Scottish Veterans LX Hockey Club 2017

The highlight of 2017 was the World Grand Masters European Cup in Glasgow in August, the first major grand masters tournament held in Scotland. Scotland Senior Grand Masters won the inaugural Over 70 Celtic Cup in Cork in April.

The international year began in February when Scotland Senior Grand Masters went down 4-0 to England in Durham. Next up in April was the Celtic Cup in Cork, where Scotland finished with a first, second and third. Senior Grand Masters won their competition, Grand Masters narrowly lost out to the hosts to finish second and Great Grand Masters finished third. Swansea was the venue for the 2017 Home Internationals, England as usual winning all three age groups. Scotland nearly finished second in each competition but the Great Grand Masters side saw Ireland snatch second place from them with only five minutes left in their final match.

The focus turned to Glasgow in August for the 2017 European Cup and Tournament Trophy, Scotland being represented by three international sides and a Scottish Thistles team as well as organising the very well run tournament. Unfortunately, the medals eluded all the teams, though Scotland Grand Masters lost only one match and were two minutes away from qualifying for the semi finals when Germany scored an equaliser to put them through instead. The best placed teams were Scotland Grand Masters and Scotland Senior Grand Masters, both of which ended in fifth place in their respective competitions. Scotland LX (Scottish Thistles) finished in sixth place in the Grand Masters Tournament Trophy, the same position they achieved in 2015. After losing a penalty shoot out against Belgium following a draw in their cross over tie, Scotland Grand Masters beat Wales in their final match to end in seventh place, a position which was a very poor reward for a team which generally played very well.

Scottish Thistles began a busy year in Lille in March where they finished fourth in the annual Jacques Lévy tournament. It was back to France for the Easter weekend at Le Touquet, where inability to put the ball in the was the theme of the tournament. In June, Cumbria travelled to Edinburgh where Thistles recorded a narrow victory in a high scoring match and later the same month saw a trip to the Netherlands for the Tilburg International Tournament, where the international goal drought finally came to an end. England LX Red Over 60 travelled to Glasgow Green in July in preparation for the European Tournament Trophy, and proved too strong for a mixed age Scottish Thistles side. Later the same month, Scottish Thistles played two matches against the Aardvarks touring side at Meggetland, Edinburgh, age once again counting against them, then it was on to Swansea for the Dragons Festival, where Thistles came back with only a point in a competition dominated by sides preparing for the European Cup and Tournament Trophy. A creditable sixth place in the European Tournament Trophy in Glasgow was the August highlight, and the season finished with a trip to Newcastle and Durham in October where Scottish Thistles had a long awaited draw with England LX Red in their final match.

Scotland Over 70 in Durham

Scotland Senior Grand Masters squad lost 4-0 to England at Durham on Tuesday 28 February in a game of two halves, England scoring all their goals in the second half.
match report

Scotland captain Ally Philip presents Scotland LX whisky  to England captain Brian Perryman

Scotland Captain Ally Philip presents Scotland LX
whisky to England Captain Brian Perryman

Scottish Thistles Fourth in Lille

Scottish Thistles Lille March 2017

Scottish Thistles travelled to Lille for the 20th Jacques Lévy Superveterans Tournament on the weekend of 17-19 March 2017, finishing in fourth position. England LX retained the trophy for the fifth successive year and Welsh Dragons took second place, with Egypt in third. In the end, the unexpected defeats by Supervétérans France A on the first day of the tournament and Italians on the second day were decisive in preventing Scottish Thistles from making the final. Thistles played some superb, passing hockey at times but frustratingly could not produce the same form in every game. reports and results

Committee 2017-18

Following the AGM on Sunday 2 April, the new committee is as follows:

Kieran McLernan President and Club Captain
John Hay Secretary
John Smith Treasurer
John Candlin, John Connaghan and Peter Gordon Ordinary Committee Members
1 vacancy for Ordinary Committee Member

No goals for Scottish Thistles in Le Touquet

Scottish Thistles ended the third over 60 Le Touquet international tournament over the 2017 Easter Weekend with three successive 0-0 draws, inability to convert possession into goals costing them dear. Their only defeats came at the hands of the two French sides, the premier team Supervétérans France ending up tournament winners. Socially, the event was a great success and Thistles are looking forward eagerly to an invitation to the 2018 tournament.

