2017 Grand Masters European Cup

Glasgow 19-27 August 2017 - Senior Grand Masters (Over 70)

Scotland was represented at the 2017 European Cup in Glasgow by three international teams (Over 60, Over 65 and Over 70) and a Tournament Trophy Over 60 team.There were six teams in the Senior Grand Masters (Over 70) competition, which was played as a round robin: Belgium, England, Germany, Netherlands, Scotland and Wales. England won the tournament on goal difference over Netherlands, with Germany in bronze medal position. Scotland could not maintain their grip on bronze won in 2015 in London, and finished in fifth place.

Full statistics on teams, matches, standings and players are available from AltiusRT


Saturday 19 August Netherlands Flag Netherlands 3 (Tjalling, Gerbranda, Hanusch) Scotland 1 (Downie) Scotland Flag QTV logo

In a match characterised by numerous goal line clearances, great saves by Nigel Dixon in goal for Scotland and two missed penalties by the Dutch, Scotland put up a good performance against a side which was technically very good. The first quarter ended goalless but Netherlands broke the deadlock in 17 minutes when James Tjalling finished off a passing move down the Dutch left, cutting in and slipping the ball past Nigel Dixon. It could have been two when Scottish sweeper David Cassell batted down a net bound ball with his hand - a yellow card and penalty ensued. Nigel Dixon made a brilliant save from James Tjalling and Scotland rode out the five minutes till half time without conceding another goal.

A dubious short corner award two minutes after the break against David Cassell for what the umpire adjudged to be a stick tackle in the circle led to the very skilful Taco Gerbranda adding a second Dutch goal. It was a simple move, Dutch stopper James Tjalling switching the ball to Bob Leinweber on his right to take the ball on and lay on a perfect cross for injector Taco Gerbranda on the penalty spot to prod the ball into the Scottish net and put Netherland two up. Colin Tucker was proving a thorn in the Dutch flesh with his strong running down the Scottish right and he won a short corner after one such run which ended with feet from a Dutch defender. Stopper Roy Crichton returned a perfectly paced ball back to injector Ian Downie, who swept the ball into the net to make the score 2-1 and bring Scotland back into the match. Scotland went for it in the final quarter and that cost them dear, as the Netherlands strikers found themselves in the clear and round the keeper more than once, only for a defender to pop up and clear the ball off the line. Finally, Netherlands sealed the match after a fine right wing move. Taco Gerbranda fed Paul Verloop who took the ball into the Scottish 23 and fired in a cross which David Ballingall could only deflect to Juul Verheem. The Dutch midfielder skifully drew Nigel Dixon and slipped the ball to Pepi Hanusch who found the line undefended and slipped the ball in make the score 3-1 to Netherlands. The same player had a great chance to increase the Dutch lead when he had a great solo run into the circle, his shot hitting Alan Auld on the body.The resulting penalty stroke was taken by the same player but Nigel Dixon had no difficulty in stopping Pepi's weak effort. Pepi was beginning to run riot and broke through once again in the dying seconds, only to be thwarted by David Margerison who deflected the ball on to the post and past.

Saturday 19 August Germany Flag Germany 2 Wales Wales Flag 0

Sunday 20 August England Flag England 3 Wales 0 Wales Flag     Germany Flag Germany 0 Belgium 0 Belgium Flag

Tuesday 22 August 10:40 Clydesdale Germany Flag Germany 5 (Trentman 2, Engelhard 2, Brauns) Scotland 0 Scotland Flag

Scotland set out to press Germany from the start and had a moderate degree of success, forcing one short corner. At the other end, however, Germany were causing the Scottish defence all sorts of problems, concentrating on finding a Scottish foot in the circle to win penalty corners. Twice their shots at short corners beat Nigel Dixon in the Scottish goal and twice Alan Strachan did his job on the post and deflected the ball wide, and the first quarter ended all square. Scotland were wasteful in possession and brought more pressure on themselves as a result, and finally, after 25 minutes, a great diagonal ball from the inside right position into the circle fell to Helmut Trentman who made no mistake in beating the Scottish keeper to put Germany one up. Two minutes later, it was 2-0 when Wolfgang Engelhard finally converted a German penalty corner.

