that we got the spiked ones and Taunton got the super energy ones. The consequence was dire, within 10 minutes of the second half we had conceded four goals in very quick succession and were fighting back from a 6-0 down position.

Which we did rather well, the spirit of the Westbury Over 50’s shone though, we persevered, we passed the ball around well  and we kept Taunton at bay for the remainder of the game. We even broke through for a few attacks and gave them a scare with a consolation goal of our own. Alas, we simply didn’t have time to get 7 more!

The final result – 7-1 to Taunton, but a great game of hockey against very pleasant visitors who deserved the win. As with the Bath game before Christmas it was a shame that we conceded a quick flurry of goals without which the final score may have been a better reflection of our performance.

There are no photos, the weather was too miserable and we were too thirsty to hang around. We enjoyed a few beers in the Clubhouse with the opposition and the regular bunch and those who did not have theatrical commitments headed to the Duck . Hannah Swann who had responsibility for orange distribution at half time made amends buy buying us a few pints of Bob and some crisps out of her pocket money!

Masters Championships – Over 50’s match report from 12th November 2017

The Westbury and UB Over 50’s made a welcome return to national hockey on Sunday, heading to Bath University Sports Training Centre for an encounter with Bath Buccaneers.

It was, it has to be said, a rather splendid performance with some great hockey from both teams and Westbury successfully winning a place in the Plate Competition.

Bath were strong, they had at least three substitutes and several guest players (as permitted) from other Clubs. Westbury on the other hand utilised only our home grown talent, just 11 players having lost Tom to an early injury. The defence was awesome, Paxo making heroic saves and our backline keeping the Bath attack at bay. Our midfield was solid and got some great ball to the forwards who had the defence rattled and some near misses.

At half time we were just 1-0 down. We responded almost immediately to an early second half goal from Bath and it was 2-1 for much of the second half. Eventually Bath eventually managed to take advantage of our weary legs with three goals in quick succession. Undeterred we found some last minute energy and the game finished with Westbury strong on the attack once again. The final score, 5-1 to Bath perhaps didn’t quite reflect the balance of play but it was a very enjoyable game.

This is what veterans hockey is all about, a fine group of gentlemen, friendly and hospitable opposition and an excellent pint of ale after the game. Awesome!

Background on Westbury Masters / Vets hockey

Westbury Masters started in 1984 and played in tournaments at Passage Road and at Hereford until 1994. At that time veterans hockey was played by players over 35.

In 2003 the club entered the England Hockey Cup, their first venture at home to Hereford ended in a 3-3 draw, but the match was lost on a penalty stroke shoot-out. However, the club was encouraged by the experience of playing in this competition. Consequently the Over 40s have entered the Cup competition every year and have enjoyed taking part in these knock out cup games. There have been some very good wins particularly when they reached the last 16 of the Plate competition in 2004-05 season.

In 2012-13 the club entered the Over 50s Cup for the first time.

All these games give the club a chance to play teams who include past National League players in strong masters teams. Isca, Robinsons, Bournemouth, Plymouth Marjons all have current regional and national players in their sides and it has been a great experience to match our skills against them on the pitch. Off the pitch we have an excellent social side and entertain opponents at The Vic on Sundays.

Annual friendly matches are also organised with Old Bristolians, whilst Epsom, Blackheath (the oldest hockey club in the world) and Andover have visited Coombe Dingle on tour.

Five current masters players have represented the West in National Divisional Tournaments.

There is a dedicated core of club members who have been the back bone of the masters’ team throughout the last 10 years and more. We look forward to the younger masters players coming into veteran hockey and making an impact on the cup competitions