2019 European Cup - Great Grand Masters (Over 65)

Dragons HC, Brasschaat, Belgium 19-29 June 2019

The 2019 Grand Masters European Cup and Tournament Trophy takes place at Dragons Hockey Club, Brasschaat, Belgium from Wednesday 19 to Saturday 29 June. In the Great Grand Masters European Cup, there will be nine teams in this tournament in one pool of five teams and one pool of four teams: Belgium, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain and Wales.

Scotland are in Pool B along with Belgium, Netherlands and Wales. On the first day of the competition, Netherlands comprehensively beat Belgium 5-0 while Scotland fought out a 1-1 draw with Wales, a goal scored by John Connaghan but wrongly credited to Gerry McBride just before half time equalising after Wales had gone ahead at the end of the first quarter through Richard Chapman. Netherlands top the group after beating the hosts Belgium 5-0. In Pool A, England lead after a 3-0 win over Ireland while Germany and Spain tied 2-2.

In the 2018 World Cup in Barcelona, Scotland finished in tenth place, losing out (with a depleted side) to Belgium in the 9-10 final. Wales took the Bronze medal and must be considered favourites, but Scotland have had an influx of new blood and beat Wales in the recent Four Nations Tournament in Aberdeen. Netherlands, who finished seventh in Barcelona, will be stronger nearer to home - this is a very competitive group.

Pool A Results

Thursday 20 June

Netherlands Flag Netherlands 5 Belgian Flag Belgium 0

Welsh Flag Wales 1 (Chapman) Scotland Flag Scotland 1 (Connaghan)

In an evenly fought match, Wales were on top in the first half and Scotland in the second, but both goals came in the first half. Richard Chapman put Wales ahead after Wales slipped the ball left at a short corner at the end of the first quarter. Scottish keeper Chris Kalman could only deflect the shot into the net off his pads. With the Welsh in command and threatening to increase their lead, Scotland replied near the end of the half against the run of play when Hew Bishop too the ball into the circle on the right and attempted a flick to beat the Welsh keeper. With the keeper favourite to save the flick, John Connaghan came charging in and smashed the ball into the net from a height of about six feet past the helpless goalie. Wales could not maintain the high level of effort they had put in during the first half and were 'blowing' as the second half went on, with the Scots coming more and more into the game. Though Scotland had the bulk of the possession in the second half, they could not find a winner and a draw was a fair result.

Saturday 22 June

Welsh Flag Wales 1 Netherlands Flag Netherlands 1

Belgian Flag Belgium 0 Scotland Flag Scotland 1 (Bishop)

Scotland's second game of the European Cup group stages -v- Belgium was played in hot and humid conditions. Scotland won the early exchanges and forced Belgium to defend in numbers - sometimes with extremely robust challenges! After the early exchanges, the game became more end-to-end with Belgium playing some nice short pass hockey and Scotland relying on their defenders under Ian Wilson to keep them at bay. After half time, Scotland continued to press Belgium back into defence time and time again and eventually scored through a Derek Johnstone drive into the "D" and pass to Hew Bishop who had crept in unnoticed near the goal line and promptly deflected the ball past the despairing Belgium goalkeeper. This completely deflated the Belgians and the Scots saw out the last three minutes of the game with relative ease. It would have been a travesty had Scotland not won the game and with Wales drawing 1-1 with Netherlands in the other group game, it leaves us with all still to play for.

Monday 24 June

Welsh Flag Wales 6 Belgian Flag Belgium 2

Netherlands Flag Netherlands 0 Scotland Flag Scotland 0

The game was played in "brutal" conditions - 33degC and very humid. Scotland had the bulk of the play in the first quarter, Netherlands had the bulk of the play in the 2nd quarter and the second half was about equal. Scotland's biggest threat came from open play attacks while Netherlands were always looking for penalty corners which the Scots defence continually did well to repel. Towards the end of the game Scotland pushed really hard for the single goal which surely would have been a game winner. Rignt at the end, gordon Loudon bore in on the Dutch "D" looking for a pass to the Scots attackers but the massed Netherlands defence got the ball away.

