The highlight of the 2010 international year was the World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa, though Scotland's performance was disappointing, as it had been in the Home Internationals in Swansea. Wales had been due to host the annual Celtic Cup late in the year but could not find a suitable venue so the tournament was cancelled. There was an early disappointment in January 2010 when Scottish Thistles travelled to Oss, wakening on the Saturday morning to see a winter wonderland outside. A game of Farmer's Golf in the grounds of a micro brewery provided the only exercise of the weekend. For the first time, Scottish Thistles made the final of the Luc Ronchin tournament in Lille, only to be thwarted by Wales in a close encounter. The European Cup now being a biennial event, it was replaced in 2010 by the European Grand Masters Tournament in Belgium, Scottish Thistles sending both an Over 60 and an Over 65 side but not meeting with much succes. The England Over 70 squad preparing for the World Cup took on a Scottish Thistles side with an average age of 69 in Durham in June, a first half penalty for England proving the difference between the two teams. A Scottish Thistles trip to Hellevoetsluis in October finished off the overseas fixture list. At home, there were fixtures against a Carnegie-Watsonians select and Stirling Wanderers.
Oss, Netherlands 30-31 January 2010
We had a full team of 11 players for this tournament, including yet another Dunbar, Donald's brother Ian, plus new goalkeeper Dick Pearce and his wife Eileen. We should have anticipated the snow which started to fall just as we arrived, as advertised in the invitation! Unfortunately, the tournament was a victim of the weather and had to be cancelled, but that didn't stop our lads and lasses from having a good time over the weekend. More details.
Scottish Thistles take second place in 2010 LUC Ronchin Tournament
Scottish Thistles finished runners up to Wales in a tense final in Lille, France 13-14 March 2010.
Photographs on the LUC Ronchin website
Dundee weekend 27-8 March 2010
Another very successful AGM weekend was held at Dundee and once again we have Norrie and Dorothy Springford to thank for putting us up at the Apex hotel and feeding us royally. 36 members attended, 24 with their wives and one, Peter Gordon, with his father Arthur. The intra club match on the Sunday ended in a convincing victory for the White team against the Blues, with a score of 4-0. A Roy Crichton hat trick included a penalty and the scoring was completed by Murdoch Shirreffs.
Four out of the five retiring Club Officers were unanimously re-elected for another year en bloc: George Black (President), Alan Auld (Club Captain), Ian Downie (Secretary), Peter Monaghan (Treasurer). In place of Doug Morrice (WGMA Representative) who was standing down, Peter Monaghan was unanimously elected to this post as well as continuing as Treasurer.
Sandy Weir was unanimously re-elected to serve a further year on the committee and Alex Cathro was unanimously elected as the second Ordinary committee member in place of Keith Forster, who had stood down.
Carnegie-Watsonians beat Scottish Thistles at Rosyth
Scottish Thistles went down 3-7 against a younger Carnegie/Watsonians side at Rosyth on Sunday 18 April 2010.
Scottish Thistles fail to impress in Belgium
The European Grand Masters Trophy in Boom from 2-5 June 2010 was a disappointment, the Over 65s managing fourth place and the Over 60s tenth. Click here for the results and some pictures.
England Winners again
In a close fought match at the Graham Sports Centre, Durham on Sunday 20 June, England Over 70s shaded a game of two halves against a Scottish Thistles squad with an average age of 69 thanks to a first half penalty.
England looked the sharper in the first half with Wilkinson prominent, playing just off the England strikers and being allowed too much freedom. Half time gave Thistles a chance to rearrange and Cathro snuffed out the service to Wilkinson. Thistles had the lion's share of possession as England tired but created few chances, and were unable to convert any of the short corners awarded as the pressure built.
Squad: Howard Andrew, George Black, Alan Bryce, Alex Cathro, Ian Downie, Andy Ferrol, Keith Forster, Rab Keddie, David McIntosh, Kieran McLernan, Evan Lloyd, David Margerison and Sandy Weir.
Scotland disappoint in Home Internationals
In the home internationals played at Swansea on 3 July 2010, Scotland failed to capitalise on a stuffy performance which ended 1-4 against England Over 60s when they went down 5-0 to Wales, who in turn lost 8-0 to England in the final fixture. An impressive England team retained a firm grip on the Linburn Trophy first presented in 2009 at Stirling.
England also won the Over 65 tournament by beating the Scots 4-0.
Penalty corner defence sequence in the Scotland - England Over 60s match.
WGMA World Cup Cape Town
14-24 September 2010
Scotland finished in sixth place in the Grand Masters tournament and fifth place in the Great Grand Masters competition at Hartleyvale Stadium, Cape Town.
In the pool matches, Scotland Grand Masters put in determined performances against Netherlands (0-2) and England (0-1) and beat Italy 1-0, but lost 3-0 to New Zealand to finish in fourth place. In the 5-9 play offs, Scotland were pipped by Wales who scored with only three minutes left on the clock but beat South Africa 2-1 to finish in seventh place.
Scotland Great Grand Masters had a tough time of it, playing the top four nations in the world with no minnows in sight. The nearest they came to an upset was against Germany, when only a miraculous save by the German keeper prevented Scotland equalising an early opposition goal, and it was only through a penalty corner move that Germany scored the decisive second goal to put Scotland into fifth place in the pool. They finally scored from a McLernan deflection against Netherlands in their last match but ended the tournament with no points and in fifth plac.
Six of the Best against Stirling Wanderers Ladies
With the Welsh match cancelled, the training match against Stirling Wanderers Ladies on Sunday 10 October at Forthbank was still a valuable exercise in team work. The squad was hit by call offs and also by an injury to Colin Tucker early in the game, and was composed of a mixture of Over 60s and Over 65s from the Cape Town squads, plus Robbie Robertson and Ian Wilson, the latter playing for the first time. The match, played as three periods of 25 minutes, ended 6-1 for the men, the goals coming from Caren (2), Crichton, Forster (2) and McLernan. Umpires were Brian Moore and Gerry Toner.
Auld, Black, Caren, Chisholm, Crichton, Downie, Forster, McIntosh, McLernan, Robertson, Tucker, Wilson.
A Good Time had by all in Hellevoetsluis
Scottish Thistles, whose numbers were made up by Donald Dunbar's brother Ian and his friend Paul Mangat (accompanied by Sue Dewar), too part in the biennial Hellevoetsluis tournament in the Netherlands on Thursday 14 October 2010. After a very interestng tour of Delft on the Wednesday morning, we ended the day by playing a team from the host club HC Voorne which was composed of a mixture of over 60s and youger players. A strong first half performance resulted in a penalty at the end of the half, converted by debutant Frank Nawn. The locals reorganised at half time, closing down the midfield and Thistles resisted until a breakaway with less than two minutes to go led to the equaliser.
Everyone played three short games in a different one of the 14 teams in the main tournament on the Thursday morning while the ladies were treated to a visit to Futureland. After that, there was an informal international against a strong Netherlands team, the visitors going down 2-0 but by no means disgraced. The visit ended with a very convivial evening in the newly extended HC Voorne clubhouse.