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Scottish Veterans LX Hockey Club 2013

2013 started on a positive note for Scotland, both Over 60s and Over 65s coming back from Cardiff with the respective Celtic Cups in May. The Over 65s finished second in the Home Internationals in June after managing a draw against Wales, but the Over 60s could not overcome the disadvantage of having to play two matches on the same day and finished third. Gary Wright was appointed as club coach and international selector and his first involvement was at the European Cup in Belgium in August, where he helped both sides finish in fifth place. Scottish Thistles travelled to Lille (third equal), Swansea (Fair Play award) and Hellevoetsluis over the course of a busy year which also saw a fixture at Auchenhowie.

George Black makes page 3

George Black

George Black plastered again

Well, not quite page 3, but Founder President George appeared in the Local Hero series in The Herald on Friday 1 March 2013. Two days later, his reign as President of our club came to an end when he stepped aside in favour of Kieran McLernan who promised not to stay on as President for as long as George had!

In many ways, George has been the face of our club but he hasn't stopped playing and will still be there with us. With Stepps HC about to celebrate its centenary, we are sure he will not be short of things to do with his new found spare time.

We shouldn't forget that Alan Auld, was there as a Herald Local Hero before George (Friday 1 May 2009), and coincidentally Alan too stepped down at the AGM on 3 March 2013. Alan wil also carry on as a playing member, though the role of Club Captain will in future be "rolled" in with the role of President, Kieran having been appointed as President and Club Captain at the AGM.

Other officers elected or nominated at the AGM were Jim Chisholm as Secretary and Graham Conkie as Fixtures Secretary. Gordon Loudon joined the committee as an ordinary member. After the AGM, Peter Gordon agreed to be Match Secretary to support Jim and Graham.

Scottish Thistles in Lille March 2013

LUC Ronchin Hockey Club logo

Scottish Thistles started the year competing in the 16th Euroluc Supérvéterans tournament in Lille from 8-10 March 2013. They made the semi finals on Sunday 10 March, topping their group with four 1-0 victories in their four group matches. They finished the tournament undefeated but had to settle for a share of third place with Egypt after drawing with England LX in the semi final but losing the penalty flick competition. Colin Gallacher was top scorer on three with Jim Watson close behind with two goals.

fixtures and reports

Scotland Clean Sweep in Celtic Cup 2013

Scotland Over 60s and Over 65s started the 2013 international season with an away trip to Cardiff in defence of the Celtic Cups in the annual fixture against Wales on Saturday 11 May. The Over 65s played first and won the cup for the third time in succession with a hard-fought 1-0 victory.

Alan Auld receives 2013 Celtic Cup from Jane Wheeler

Not to be outdone, the Over 60s went one better with a 2-0 victory.

Jim Chisholm receives 2013 Celtic Cup from Jane Wheeler

In the friendly internationals played the following day, the results were reversed, Wales beating Scotland Over 60s 4-0 and Scotland Over 65s also going down by a lesser margin, 1-0, to their Welsh counterparts. results and reports

Sun Shines on Scotland LX and All Stars

In a mini tournament reduced to only two sides played in hot conditions at Auchenhowie on 25 May 2013, a combined Scotland Over 60s/Over 65s/Scottish Thistles side ground down All Stars over a series of short matches resulting in a 2-2 draw and two wins for the combined team. report

"Over 70s" pipped at the post in Durham

A reduced complement of five genuine over 70s supplemented by eight over 65 players took on the England Over 70s squad on Wednesday 12 June. England took the lead through Hayes in the first half but the Scots responded after half time with a goal from Morrice. Hopes of an honourable draw were dashed when Warrender scored in the final minute to make the final score 2-1 to the home side. report

Scotland Over 70s select v England Over 70s Durham June 2013

Silver for 65s in 2013 Home Nations

Scotland Over 60s and Over 65s travelled to Wales to compete against England and Wales for the 2013 Home International Championship at Swansea Bay Hockey Club over the weekend of Friday 28 - Sunday 30 June. In the opening match of the tournament, Scotland Over 65s dominated Wales but went behind in the last quarter to a goal from the only Welsh short corner of the match. Intense Scottish pressure finally told when Bryce levelled the scores with a short corner goal in the dying minutes to make the final score 1-1.

Scotland Over 60s had a tough task on Saturday 29 June with two matches starting with a morning game against England, ending in a 4-0 defeat. They finished the tournament going down in a 5-3 defeat by Wales to leave England and Wales to fight it out for the Linburn Trophy on Sunday 30 June - England duly took the honours with a comfortable victory. The Over 65s put up a superb display against England on Sunday 30 June, holding them to 1-0 until the final stages before losing two more goals to finish 3-0 losers, still good enough for second place on goal difference over Wales, who had conceded seven without reply to the English.

Wilson takes on the English defence in Swansea

Wilson takes on the England Over 60s

Auld stands firm against England Over 65s player Hutchings

England Over 65s' Hutchings takes on Auld

results and reports

Scottish Thistles win fair play award in Dragons Festival

Scottish Thistles had a great time in Swansea in the last weekend in July 2013, reserving their best performances for the Sunday, when they drew 1-1 with Midlands and beat Black Dragons 1-0. On the way, they won the fair play award - a recycled bottle of 'Famous Scotland LX' whisky, consumption of which on the Saturday night obviously set up their improved performances on the Sunday.

Gary Wright

Appointment of Coach

In July 2013, the committee appointed Gary Wright as coach to the club. Gary, aged 35, is a former England Schoolboy international who came to Scotland aged 18. Gary had coached Waverley men for 5 years and ladies for 3 years and is a founder member of Allan Golightly's club, Fidra Lions. His recent experience consisted of three years coaching the Scotland over 55s, then a year as Assistant Coach to Scotland Under 18 Girls, and he continues to coach Edinburgh University. He now tutors coaches at Level One.

President Kieran commented I may say that we were concerned at whether we could ever find someone capable of getting the best out of the wide variety of experience and skill levels which he will encounter in the Club. Gary now has experience of coaching groups from 15 years old to 55+, and from beginners to international standard, and he has expressed a wish to take on the challenges that we will present. The club will be taking him to Kontich.

European Cup in Belgium

Scotland v England Over 65s Kontich 2013

England Over 65s on the attack against Scotland

In the 2013 European Cup held in Kontich, Belgium in August 2013, Scotland Over 60s cruised to fifth place on goal difference over Wales by beating Italy 8-1 in their final match, while the Over 65s ended their campaign with a 0-0 draw against Wales, finishing fifth behind their opponents on goal difference after Italy were disqualified.

results and reports

 

Thistles at the Mussel Festival

A depleted Scottish Thistles squad took part in the Mussel Festival in Hellevoetsluis, Netherlands on 10 October 2013, led by Alan Parker. On the evening before the tournament, a combined Scottish Thistles/HC Voorne side played out a creditable 2-2 draw with the German Over 70s squad.

Donald and Ian Dunbar tuck in to the mussels

report