Scottish Masters LX Hockey Club 2018

The highlight of 2018 was the World Grand Masters Hockey Cup in Barcelona in June, Scottish Thistles winning the silver medal. Scotland Senior Grand Masters retained the Over 70 Celtic Cup in Marcq-en-Baroeul, France in April.

The international year began in March when Scotland Senior Grand Masters went down heavily to England in Durham. Next up in April was the Celtic Cup in Marcq-en-Baroeul, France, where Scotland once again finished with a first, second and third. Senior Grand Masters won their competition against Wales, Great Grand Masters won their first two matches but lost out to Wales in their final match to fnish second, and Grand Masters finished third. The 2017 Home Internationals were held in Dublin in May, England as usual winning all three age groups. Scotland Grand Masters could not improve on their third position in the Celtic Cup, finishing behind the hosts with only a win over Wales to show for what was an improved performance. The Great Grand Masters side finished without a goal or a win, and Scotland Senior Grand Masters lost out to Wales on goal difference to fnish third in their competition.

The 2018 WGMA World Cup and Tournament Trophy took place in June in Barcelona, Scotland once again being represented by three international sides and a Scottish Thistles team. Scottish Thistles took the plaudits after beating England LX in a penalty shoot out in the semi final of the Over 60 Tournament Trophy, only to lose narrowly to Southern Cross in the final, claiming Scotland's first ever World medal at this level. Scotland Grand Masters were unlucky to lose out to the hosts Spain in the quarter finals in a match they dominated. A win against New Zealand set them up for a return match against Australia for fifth place but the Aussies once again defeated Scotland to leave them in sixth place, the same position they occupied in the 2016 World Cup. Scotland Great Grand Masters finished fourth in their group, qualifying to play off for places 9-12, and won a penalty shoot out against Ireland to earn a place in the 10-11 final. Short of a number of players, they could not overcome Belgium and finished tenth. Scotland Senior Grand Masters also finished fourth in their group to put them nto the 5-8 play offs, where they finished in eighth place

Scottish Thistles began a busy year in Lille in March for the annual Jacques Lévy tournament where for the first time they fielded two teams. The Blue team fnished fourth and the White team sixth. 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. The following month, an over 70 team bolstered by a couple of younger players and some guest substitutes took part in the Aspirants Seven a Side Tournament in Wellingborough and a mixed age team played a Cumbria select in Penrith. May saw Thistles off to Tilburg for the third year in succession, then Scottish Thistles Over 70 took on England LX Over 70 and the full England Over 75 squad in Cockermouth. The same weekend, as preparation for the World Cup, a strong Scottish Thistles squad recorded two victories against their Irish counterparts in Bedford. June saw Thistles win their group in the World Cup Tournament Trophy to qualify for the 1-4 playoffs, where they faced the Auld Enemy in the semi final. While they have stll not recorded a victory over England LX in eighteen years of trying, they drew the match 2-2 after havng led twice, and won the penalty shoot out at a canter to qualify for the final, where they faced the only team to have beaten them, Southern Cross. Sadly the Australians once more had the upper hand and Thistles had to settle for a very creditable silver. Trips to the Dragons Festival in Swansea in July and participation along with Welsh Dragons in the England LX North East Tour in Durham in September completed a very full season for Scottish Thistles.

Scotland Over 70 in Durham

Scotland Senior Grand Masters squad lost 8-0 to England at Durham on Wednesday 7 March after travel difficuilties led to there being only four Scots at the pitch at the appointed start time. With time for only a brief warm up before the delayed start, Scotland never got in to the game, shipping three goals in the first half and a further five in the second.

English keeper thwarts Colin Tucker Durham March 2018
Colin Tucker thwarted by England keeper
Photograph ©2018 Will Palmer

match report

Scottish Thistles in Lille

Jacques Lévy Tournament 2018

Scottish Thistles travelled to Lille for the 21st Jacques Lévy Superveterans Tournament on the weekend of 16-18 March 2018, for the first time entering two teams, Blues and Whites. Scottish Thistles Blue finshed in third place behind winners Welsh Dragons and second placed England LX, and Scottish Thistles White were sixth. reports and results

Committee 2018-19

Following the 2018 AGM, the new committee is as follows:

Kieran McLernan President and Club Captain
John Hay Secretary
John Smith Treasurer
John Bennett, John Candlin, Peter Gordon (also Over 65 Team Co-ordinator) and Bernie Morrison (also Over 60 Team Co-ordinator) Ordinary Committee Members
Niall Sturrock (International Sub-Committee Chair)
Mike McInally (Scottish Thistles Sub-Committee Chair)
Roy Crichton (Over 70 Team Co-ordinator) is also invited to attend meetings.