Scottish Thistles squad in Le Touquet 2017

results and reports

match report

WGMA and IMHA to Merge

In an FIH press release on 13 April 2017, it was announced that a new single body for Masters hockey would be formed from the International Masters Hockey Association (which currently manages Masters hockey for all age groups up to Over 66) and the World Grand Masters Hockey Association. Members of both associations will vote on the proposals at General Meetings to be held in August 2017. WGMA delegates will be given the opportunity to discuss the proposal at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held during the Grand Masters Hockey European Cup in Glasgow on Tuesday 22 August 2017 at 17:30 in the Glasgow Green Football Centre.

diagram of proposed structure

Gerald Wilkinson 1934-2017

Gerald Wilkinson 1934-2017

Gerald Wilkinson, a driving force behind England Grand Masters hockey and often a thorn in the side of Scotland teams, passed away in early April 2017 after suffering from leukaemia and motor neurone disease.

obituary on WGMA website

Over 70s Win Celtic Cup in Cork

Senior Grand Masters Gold Medal Celtic Cup 2017

Scotland Over 70s beat Wales Over 70s 1-0 in the 2017 Celtic Cup in Cork, Ireland on Saturday 29 April 2017 to claim the inaugural Senior Grand Masters Celtic Cup. The two sides played again on Sunday 30 April and once again Scotland came out on top, this time by 2-1.

Scotland Over 60s narrowly lost 0-1 to Ireland in their final match, Ireland scoring early against the run of play and holding out valiantly against constant Scottish pressure to take the trophy away from the holders, Scotland finishing second. A draw would have been enough for Scotland after an impressive 5-0 win against Wales on the second day after opening their account with a convincing 7-0 win over France.

The Great Grand Masters team finally recorded a victory in their last match, winning 2-1 against France, and finished in third place behind Wales and Ireland. They had gone down 2-1 to Ireland after taking the lead in their second match following a 0-0 draw against Wales in a match which could have gone either way.

fixtures and results

Fiona Smith

Fiona Smith

Fiona Smith, wife of our Treasurer John Smith, sadly passed away on Sunday 7 May. Fiona accompanied John on a number of hockey trips and was a regular at the Dundee AGM weekends. We will all miss her.

Scottish Thistles Edge Out Cumbria

Scottish Thistles narrowly won 4-3 against a Cumbria Select at Meggetland, Edinburgh on Sunday 4 June 2017 with goals from Stuart Robertson, Roy Crichton and two from Paul Bateson. match report

Scotland Over 70s beat Scotland Over 60 Ladies

In a training match played at Peffermill on Sunday 11 June 2017, the Scotland Over 70 men's squad, bolstered by a few younger substitutes who made cameo appearances, overcame the Scotland Over 60 Ladies squad 2-0 with goals by one of the substitutes, Peter Robertson, and Colin Tucker. match report

Scottish Thistles in Tilburg

Scottish Thistles, playing for the second time in the 60-67 age group at the Tilburg International Hockey Tournament on 23-25 June 2017, picked up after a chaotic first day caused by transport difficulties, picking up a win and two draws in the final three matches of the tournament. Tim Lorimer, returning from a long period out of the game, scored two of their goals and George Pickett the other.

Scottish Thistles and Italy teams in Tilburg 2017

results and match report

Two second places for Scotland in Wales

Both Scotland Grand Masters and Scotland Senior Grand Masters claimed second place in their respective tournaments in Swansea in the Home Internationals, played over the weekend of 30 June - 2 July 2017. Scotland Great Grand Masters saw second place snatched from their grasp with five minutes to go in their final match on Sunday 2 July, Ireland scoring a winner to demote Scotland to third place on goal difference.

Once more England swept the board, winning each of the three age group tournaments. Wales collected the wooden spoon, finishing last in all three competitions.

tournament results and tables

Aardvarks Too Hot For Thistles

An Over 65 Scottish Thistles team went down 4-1 to touring side Aardvarks at Meggetland on Saturday 15 July 2017. The following day, a Scottish Thistles side with a mixture of Over 60 and Over 70 players, and John Smith's much younger son Chris and wife Shelley, narrowly lost 2-1 to the visitors.

Scottish Thistles Go Down to England LX

Scottish Thistles and England LX Red teams 8 July 2017 Glasgow Green

Scottish Thistles lost 6-1 to England LX Red in a friendly match played at Glasgow National Hockey Centre on 8 July 2017.

match report         action photos by Andy Lovat

England Over 75s Pip Scottish Thistles Over 70

Eight of the Scotland Over 70 squad for the European Cup, joined by keeper Dick Pearce and assisted by three underage players, took on the full England Over 75 squad on Friday 21 July 2017 at Cockermouth, Cumbria. In a closely contested match, England ran out 2-1 winners. On Saturday 22 July, England LX Red proved too hot a handful for the Scots who went down 7-1.

Scottish Thistles Over 70 Cockermouth July 2017
report

Over 65s too strong for Scotland Ladies

Scotland Over 60 Ladies, with a number of players unavailable because of holidays, took on the Scotland Men's Over 65 squad at Glasgow Green on Sunday 23 July 2017 in a training match ahead of the European Cup in August. For the record, the men won 7-0 but it was a useful exercise for both sides.