The second half opened badly for the Scots, who conceded a penalty stroke five minutes into the half. Nigel Dixon, unbeaten from the spot after saving two penalties against Netherlands, could not stop Uli Braun's well taken penalty. In spite of the 3-0 score, Scotland then had their best period of the match, bringing back memories of good, possession hockey which seemed to have passed them by earlier in the match. Into the fourth quarter, and with Scotland pressing to make an impression on the game, it was Germany who claimed the next goal, Wolfgang Engelhard again scoring from a penalty corner. Finally, Helmut Trentman put the icing on the cake for Germany with a field goal to end the match 5-0 in their favour.

The result left Germany clear in first place, though with England only one point behind with a game in hand. Scotland were looking up at all the other teams and could not be looking forward to their next match, against England.

England Flag England 7 Belgium 0 Belgium Flag

Wednesday 23 August 10:30 GNHC Pitch 1 England Flag England 5 (Singh, Hutchings 2, Thompson, Stowell) Scotland 0 Scotland Flag QTV logo

Scotland produced a far better performance than in their previous match, even though the final score ended up the same. A dressing room discussion before the match helped the players understand the formation and the role of each player in it. A little bit of tweaking from coach Neil Sinclair in the early stages of the match resulted in total frustration for the opposition, who found that they could not play their normal game, Being English, they took the safe option and passed the ball about at the back, only rarely finding the pass which would unlock the Scottish defence. Still, short corners came and England took the lead early in the first quarter with a thunderous strike by German Singh past Scotland keeper Nigel Dixon. While England dominated possession for the rest of the half, Scotland put in a disciplined performance. When they got the ball, unlike the previous day, they worked the ball forward rather than crashing a hopeful pass, though the English defence had little trouble in coping with these occasional periods of Scotland possession. The first half ended 1-0 to England.

The third quarter continued as before, England's half time team talk not having produced an answer to the question of how to unlock the Scotland defence. They stepped up their efforts in the fourth quarter and David Cassell was given a green card for a body check in the first minute of the quarter. A trademark England penalty corner goal resulted - the ball slipped right from the trap, then left, then back to the right where Greg Hutchings was in the right place to fire the ball in for England's second goal. This goal seemed to puncture the Scottish balloon and England took complete command. David Thompson converted a third penalty corner, then Greg Hutchings inserted himself between sweeper David Cassell and keeper Nigel Dixon to poke the ball in from close range. This goal seemed to revitalise Scotland, who mounted a series of attacks through Norrie Springford and Roy Crichton who found themselves at last in the English circle. Finally, one of England's diagonal passes found a forward, in this case Stephen Stowell, who finished off the scoring with a fine strike. Scotland went straight up the other end and Roy Crichton won a penalty corner in the dying seconds. Unfortunately, his pass to injector Ian Downie was intercepted and England cleared the ball to keep their clean sheet in a 5-0 victory.

Scotland will be disappointed at having lost so heavily to Germany the previous day but have now played the three strongest teams in the competition, They will look to beat Belgium and Wales in their final two matches to claim fourth place as they cannot overhaul England and Germany, and it is most unlikely that Netherlands will fail to win all three of their remaining matches.

Belgium Flag Belgium 0 Wales 0 Wales Flag     Germany Flag Germany 0 Netherlands 5 Netherlands Flag

Friday 25 August 09:00 Scotland Flag Scotland 1 (Springford) Belgium 0 Belgium Flag QTV logo

Scotland expected that this would be a tough match against a Belgian side which had already withstood superior opposition twice to gain goalless draws, and this match lived up to expectations. Coach Murray Paton had stressed the need for patience and to maintain the passing game which the side had practised, as well as to keep the ball moving wide to overcome the blanket Belgian defence in their circle. The Scots didn't always stick to the script but each of the quarter and half time breaks allowed them to be reminded of the plan. There were only two real moments of note in the first half. The first came when David Margerison fired a diagonal ball from the right across the Belgian circle. It was missed by everyone except Sandy Weir, coming on the left, but Sandy could only touch the ball narrowly past the post. There was one moment of panic for Scotland when a long ball to lone Belgian striker Amand Hinneman, playing with an antique stick and wearing the number 81, the same as his age, found him one on one with Nigel Dixon in the Scottish goal. Nigel was out in a flash to smother the shot, but the ball caught in his pads and Belgium had a penalty corner. Fortunately it came to nothing and half time saw the match still without a goal, having been played almost exclusively in the Belgian half.

