Hockey: Cobras snake their way across Europe

A win, a draw and a loss proved a highly-satisfactory return from three matches on the continent for the Chichester Cobras.

Resplendent in red thanks to generosity of sponsors Masala Gate, the team seemed to be still suffering from sea legs when turning out against the Royal Hermes first XI.

A late penalty flick for the white-shirted Belgium hosts brought up double figures – something that didn’t reflect the effort of a combative defensive unit of Tom Worthen, Stuart White and Tom Farr.

A return to the same Ghent venue was to provide much more of a contest against a combination of the Royals’ seconds and thirds.

Tour organisers Ben Richardson and Matt Gammon each scored equalisers from close range as four goals were shared in an entertaining match.

Special mention goes to goalkeeper Rob Torrance, who celebrated his player-of-the-season success with consistent performances in all three matches, and the energetic midfield displays of Andy Hagell and Brussels resident Jason Langdale, a welcome returnee to a Chichester shirt.

An excellent evening was spent with the Hermes club and there was a sobering visit to the First World War battlefields the next day.

A warm welcome from Lille veterans’ team brought an end to the tour.

Captain for the day Andy Newman opened the scoring and Gammon and Farr added two more.

Hagell’s fine finish, good work from Worthen and Adam Macey at the back, Stuart White with a brace and Gavin Walrond with a fine swivel and turn saw the Cobras through to a 7-3 victory.