2018 Grand Masters Celtic Cup
Lille, France 20-22 April 2018
The Celtic Cup on 20-22 April took place on the new astroturf pitch at Polo Hockey Club 200 Chemin Poivré, 59700 Marcq-en-Barœul, France. Four teams competed for the Grand Masters (Over 60) trophy in a round robin competion over three days: France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. All matches were played in four quarters of fifteen minutes with a ten minute break at half time and an interval of two minutes between quarters.
Ireland retained the Celtic Cup, remaining undefeated over the whole tournament without a goal scored against them. Having drawn 0-0 with Ireland and beaten France, Scotland would have needed a victory against Wales in their final match to win the trophy, but lost the game to finish in third place with Wales in second. The hosts, France, brought up the rear. Scotland can rue their inability to score a single goal from a short corner, of which they had many in their three matches.
Scotland began their tournament with a 0-0 draw against Ireland, incessant Scottish pressure failing to bring a goal while Ireland were always a threat on the break.
On the second day, Scotland brushed aside France with a convincing 7-0 victory, two goals from Niall Sturrock setting them on their way. Alistair Hay also claimed a brace, with Alasdair McArthur, Glenn Paton and Billy Taylor scoring one apiece. As on the first day, none of Scotland's many short corners was converted or the score could have been even higher.
Scotland were in a strong position to win the cup on goal difference if they could beat Wales in the final match. Sadly, Scotland played badly in a tousy affair and it was Wales who came out winners 1-0, relegating the Scots to third place.
Friday 20 April
France 0 Wales 3
Scotland 0 Ireland 0
Saturday 21 April
Wales 0 Ireland 1
France 0 Scotland 7
Sunday 22 April
Scotland 0 Wales 1
Ireland 4 France 0
David Rowlands had to withdraw and was replaced by Alasdair McArthur