The breakthrough game six minutes into the second half when David Ballingall's pass found Doug Morrice who played the ball back to Kieran McLernan. Kieran took the ball into the circle and fed Doug Morrice, who played a one two with Norrie Springford. Belgian keeper Anthony Leidensdorf went down anticipating that the Scottish striker was about to shoot, but instead Doug Morrice coolly lifted the ball over the keeper's legs to Norrie Springford to open the scoring into the unguarded goal. It was a goal worthy of winning any match. Scotland gained confidence from being ahead and played their best hockey of the match, retaining possession and putting the Belgian defence under constant pressure. The final quarter break gave Belgium a chance to re-assess their tactics and, probably for the first time in the tournament, they moved into attack mode. Though they were very tired, the lure of fourth place was strong, and Scotland did not help themselves by sitting back too much, leaving them with no out ball when they regained possession. The Scots were tired too and mistakes began to creep in amongst the defence, though Alan Auld stood firm and showed the others how to do it. Scotland rode out the pressure from Belgium and went back to the passing game for the last few minutes, though the occasional crash ball when a sideways pass was on did give the Belgians some hope of getting something out of the match.

In the end, Scotland amply deserved the victory, which moved them into fourth place. With no chance of improving that position, a win against Wales in their last match will be enough to guarantee fourth, and a draw will probably be enough.

Netherlands Flag Netherlands 7 Wales 1Wales Flag

Saturday 26 August Clydesdale Scotland Flag Scotland 1 (Springford) Wales 2 (Chorlton, Day) Wales Flag

Scotland started this match in a lethargic manner, and never really took a grip, any good passages of play terminating in a poor pass or miscontrol of the ball. Cack-handed Welsh forward Martin Day caused the drowsy Scottish defence all sorts Scotland were trying to play their passing game but with little penetration. Ten minutes into the match, Wales took the lead after Martin Day picked up the ball on his left hand side, cut inside the next defender, then took out goalkeeper Nigel Dixon with a simple reverse pass across to the right, where his grateful forward partner Malcolm Chorlton was waiting to prod the ball into the unguarded Scottish net. The tenacity of Scottish forward Norrie Springford brought the Scots back into the game when a solo run resulted in the equalising goal at the end of the first quarter.

Scotland seemed to be playing as if a draw would be good enough, starting the second half little more positively than the first, The Scottish defence was beginning to show signs of tiredness, not helped by their inability to find a Scottish player with a clearance, and Wales put Scotland under severe pressure. When the goal came, it was not as a result of pressure but of 'footering' at the back. Scotland had possession but somehow contrived to lose the ball in their circle. Martin Day poked the ball towards the goal with no great force but a defender got in Nigel Dixon's way and the ball dribbled slowly over the line to make the score 2-1 to Wales. Though there was ample time for Scotland to equalise, and they dominated possession for the rest of the match, all their attacks ended without result and Wales overtook them to claim an almost certain fourth place in the tournament.

Scotland would go on to end up fifth ahead of Belgium who went down on the last day to Netherlands.

England Flag England 0 Netherlands 0 Netherlands Flag

Sunday 27 August England Flag England 6 Germany 0 Germany Flag     Netherlands Flag Netherlands 5 Belgium 0 Belgium Flag


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
England 5 4 1 0 21 0 21 13
Netherlands 5 4 1 0 20 2


Germany 5 2 1 2 7 11 -4 7
Wales 5 1 1 3 3 13 -10 4
Scotland 5 1 0 4 3 15 -12 3
Belgium 5 0 2 3 0 13 -13 2


Alan Auld, David Ballingall, David Cassell, Roy Crichton, Nigel Dixon (GK), Ian Downie, Andy Ferrol, Kieran McLernan (captain), David Margerison, Doug Morrice, Robbie Robertson, Murdoch Shirreffs*, Norrie Springford, Alan Strachan, Colin Tucker, Sandy Weir

*left after third match

2017 Grand Masters European Cup

2017 Great Grand Masters European Cup

2017 Grand Masters Tournament Trophy

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