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Grand Masters European Cup
Southgate, London 22-28 August 2015

Scotland Over 60s lost out to Spain 3-0 in the 3rd/4th place final to end in fourth place in the European Cup. Scotland were in Pool 1 of the Grand Masters European Cup with France, Germany, Netherlands and Wales. Pool 2 includes Belgium, England, Ireland, Italy and Spain. The teams finishing first and second in each Pool take part in the 1-4 play offs, the winners going on to the final and the losers to the 3rd/4th place final. The teams finishing third and fourth in each Pool play off in a similar way for places 5-8. The two teams finishing in last place in each Pool played each other for places 9-10, and play one match fewer than the other teams.

Sat 22 Aug

France Flag FRA 1 NED 7 Netherlands Flag

German Flag GER 3 SCO 3 Scotland flag

Scotland and Germany fought it out toe to toe in the first match of the Grand Masters tournament on a blisteringly hot day at Southgate, and the result was in doubt right up to the final seconds of the game. The first quarter was fairly even, though Germany shaded it mainly because Scotland could not retain possession, though this was not always because of misplaced passes. Candlin in particular came in for some 'robust' tackling, his skill and speed causing his opponent to resort to using his body to stop the tricky wee Scot. The umpiring was weak, some illegal bodychecks going unpunished and no card appearing after repeated fouls were blown up. At the other end, Kalman was in fine form in the Scottish goal and always looked able to cope with anything the Germans could create in the circle. The second quarter was not unlike the first, though Scotland began to create more, the combination of Morrison and Bishop working well, though the final ball was never good enough to give Scotland a scoring chance. The Scottish defence began to look vulnerable but Kalman was alway there to parry German strikes. They should have been warned when a weak 16 yard hit went straight to a German stick and Kalman rescued Scotland by saving the resultant shot. The resultant short corner ended with a German shooting past the post but another horrendously weak pass by Wilson from the 16 yard hit allowed Kleiss another strike at goal, this time Kalman being powerless to prevent the Germans going 1-0 ahead with only three minutes to half time.

Scotland came out rejuvenated after the break, and with three minutes gone, were awarded a penalty when a net bound shot was deflected past off a German foot. Bishop made no mistake and Scotland were level, and it was no surprise that his team mates voted him man of the match.

Bishop scores penalty against GermanyBishop makes it 1-1 from the spot

Scotland pressed on and Johnstone put Scotland ahead a minute later. Germany did not lie down and Schmidt restored equality just before the end of the third quarter. With the Scottish defence looking dog tired, it was only a matter of time before German pressure gave them the lead again through Bachman with seven minutes left. However Germany made the fatal mistake of thinking it was all over, and Scotland summoned up their last ounce of energy for the dying minutes. With seconds to go, Bishop crashed the ball into German net to make it 3-3. There was only just time to restart the match before the hooter went for full time. Over the piece, a draw was probably a fair reflection of the play and things look promising for Scotland if they can retain the ball more consistently in the rest of the matches in the tournament.

Sun 23 Aug

France Flag FRA 2 WAL 2 Wales flag

Netherlands Flag NED 3 (Zijp, Sluiter, Klop) SCO 1 (Morrison) Scotland flag

Scotland put up a good fight against a strong Netherlands side but ultimately went into default mode and lost the match. When will they learn that crashing a 40 yard ball towards defenders with the skill of the Dutch (and most other sides they will meet) simply loses them possession? Scotland had their opponents on the back foot in the first quarter but Netherlands opened the scoring in 16 minutes through Zijp following a defensive mistake from Scotland. Paton was knocked backwards, hitting the back of his head on the hard pitch, and took no further part in the match, but had recovered by the evening. The second quarter saw the Dutch do all the pressing but a long ball from Robertson for once found Morrison in the clear, one on one on the keeper. The Scottish forward rounded the keeper and restored equality with a reverse stick shot into the empty net. Johnstone received the first of two Scottish yellow cards at around the same time. The game swung again in the third quarter, Scotland dominating possession, then in the 41st minute Finlayson was sin binned for five minutes, and Netherlands took full advantage by scoring through Sluiter in 42 minutes after a goalmouth stramash. In the 4th quarter, Netherlands increased their lead through Klop from a debatable short corner. The Scots fought to the end but the match ended 3-1 to Netherlands, leaving them at the top of the group and Scotland sharing third place with Germany and France. Morrison was voted man of the match by his team mates.

