Levens 75-year-old helps England to silver medal in veterans' hockey world cup (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Levens 75-year-old helps England to silver medal in veterans' hockey world cup
A LEVENS man has returned from the Senior Grand Masters Hockey World Cup with a silver medal after helping England reach the final in Oxford.
Bill Warrender, 75, represented his country in the Over 70s category as they lost 1-0 to arch-rivals Australia in the final thanks to a penalty corner from Aussie captain Peter Gason.
It was a disappointing end to a campaign which saw England, containing famous tennis player Tim Henman’s father Tony, score the most goals throughout the tournament until the all-important final.
Six countries entered this year’s competition at Oxford Hawks Hockey Club, where Tim Henman first learned to play tennis at courts on the site, as opposed to three two years ago.
England, who were looking to regain the crown they won in Capetown, South Africa two years ago, finished second in the pool matches, which began with a resounding 11-0 victory over Japan.
Their match against Holland proved much tighter and they drew that tie 1-1 with an equaliser in the last minute from a penalty corner before they tied with Australia by the same score.
With the top two going straight through to the final, England needed two more wins to be assured of a gold medal chance, and they did just that.
Warrender, who plays for Morecambe 3XI, got the first goal in England’s 2-0 victory over Germany before they thrashed South Africa 9-0 thanks to a Warrender brace.
In the final, England started slowly but eased into the game and they couldn’t make the breakthrough despite a spate of penalty corners.
Gason got his goal on 49 minutes and Australia played out time to leave England with a silver medal.
It could be the last World Cup that Warrender plays in as younger men look to win his place in the side that will take part in the next event in two years time.
“There are youngsters coming through the ranks but I’ll give them a run for their money!” Warrender said.
“I have had the time of my life playing hockey for the veterans since 2004 and I don’t want that to stop but my body is starting to complain now!”