2019 European Tournament Trophy - 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. In the Great Grand Masters Tournament Trophy, there will be ten teams competing: Alliance, Argentina, England LX Red and White, Germany 2, Netherlands 2, Scottish Thistles, Sixtiberians, Southern Cross Red and Blue and Welsh Dragons.

This is the first time that Scottish Thistles have entered an Over 65 team in a major championship but a win earlier in 2019 in the International Veterans Tournament in Tilburg has raised their hopes of an good performance in Benelux. In the 2018 World Cup GGM TT (Over 65), England LX won gold, with Netherlands and Southern Cross taking silver and bronze.

Scottish Thistles were in Pool B with Argentina, England LX White, Germany and Southern Cross Blue. Southern Cross Blue proved too hard for a thin Scottish Thistles squad to handle in the first round of matches, winning 6-0, while England LX White moved into second place with a 2-1 win over Argentina. Southern Cross Blue tightened their grip on the pool with a 4-0 win over Germany on the second day of the tournament. Thistles outplayed Germany in their third match but lack of a killer finish saw them lose 1-0 to one of only two German shots on goal. England LX totally overwhelmed Scottish Thistles in their final pool match and Thistles were condemned to play twice against Alliance for ninth place.

Pool B Results

Thursday 20 June

England Flag England LX White 2 Argentina Flag Argentina 1

Southern Cross LogoFlag Southern Cross Blue 6 Scotland Flag Scottish Thistles 0

Scottish Thistles 65s played their first game in the 2019 European Tournament Trophy competition against Southern Cross Blue (a team including a strong contingent from the Australian Over 65 squad). Availability issues meant they had (just) eleven players while their opponents had a full squad of eighteen. Thistles held out till the end of the first quarter when they conceded goals from Dennis Martin and Australian captain Mark Elliott. Peter Shepherd bagged a brace of penalty corner goals but in the third quarter the Scots managed to put pressure on Southern Cross, winning three penalty corners and getting shots on goal (but sadly not into the goal) from all of them. The tiring Thistles side lost another two goals at the very end of the match: a penalty corner goal from Kevin Meikle and a goal from open play by Andrew Terrey. The team worked themselves to a standstill and should not be downhearted as they did their best against a very strong opposition.

Friday 21 June

Southern Cross LogoFlag Southern Cross Blue 4 German Flag Germany 0

Saturday 22 June

Scotland Flag Scottish Thistles 1 (Lorimer) Argentina Flag Argentina 4 (Scally, Ivorra, Carvia 2)

With the arrival of two more players, Scottish Thistles Over 65 had a squad of thirteen for their second match, against Argentina - important as the temperature was close to 30C. A disastrous opening eight minutes saw Thistles concede three goals through Patricio Scally, Jorge Ivorra and Oscar Carvia but Thistles recovered their positional discipline and ‘drew’ the next three quarters 1 - 1, thus losing 1 - 4 in the end. The loss of three goals so early in the match gave Scottish Thistles too much to do to come back in the match, though Tim Lorimer pulled one back in the third quarter after the second quarter had passed with no further scoring. The same player was fouled while in the act of shooting and took the resultant penalty himself but Manuel Mansilla in the Argentina goal saved the flick, and any Scottish hopes of a come back were doused when Oscar Carvia scored his second goal with minutes left on the clock to end the scoring at 4-1 to Argentina. Thistles were disappointed with the result but happier with the performance once they sorted the formation.With Germany losing 4-0 to England LX White, Thistles moved up out of fifth place on goal difference and looked to beat Gemany in their next match if they were to make the 5-8 play offs, though there was still the slimmest of chances of making the semi finals by winning both their remaining pool matches.

England Flag England LX White 4 German Flag Germany 0

Sunday 23 June

Southern Cross LogoFlag Southern Cross Blue 3 England Flag England LX White 0

Monday 24 June

German Flag Germany 1 (Hillmann) Scotland Flag Scottish Thistles 0

Scottish Thistles played Germany at 12:30 in around 32 degree temperature and are still looking for their first win, a goal at the end of the third quarter scored by Wolfgang Hillmann via a deflection giving Germany a 1-0 win to take them off the bottom of the group table. The goal came from one of only two German shots in the whole match. Thistles dominated possession throughout the game but failed to convert open play chances and penalty corners. A disappointing outcome from a lot of effort from all the players, leaving Thistles with the difficult task of beating England LX White in their last pool match to have even a chance of making the 5-8 play offs.