Mon 24 Aug

Netherlands Flag NED 3 WAL 1 Wales flag

German Flag GER 1 FRA 0 France Flag

Tues 25 Aug

German Flag GER 1 WAL 0 Wales flag

France Flag FRA 0 SCO 2 (Johnstone, Morrison) Scotland flag

Scotland moved clear in third place in the pool with a 2-0 win over France, moving them on to four points and guaranteeing them at least fourth place on the pool. The first quarter saw the French mounting strong pressure with several strong drives down the middle which were all absorbed by a stretched but solid Scottish defence. George Finlayson, playing in his last match before having to return home for business reasons, and Ian Wilson both made strong tackles and effective intercepts. It was not all one way with powerful driving runs from Bernie Morrison and Alistair Ogilvie taking the ball into the French circle where the French keeper parried their shots effectively, with no Scottish players up to profit from the rebounds and the first quarter ended 0-0. The second quarter was again quite evenly matched with both sides attacking strongly but Scotland kept their discipline and moved the ball well, and began to dominate as the quarter went by, and Scotland took the lead through a Derek Johnstone penalty corner with four minutes to the break to take the score to 1-0 at half time. The third quarter saw a series of strong Scottish attacks including a fine pass from George Finlayson to Alistair Ogilvie who beat his man well but failed to find the net. Further Scottish pressure resulted in a series of short corners, from one of which the ball found the French net only for the umpire to rule out the goal. The Scots went into the final quarter with only a slender lead, and the second goal continued to elude them in spite of their being awarded a number of short corners and a penalty stroke which they could not convert. Even a four on two situation in the French circle still failed to settle the match, but with only 3 minutes remaining Bernie Morrison left the keeper with no chance at the end of a good Scottish move to make the final score 2-0. Scotland had not played with the tightness and discipline displayed in the first half of their match against Netherlands but the result is what counts and it left Scotland knowing that second place in the pool was still within reach if they could beat Wales in their final match and Netherlands retained their 100% record by beating Germany in their final game.

Wed 26 Aug

German Flag GER 0 NED 2 Netherlands Flag

Scotland flag SCO 4 (Ogilvie, Morrison, Watson 2) WAL 2 (Johnson, Brothers) Wales flag

With Germany having lost to Netherlands in their final pool match, Scotland had a straightforward task: to beat Wales to equal the German points tally and move ahead of them on goal difference. The results history with Wales indicated that this was a match that would be hard to predict and would need to be hard fought - the stakes were high with a place in the semi final beckoning for Scotland if they could win. With only three minutes gone, following intense Welsh pressure, Glenn Paton spotted an opportunity as the Welsh struggled to get the ball out of defence and with great anticipation intercepted a Welsh pass, drove on and with impeccable timing and weighting passed the ball to Alistair Ogilvie who calmly put the ball firmly in the net. The impact of this goal on both sides was instantaneous. You could see Scottish confidence assert itself while Welsh heads went down. The game was back and forth for most of the rest of the quarter although a fine interaction between Glenn Paton and Derek Johnstone saw the ball fly just over the goal. At the very end of the quarter the Welsh made a concerted series of attacks which were seen off by the Scottish defence with good individual play and effective teamwork.

Turning around at half time with a 1-0 lead, Scotland knew they had real work to do and this was emphasized when an early Welsh penalty corner just went wide. Six minutes into the half, Bernie Morrison converted a penalty corner cleanly and effectively to put Scotland two ahead, but within a minute the Welsh won a penalty corner. Scotland were down to three players on the line after breaking the line; at the re-take of the corner, Chris Taylor saved well but Johnson picked up the rebound and flicked it in to take the Welsh to 2-1. Could this be the almost inevitable Welsh fight back? Not this time, because within two minutes Derek Johnstone took the ball and drove hard at the Welsh defence before crossing the ball accurately to Jim Watson, who was in just the right place to calmly put the ball in the net. It was just the right response at the right time and with 3 goals in 4 minutes the pace was hotting up! Less disciplined and committed teams might have sat back at this point but the Scottish team has built an impressive sense of focus and purpose as the tournament has progressed. Less than a minute after the restart, Bernie Morrison’s through pass found Jim Watson who again turned opportunity into success. Within the space of five minutes, the score had gone from 1-0 to 4-1! Into the last quarter and a Brother strike in 54 minutes brought Wales back in to the match at 4-2 and the Welsh were far from beaten. They had some assistance when Derek Johnstone earned his customary two minutes on the naughty seat with twelve minutes left, and put on enormous pressure with a mix of fast running and their speciality crash balls to forwards sitting high, but John Hay and Ian Wilson held the central defence strongly and there was no way through for Wales. However the Scots held on to their lead for the rest of the final quarter, giving them the win they needed to qualify for the semi finals, where they met England on Thursday 27 August.

Thu 27 Aug

Netherlands flag NED 1 ESP 1 Spanish flag - SF1

Netherlands won 3-1 in a penalty shoot out

England flag ENG 6 SCO 0 Scotland flag

It was always going to be a big ask to defeat an England team which had improved beyond all measure from the team that had played in the Home Internationals in July and had cruised through its pool with a series of impressive performances. After a week of hockey the Scottish team had a number of injuries to contend with and Hew Bishop, suffering from a calf injury, was given only a token one minute at the end of the match, while Gerry McBride suffered a similar injury during the match..