Aspirants Sevens Tournament 6-8 April

A small squad of five Over 70 Scottish Thistles players with two underagers travelled to Wellinborough to take part for the first time in this friendly tournament played alongside the English Regional Over 75 Championships. With the addition of a 14 year old and a lady player from other teams for some of their matches, they finished fourth in the tournament.

report

Penrith 15 April

Scottish Thistles Over 60 (with a good number of older players) went down 5-0 to a Cumbria select on 15 April at Penrith

Senior Grand Masters retain Celtic Cup

Scotland were represented by Grand Masters, Great Grand Masters and Senior Grand Masters at the Celtic Cup in Marcq-en-Baroeul, France on 20-22 April.

Kieran McLernan receiving the 2018 Senior Grand Masters Celtic Cup - photograph by Anne-Laure HappeCaptain Kieran McLernan receives SGM Celtic Cup from Gilles Destailleurs

Scotland Senior Grand Masters retained the Over 70 trophy with a 0-0 draw and a 2-1 win against Wales. Next best placed were Scotland Great Grand Masters who finished second behind Wales, while Scotland Grand Masters slipped to third place behind Wales with Ireland the winners of the premier trophy.

 

No Goals in Tilburg

Scottish Thistles played eight matches in the Third International Veterans Hockey Tournament in Tilburg, Netherlands on 4-6 May, putting in a good defensive display but lacking a cutting edge. report

Scotland falter in Dublin

In the 2018 Home Internationals at Three Rock Rovers HC, Dublin, Scotland Over 60s beat Wales 3-1 on the final day to finish in third place after losing to both England and Ireland. Scotland Over 65s lost all their matches, finishing in fourth place in the Great Grand Masters tournament, and Scotland Senior Grand Masters' draw against Wales was not enough to keep them out of third place on goal difference behind England and Wales.

Two Blanks in Cockermouth

Scottish Thistles Over 70 lost 2-0 to the England Over 75 squad in the Lake District on Friday 18 May. A trophy in memory of Gerry Toner was presented to the winners. Thistles lost 3-0 to England LX Over 70 the following morning. report

Two wins for Scottish Thistles in Bedford

Scottish Thistles took on their Irish counterparts on 19 and 20 May in Bedford in a double header training weekend, and won both matches (the first after a penalty shoot out after the match ended 2-2). report

World Cup Silver for Thistles

Scottish Thistles Silver Medal Barcelona 2018

In the 9th Grand Masters World Cup held in Barcelona from 20-30 June 2018, Scottish Thistles beat England LX in a semi final penalty shoot out and just fell short of winning the Gold Medal in the Grand Masters Tournament Trophy, going down narrowly to Southern Cross in the final.

Scotland Grand Masters put up a great fight against Australia in their 5-6 play off after beating New Zealand 4-0 in the 5-8 semi final but lost 3-1 to finish in sixth place. Scotland Great Grand Masters finished tenth and Scotland Senior Grand Masters were eighth in their respective competitions.

Results and reports: Grand Masters     Great Grand Masters     Senior Grand Masters     Scottish Thistles

Thistles in Swansea

Scottish Thistles once more took part in the Dragons Festival in Swansea on 27-8 July - read all about it.

Thistles in Durham

Scottish Thistles rounded off the year by participating in the England LX North East Tour in Durham on 12-13 September along with Welsh Dragons - report

Alistair Ogilvie 1955-2018

Alistair Ogilvie

Alistair Ogilvie passed away peacefully after a short illness on Wednesday 10 October 2018.

Alistair was a very valuable member of the Organising Committee for the European Championships last year. His willingness to accept any role asked of him, his attention to detail and foresight in organisation were invaluable and much appreciated. Many of you will know what a delight he was to play with not just in the international team but also in the Scottish Thistles. His  subtlety, sense of position, eye for a gap and speed of reaction will be sadly missed. More importantly, we have all lost a friend and colleague.

2020 World Cup Confirmed for Japan

Following the 2018 WGMA Congress in Barcelona, when delegates were asked to choose between Netherlands and Japan for the venue of the next World Cup, and a large majority chose Japan, WGMA has announced that the 2020 World Cup will be held on the three pitches at the Olympic Hockey Stadium to be build at Oi Seaside Park, near Tokyo Haneda Airport.

Artist's impression of the main hockey stadium for 2020 Olympics

Artist's impression of the main hockey venue for Tokyo 2020 Photo: Tokyo Metropolitan Government