Peter Gordon in action against Scotland Over 60 Ladies
good old shoulder charge ...

photographs by Andy Lovat

Thistles at Dragons Festival

Tim Lorimer organised a last minute Scottish Thistles trip to the annual Dragons Festival in Swansea, bringing on board a number of guest players, and they had the usual good time over the weekend of 28-29 July 2017. Faced with stronger than expected opposition, most of the teams using the tournament as final preparation for the European Cup, Thistles found the going tough but emerged with heads held high. report

Scottish Thistles in Dragons Festival 2017 Swansea

Over 70s draw with Scotland Ladies

Ten of the Scotland Over 70 squad for the European Cup, with Dick Pearce replacing Nigel Dixon in goal, took on Scotland Over 60 Ladies who fielded a number of younger players at Peffermill on Sunday 6 August. The men took command from the start and had a number of chances in the first quarter but the ladies came back into the game in the second quarter, forcing a number of short corners, from one of which they scored after a goalmouth stramash. The Over 70s replied from their first short corner soon after when Roy Crichton slipped the ball back to injector Ian Downie to score the equaliser. Both sides created more chances but good goalkeeping from both keepers kept the score at 1-1.

Scotland Host European Cup

Grand Masters Hockey European Cup

Scotland hosted the 2017 Grand Masters Hockey European Cup at Glasgow National Hockey Centre, Clydesdale Hockey Club and Strathclyde University Playing Fields, Millerston on 19-27 August 2017. The event included a Tournament Trophy for non-national teams and, for the first time, the Women's Over 60 European Cup.

The Club set up a limited company SVLXHCEvents Limited to administer the tournament. The Host Nation Organising Committee was made up entirely of club members: Kieran McLernan, John Connaghan, Jim Chisholm, Peter Monaghan, Niall Sturrock, Alan Auld, Norrie Springford, Gerry Toner and Iain McKay, Tournament Director.

tournament website     Facebook page

Scotland Grand Masters Fifth

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 three venues: Glasgow National Hockey Centre (2 pitches), Clydesdale and Millerston, but none of the Scotland teams played at Millerston.

Scotland Senior Grand Masters were the best placed side in the 2015 European Cup in London, coming home with bronze, while Scotland Grand Masters finished fourth after going down to Spain in their 3rd/4th final. Scotland Great Grand Masters did not compete in London, while the Tournament Trophy Team, playing as Scottish Thistles, had more ground to make up. With home advantage all were looking for medals.

Unfortunately, the medals eluded all the teams, though Scotland Grand Masters lost only one match and were two minutes away from qualifying for the semi finals when Germany scored an equaliser to put them through instead. The best placed teams were Scotland Grand Masters and Scotland Senior Grand Masters, both of which ended in fifth place in their respective competitions. Scotland LX (Scottish Thistles) finished in sixth place in the Grand Masters Tournament Trophy, the same position they achieved in 2015. After losing a penalty shoot out against Belgium following a draw in their cross over tie, Scotland Grand Masters beat Wales in their final match to end in seventh place, a position which was a very poor reward for a team which generally played very well.

You can watch YouTube video recordings of the Over 60 European Cup and Tournament Trophy sides' matches and the Over 70 European Cup match, courtesy of QTV Sports.

Subscribe to the YouTube Grand Masters European Cup channel where you can also catch up on any of the action you have missed, or relive your moments of glory.

European Cup schedule
results, reports, Scotland match schedules and squads

Scottish Thistles in North East England

Scottish Thistles, England LX Red and England LX White Durham October 2017

Scottish Thistles took on England LX White and England LX Red in double header matches in Newcastle on Wednesday 11 October and in Durham on Thursday 12 October. report

President Strikes Gold in Tasmania

For the second year in succession, President Kieran McLernan returned from the Australian Masters Hockey Championships with a Gold Medal.

Kieran McLernan with three awards Hobart 2017

With Western Australia Country unable to field an Over 75 side, Kieran switched to the State team, which won the Gold Medal. Kieran also picked up the top goalscorer and man of the tournament awards to add to his Gold.

Gerry Toner 1942-2017

After a long battle with illness, Gerry Toner passed away peacefully in hospital on Saturday 25 November 2017.

Alison and Gerry Toner in umpire fitness Test Neuss 2011

Gerry & Alison Toner fitness test Neuss 2011

Gerry represented Scotland as our umpire at tournaments all over the world, and behind the scenes he was our auditor for many years. He will be missed.

There was a Requiem Mass for Gerry in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Maryhill Road, Glasgow, at 10:00 on Tuesday 5 December 2017 with interment thereafter at Langfaulds Cemetery. There was a good attendance from the club: Alan and Pam Auld, George and Anne Black, Graham Conkie, Ernie di Rollo, Kieran McLernan, Peter and Marjory Monaghan, Brian Moore, Doug and Joan Morrice, and Niall Sturrock.