Southern Cross LogoFlag Southern Cross Blue 2 Argentina Flag Argentina 0

Tuesday 25 June

German Flag Germany 0 Argentina Flag Argentina 2

England Flag England LX White 9  Scotland Flag Scottish Thistles 0

Scottish Thistles finished a disappointing round of pool matches with a resounding defeat by England LX, for whom Martin Oakley scored seven goals, four from penalty corners. The English dominated midfield and were clinical when chances came along, while Thistles failed to convert the chances they managed to create. The match was played in good spirit, and there was no gloating from LX - the teams joined each other for much needed beers after the game. The Scots now play Alliance, who finished bottom of Pool A, over two matches to decide places 9 and 10.

Altiusrt results and information

Great Grand Masters Tournament Trophy Pool B










Southern Cross Blue

4 4 0 0 15 0 12 15

England LX White

4 3 0 1 15 4 9 11


4 2 0 2 7 5 6 2


4 1 0 3 1 10 3 -9

Scottish Thistles

4 0 0 4 1 18 0 -17

The teams finishing first and second in each pool will play off for positions 1-4 in the standard semi-final/final format, and the teams finishing third and fourth will play off in the same way for positions 5-8. The fifth place teams in each pool will play each other twice, the aggregate result determining positions 9 and 10.

Scottish Thistles Squad

Mick Christopher, Graham Conkie, Brian de Mattos, Paul Finch (GK), Peter Haines, Chris Heeps, Robert Houston-Campbell, Tim Lorimer, Sandy Macdonald, Mike McInally, Alan Murray, John Oliver, Alan Parker, Dick Pearce (GK), Tony Walker, Neil Ward (C).

Manager Stuart Stephen, Sports Massage Megan Ralph.

Cross Over/Final Ties

Wednesday 26 June

13:30 Pitch 4 Welsh Flag Alliance 0 Scotland Flag Scottish Thistles 1 (Lorimer) 9-10 Match 1

Scottish Thistles put themselves in prime position in the first of their two matches against Alliance to decide ninth place. Thistles dominated possession but again struggled in the final third of the pitch to turn that dominance into a clear victory but a goal from Tim Lorimer right at the end of the match gave them the lead, which they held on to, winning 1-0 to carry forward into the second match.

Southern Cross LogoFlag Southern Cross Red 2 German Flag Germany 0 5-8 Semi Final

Argentina Flag Argentina 1(3) Welsh Flag Welsh Dragons 1(2) 5-8 Semi Final
Argentina won 3-2 in penalty shoot out

Thursday 27 June

England Flag England LX Red 5 England Flag England LX White 0 1-4 Semi Final

Southern Cross LogoFlag Southern Cross Blue Netherlands Flag Netherlands 1-4 Semi Final

Friday 28 June

Southern Cross LogoFlag Southern Cross Red 1 Argentina Flag Argentina 2 5-6 Final

England Flag England LX Red 1(2) Southern Cross LogoFlag Southern Cross Blue 1(4) Gold/Silver
Southern Cross Blue won penalty shoot out 3-1

German Flag Germany 2 Welsh Flag Welsh Dragons 3 7-8 Final

Welsh Flag Alliance 0 Scotland Flag Scottish Thistles 6 9-10 Match 2

Alliance, 1-0 down after the first leg, had only only ten fit players, but Scottish Thistles were down to twelve and at least did some of the things they had been discussing at all the games (shorter, quicker passing to keep the ball moving, for example). Tim Lorimer took only seven minutes to put them ahead in their final match of the tournament. Four minutes later, Sandy Macdonald made the aggregate score 3-0 and ninth place looked secure. Robert Campbell and Brian de Mattos added two more goals in quick succession to put the tie beyond all doubt by half time, with Thistles four up in the match at half time. Peter Haines made it five near the end of the third quarter. Tim Lorimer once again converted a penalty stroke to finish the scoring three minutes later, after Brian de Mattos had been fouled by the Alliance keeper. How Thistles wished they had found this level of finishing in their earlier matches, though they still enjoyed the tournament and remained remarkably free of injury thanks to the work of their excellent physio Megan Ralph.

England Flag England LX White 1 Netherlands Flag Netherlands 2 Bronze Medal

Final Standings

Southern Cross Blue Gold, England LX Red Silver, Netherlands Bronze, England LX White 4th, Argentina 5th, Southern Cross Red 6th, Welsh Dragons 7th, Germany 8th, Scottish Thistles 9th, Alliance 10th