Great Grand Masters outshine their younger compatriots

The moment when Captain Chisholm's hamstring went against Wales

The moment of truth: Captain Chisholm's hamstring goes against Wales

Scotland Grand Masters took on Wales and England for the Linburn Trophy in the third annual Home International series, held at the Graham Sports Centre, Durham on Saturday 18 June 2011 in wet conditions varying from heavy drizzle to pouring rain.

After a promising start against Wales when Gallacher converted from close range after a good move down the right, Scotland dominated the match in midfield but couldn't find the vital second goal against a Welsh side which looked dangerous on the break. The loss of captain Chisholm with a hamstring injury upset the shape of the team, with central midfielder Trainor forced to take Chisholm's place at sweeper as well as wearing the captain's armband. The Scots tired in the last quarter and Wales came back with two late goals to snatch victory from Scotland.

In their second match, Scotland faced a powerful England side with a resolute, organised defence, and held their own for the first twenty minutes until England found the net. A second followed before half time and the Scots could justifiably have hoped to limit the damage in the second half, but it was not to be. The loss of a second midfielder in Moore with an Achilles injury left no room for substitutions and the fast and skilful England attack took full advantage of a tiring opposition to run in a succession of goals, a number of them virtually unopposed following basic mistakes by the defence and substitute keeper Pearce. England followed up with a 6-1 victory against Wales to retain the Linburn Trophy.

The Great Grand Masters competition was a straight fight between Scotland and England. Scotland competed well with their opponents, taking great credit for their application and organisation, though England snatched the first goal following an attack which had broken down, but the Scottish defence failed to clear the ball and Major gratefully accepted the chance which fell to him, lifting the ball over the stranded Pollard in the Scottish goal. Springford picked up a serious hamstring injury which saw him taken to hospital as he was unable to walk, but fortunately he recovered to attend the dinner on the Saturday evening. The second half started badly, England doubling their tally following a penalty corner, but Scotland fought their way back into the game and narrowed the English lead when Crichton converted at the culmination of a move he had started, collecting a pass from Ballingall and despatching it past the English keeper. The English game started to disintegrate and for the first time in the game Scotland started to take the upper hand, but they could not find the equaliser and England closed the game out to take the Great Grand Masters title for the third year in a row.

On Sunday 19 June, the teams did it all over again in a series of friendly matches (25 minutes each way in the case of the Grand Masters):


Over 60s (Manager Alan Bryce)

Alan Bain, Jim Bate, Douglas Caren, Alex Cathro, Jim Chisholm (Captain), Graham Conkie, Donald Dunbar, Colin Gallacher, Peter Gordon, Chris Kalman, David McIntosh, Ken Moore, Frank Nawn, Dick Pearce, Alistair Trainor, Colin Tucker, Kenny Wilcock.

Over 65s (Manager Peter Monaghan)

Howard Andrew, Alan Auld, David Ballingall, George Black, Alan Bremner, Roy Crichton, Ian Downie, Andy Ferrol, Kieran McLernan, David Margerison, Ally Philip, Tim Pollard, Robbie Robertson, Norrie Springford, Sandy Weir.