Sadly, Scotland missed out on a place in the semi finals when three out of the four teams in Pool B finished level on five points. They remain unbeaten in the tournament with two draws and a victory but go out on goal difference. It also shows how tight the margin between success and failure when you realise that Scotland have only lost one goal in three games against tough opposition. In the end, it was the inability to kill off Belgium which cost Scotland as the other two teams had beaten Belgium by bigger scores, while all the matches between the three contenders had ended in draws. This means that we now join Spain, Ireland and France in the 5th to 9th round-robin play-offs. However, injuries to Jim Bate, Jim Chisholm and Peter Robertson and the fact that Stuart Robertson has to head home after the next game means that the already small squad is severely depleted. Netherlands will now play Wales to decide first and second place in the pool, and who would bet against the match going to penalties?

Wednesday 26 June

09:30 Pitch 1 Netherlands Flag Netherlands 2 Welsh Flag Wales 0
Netherlands qualified in first place in Pool B

Altiusrt results and information

Great Grand Masters Pool B











3 1 1 0 6 1 5 5


3 1 2 0 2 1 5 1


3 1 2 0 8 4 5 4


3 0 0 3 2 12 0 -10

The teams finishing first and second in Pool B played each other again after the Pool matches were completed, the aggregate score with their pool match deciding the final placing. The winner plays the team finishing second in Pool A and the loser the team finishing first in that pool in the Semi Finals; the winners of these matches play in the Final and the losers play off for third place. The teams finishing third and fourth in Pool A play in a round robin to determine places 5-9 with the teams finishing third, fourth and fifth in Pool B, carrying forward the results of matches already played in the respective pools.

Cross Over/Final Ties

Thursday 27 June

French Flag France 2 Scotland Flag Scotland 3 5-9 Round Robin

This match proved to be a ding dong battle with Scotland and France trading goals, and it took until the final minute for Scotland to seal victory. John Connaghan's penalty corner strike in the first quarter put the Scots one up but Christophe Lyon replied from a French penalty corner to make the score 1-1 at the end of the first quarter. After a goalless second quarter, John Connaghan scored his second goal from open play and again France equalised from a penalty corner, Michel Laminie scoring to make it 2-2. With the match almost over, a Hew Bishop open play strike secured the points for Scotland and the match finished 3-2. With two more matches to go, Scotland are still undefeated but are behind Ireland and Spain on goal difference in the round robin.

English Flag England 3 Welsh Flag Wales 1 1-4 Semi Final

Netherlands Flag Netherlands 1(4) German Flag Germany 1(2) 1-4 Semi Final
Netherlands won the penalty shoot out 3-1

Spanish Flag Spain 2 Belgian Flag Belgium 1 5-9 Round Robin

Friday 28 June

All Ireland Flag Ireland 4 Belgian Flag Belgium 0 5-9 Round Robin

Spanish Flag Spain 0 Scotland Flag Scotland 1 (Bishop) 5-9 Round Robin

Going into this match, Spain were ahead of Scotland on goal difference and a win was vital if the Scots were going to have a chance of fifth place. Scotland had the best of the early exchanges but Spain were always dangerous on the break and were trying hard for short corners which were all easily repelled by the Scotland defence. Scotland eventually broke the deadlock in the third quarter when a flowing move from the back to the left hand side got the ball over to George Finlayson in the centre of midfield. George moved it on quickly to Hew Bishop in the Spanish circle to deflect the ball past a helpless goalkeeper. Scotland then had to withstand an onslaught of Spanish attacks in the final quarter with virtually all the Scottish players behind the ball trying to break up their attacks. Spanish shots in the circle were well dealt with by Chris Kalman in goal along with the Scotland backline marshalled by Ian Wilson. Scotland did really well considering that they had only two substititutes (one injured) and were unable to swap out players on a regular basis. The players on the pitch just had to "dig deep" but the result justified the effort. Five games undefeated with two draws and three wins to date. Only a win over Ireland on the final day will be enough to give them fifth place as the sides are level on points but Ireland have a better goal difference. Still, sixth place at least is guaranteed as Spain have played all their matches and trail by three points, and the other sides in the round robin trail well behind.

