Monday 10 April 2017

Aces & Metros Reunion Game At Altrincham - 8th April 2017

Photo by Dean Edgar - see bottom of post for list of names
Saturday 8th April 2017 – Silver Blades Altrincham
Altrincham Aces & Trafford Metros Reunion Game
Black Team 13 – White Team 9

Black Team - Bench coach: Dave Shepherd
Stephen Shepherd, Nick Crawley (2 goals), Mark Thomas, Ged Smith (4 goals), Paul Fleury (2 goals), Stephen Elliot (1 goal), Brian Collier, Ian Hough, Steve Fellows (4 goals), Bernie Snagg, Arran Richardson, Kevin Cassidy, Dave Clancy - nm (SOG 48)

White Team - Bench Coach: Tony Lacey
Alan Hough (1 goal), Ari Mikkolla, Greg Allen (3 goals), Russ Richardson (1 goal), Simon Mills (1 goal)
Gary Shearman, Willy Broadhurst (2 goals), Martyn Barratt, Chris Mills, Paul Morgan, Steve Nurse, Andy Bennett, Ian Broomfield, Billy Price (1 goal), John McGarrigle - nm (SOG 50)

What started off as an idea for a bit of a fun scrimmage between a few old teammates turned into something much bigger as the first Former Altrincham Aces and Trafford Metros Players Reunion game took place at Silver Blades Altrincham on Saturday.

This was the first meeting up for many of those old players since the farewell tournament when the old Devonshire Road rink was closed in 2003 and there were lots of great names from the good old days on view.

The timing of the game was rather unfortunate as the date chosen coincided with the appearance of the modern day Altrincham Aces in the NIHL North Laidler Conference play offs in Sheffield for the very first time but, luckily, their semi-final game against Widnes Wild faced off at 10.30 in the morning meaning that there was plenty of time for devotees to race back across the Pennine to be back for this event in the afternoon.

The match brought together players who had played in the Southern League days of the 1970s such as Bernie Snagg and Ged Smith along with lots of memorable names from the 80s and 90s teams as well.  It was refereed by Paul Bayliss who played for Aces and Metros teams for over 20 years and went on to be a well-respected manager and coach at the Altrincham rink.

Long term management duo Keith Purvis and Graham Horlock were in attendance - along with other former players, friends, family members and hockey fans from across the north west who wanted to support the occasion - and former Aces, Metros, Oxford  and Blackburn import Ari Pekka Mikkola even came all the from Finland to play in the game.  

Rather than having “Aces v Metros” - which would, in fact, been very difficult to arrange as many of the players had played for both teams over the years – the players were divided into two roughly equal teams wearing black or white shirts.

As is the case with such occasions, the result on the ice was relatively unimportant when compared to the nostalgia and camaraderie that accompanied it off-ice but, for the record, the Black team won 13-9 with Ged Smith and Steve Fellows both top-scoring with 4 goals each. Greg Allen was the top scorer for the White team with 3 strikes.

There was also a raffle and £170 was raised in aid of the Trafford Tornados Junior club.

Organiser Stephen Shepherd said: “The game was played in a competitive spirit - bearing in mind it was originally just meant to be a group of lads that got together for a scrimmage. I really enjoyed the whole occasion. A lot of people who used to come and watch us play turned up, which was great, and people have suggested that we should do it again.  If we do – I think we’ll need to put more planning into it!”

Aces & Metros Reunion Game Photo by Dean Edgar

Back Row, Andy Bennett, Simon Mills, Steve Nurse, Ari Mikkola, Ian Broomfield, Paul Broadhurst, Greg Allen, Billy Price, Alan Hough Steven Fellows, Mark Thomas, Tony Lacey, Paul Morgan, David Shepherd, John McGarrigle, Stephen Elliott, Ian McDade.

Front Row, Gary Shearman, Dave Clancy, Bernie Snagg, Ged Smith, Nick Crawley, Kev Cassidy, Russ Richardson, Stephen Shepherd, Arran Richardson, Brian Collier.