In the opening stages of the second semi final, Scotland showed discipline and good ball distribution with John Hay passing strongly to Derek Johnstone and also defending effectively when England counter-attacked. After 10 minutes of sustained English pressure, a fine move down the right resulted in a goal from Wright, putting the hosts ahead. Despite being down to ten men for a couple of minutes after Loudon was given a green card on 13 minutes, Scotland resisted effectively but a defensive error enabled England to pick the ball up in the circle, only for Chris Taylor to bring off a good save. Scotland broke quickly and the forced a penalty corner which went wide. and with one quarter completed Scotland were 0-1 down.

The second quarter belonged to England in spite of another fine save by Chris Taylor in the Scottish goal, Ian Wilson clearing the rebound. Penalty corner goals from Robinson in 21 minutes and Smith five minutes later put England three up. Chris Taylor pulled off a series of saves but Scotland were not totally out of it, Morrison making a number of penetrating runs and crosses but with no end product. A field goal from Uhbi in 31 minutes put England 4-0 up at half time.

Scotland resisted well in the third quarter, with Chris Kalman replacing Chris Taylor in the Scottish goal and coping well with English efforts from penalty corners and open play. Scotland won a short corner at the end of the quarter but the shot went wide and the score remained at 0-4.

England stepped up their pressure in the final quarter but Chris Kalman produced a fine double save in 61 minutes, but Rudd sealed England's place in the final the next day with a goal in 62 minutes and another four minutes later after the Scottish keeper had saved well with two forwards bearing down on him, only for England to switch the ball around the circle untill Rudd scored his second goal, the match finishing 6-0 in favour of England.

John Hay was voted man of the match for Scotland, who went on to contest the 3rd/4th place final against Spain the following day.

Fri 28 Aug

Scotland flag SCO 0 ESP 3 Spanish flag 3rd/4th place Final

Scotland approached this match with optimism, having watched their Over 70 compatriots take the bronze medal against Germany just before their third/4th place final. Though they had lost 3-1 to Spain in the pool stages of the 2014 World Cup, Scotland's progress in the 2015 European Cup suggested a close match was in prospect. However Scotland were effectively down to two outfield substitutes with both Hew Bishop and Gerry McBride unable to start the match, though again Bishop had a token few minutes on the pitch at the end.

The initiative swung between the two sides in the first half, which ended goalless. Strong Spanish attacks were well absorbed by the Scottish defence and at the other end Bernie Morrison penetrated the Spanish circle several times only to be dispossessed. Scotland's defence and midfield distributed the ball well with good passes coming from John Hay and Glenn Paton among others. Scotland were using the width and finding players but the Spanish defence were able to soak up the pressure and build their own effective attacks. A Scottish penalty corner just before the first quarter ended went wide to keep the score at 0-0 at the break.

It was Spain who broke the deadlock after some sustained pressure through Salvatella in 45 minutes while Spain were down to ten men with Borrell on a green card. In spite of having picked up an injury, John Candlin broke through into the Spanish circle but shot just wide. With a minute left of the third quarter Spain went 2-0 ahead through Alegre at a penalty corner, after a Spanish attacker had taken a wild slash and miss at the ball which was not penalised by the umpire.

Scotland adopted a more attacking formation in the final quarter in an attempt to claw back the deficit, Glenn Paton and Derek Johnstone being prominent both in distributing the ball and tracking back to help their defenders. A yellow card for Fabregas wiith 12 minutes to go gave Scotland some hope of recovery but Spain rode out the five minute suspension and went on to finish off Scotland with a goal from Chaves two minutes from time.

Scotland were battered and exhausted but had managed to continue to play out the plan. They had kept discipline and sought to play the kind of passing hockey that coach Murray Paton had been encouraging them to do over recent months. The team undoubtedly coalesced well and gave each other tremendous support. Inevitably there was disappointment at missing the bronze but huge pride and satisfaction of putting Scotland into the top 4 in Europe.

England flag ENG 1 NED 1 Netherlands flag Final

England won 2-1 in a penalty shoot out.

Pool 1 Table

  P W D L F A Pt GD
Netherlands 4 4 0 0 15 3 12 12
Germany 4 2 1 1 5 5 7 0
Scotland 3 1 1 1 6 6 4 0
Wales 3 0 1 2 3 6 1 -3
France 3 0 1 2 3 10 1 -7

Squads

France Flag France

 

German Flag Germany

 

Netherlands Flag Netherlands

 

Scotland flag Scotland

Scotland Over 60 squad in Eurohockey 2015

Hew Bishop, John Candlin, Jim Chisholm, John Connaghan, George Finlayson, John Hay, Derek Johnstone, Chris Kalman (GK), Gordon Loudon, Gerry McBride, Bernie Morrison, Alistair Ogilvie, Glenn Paton, Stuart Robertson, Chris Taylor, Jim Watson, Ian Wilson (Captain).
Manager: Richard Higham, Coach: Murray Paton.

Senior Grand Masters Reports

Scottish Thistles Reports