Saturday 29 June

French Flag France 2 Belgian Flag Belgium 2 5-9 Round Robin

Welsh Flag Wales 3 German Flag Germany 4 Bronze Medal

English Flag England 1 Netherlands Flag Netherlands 2 Gold/Silver

All Ireland Flag Ireland 0 Scotland Flag Scotland 3 5-9 Round Robin

Scotland started this game knowing that only a victory would give them the coveted fifth spot in the Grand Masters European Cup. However, playing the game in searing heat and with onlytwelve fit players showed just how big a task this was to be. Scotland started on the front foot and took the game to the Irish from the off. There were some nice passing moves with Scotland showing patience in their build up. Scotland opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Bernie Morrison received a 20m pass from Derek Johnstone at the back post and deflected the ball past the diving keeper. It was no more than Scotland deserved but not content with this, they continued to attack the Irish. The second Scottish goal was not far behind the first. Ian Wilson broke up a promising Irish attack and passed to Bernie Morrison who immediately sent it down the field to Gordon Loudon who passed it to John Connaghan at the edge of the Irish "D". John dummied a front stick shot, turned quickly and scored with a reverse stick shot. Not long after this Billy Pollock sent John Smith sprawling into the Scotland net and promptly received a yellow card - not sure if it was for the tackle or dissent for not getting a penalty flick! Scotland had a two goal cushion at half time but knew that Ireland would resume their attacking in the third quarter - and so it proved to be. However, the Scots midfield and defence were up to the task. Scotland had some good incisive attacking moves and the third goal came from one of them. Derek Johnstone passed to Bernie Morrison on the edge of the Irish circle and Bernie slipped the ball on to John Connaghan who took the ball under control and sent a super shot past the Irish Keeper. 3-0 to the Scots. As expected. the Irish kept attacking and were awarded a penalty flick in the 67th minute when Billy Pollock fell in the Scots circle. To most people it looked like he had slipped but the umpire decided that Chris Kalman had aided his visit to the pitch. Stuart Egner took a poor penalty flick which Chris Kalman dealt with easily. It just wasn't to be Ireland's day. The Scots saw the game out comfortably to record a great 3-0 win. So, the over 65s ended the European Cup tournament unbeaten (four wins and two draws) matching Netherlands who won Gold. Added to this at this level it was Scotland's first win over Spain and Belgium, and the first time that Netherlands hadn't beaten us. Only three goals conceded in six games and four clean sheets - not sure that they could have done much better.

5-9 Round Robin Table

  P W D L F A Pt GD
Scotland 4 4 0 0 8 2 12 6
Ireland 4 3 0 1 8 4 9 4
Spain 4 2 0 2 7 4 6 3
Belgium 4 0 1 3 3 8 1 -5
France 4 0 1 3 6 13 1 -7

Final Standings

Netherlands Gold, England Silver, Germany Bronze, Wales 4th, Scotland 5th, Ireland 6th, Spain 7th, Belgium 8th, France 9th

Scotland Squad

Chris Kalman (GK)​​​, Ian Wilson, Gerry McBride​​​, Jim Bate*, Hew Bishop, John Candlin†, Jim Chisholm, John Connaghan, George Finlayson, Derek Johnstone, Gordon Loudon, Les Mitchell, Bernie Morrison, Peter Robertson•, Stuart Robertson••, John Smith
*missed Belgium match **missed semi final and Bronze Medal matches †played only first two matches

Player-Coach Ian Wilson, Manager Donnie Watson