2019 European Cup - Senior Grand Masters (Over 70)

Dragons HC, Brasschaat, Belgium 19-29 June 2019

The 2019 Grand Masters European Cup and Tournament Trophy took place at Dragons Hockey Club, Brasschaat, Belgium from Wednesday 19 to Saturday 29 June. In the Senior Grand Masters European Cup, there were eight teams in two pools of four teams: Belgium, England, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland and Wales.

Scotland were in Pool B along with Germany, Ireland and Netherlands. 

In the 2018 World Cup in Barcelona, Scotland finished in eighth place while Netherlands beat Germany to take the Bronze medal. Ireland did not compete in Barcelona but Scotland beat them in both their encounters in 2019, in the Celtic Cup in Swansea and the Four Nations Tournament in Aberdeen. Scotland have a depleted squad and face an uphill battle to qualify for the semi finals.

Netherlands - pool winners - and Germany proved too strong for Scotland and Ireland respectively. Scotland and Ireland drew their match and Scotland qualified third in the pool on goal difference. They lost their cross over tie with Belgium and met Ireland once again in their final match, which they won 3-0 to finish in seventh place.

Pool A Results

Friday 21 June

German Flag Germany 6 Scotland Flag Scotland 0

Scotland, with a squad of only 12 players available on the day, got off to an encouraging start but the strength, experience and skills of the German team began to take its toll, and slightly against the run of play German captain Helmut Trentmann scored a field goal in twelve minutes, Gerd Schürfeld adding another in 14 minutes. The second quarter was dominated by Germany but their only reward was a penalty corner goal from Günter Heinemann just before the interval to make it 3-0 to Germany at half time. The third quarter was our best with much improved positioning and passing but Gerd Schürfeld scored his second goal midway through the third quarter to put the Scots 4-0 down. The tiring Scotland side lost a further two goals in the dying minutes through a field goal by Arved Luanu-Mierke and a penalty corner goal scored by Wolfgang Engelhard.

Despite the defeat there was an improvement in performance compared to the Four Nations and some momentum to take into Saturday’s game against Netherlands. The nomination for Man of the Match was delegated to the management team of Abi and Rona. A joint award was given. Firstly, to Ian Pett for his consistent, stalwart defending, and secondarily to Kieran McLernan for his impersonation of the Duracell bunny and holding off the big German men who were bullying him.

Netherlands Flag Netherlands 9 All Ireland Flag Ireland 0

Saturday 22 June

Netherlands Flag Netherlands 7 Scotland Flag Scotland 0

Scotland again had only twelve players to call upon and faced an uphill struggle against the World Cup Bronze medallists Netherlands, but the good news was that Doug Turner rose like Lazarus from his injury and lasted the whole match, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Abi Reilly. Pepi Hanusch, so often the tormentor of the Scots in the past, bagged five goals, two in the first quarter, one in the third and another two in the final quarter of the match. Paul Verloop in the second quarter and Robert Schreve in the fourth completed the scoring for a dominant Netherlands team. Once again there was a joint award for Man of the Match, shared between Doug Turner and Duracell bunny mark 2 Ernie Brittain-Dodd.

Ernie Brittain-Dodd on the ball against Netherlands
Ernie Brittain-Dodd on the ball against Netherlands

With both Netherlands and Germany sitting on six points, Scotland and Ireland would fight it out on Monday morning for third place in the pool - a draw would be enough for Scotland who would have Doug Morrice as a reinforcement by then.

German Flag Germany 10 All Ireland Flag Ireland 1

Monday 24 June

Scotland Flag Scotland 2 (Crichton, McLernan) All Ireland Flag Ireland 2 (Goode, O'Driscoll)

The first half of this match was possibly the most disappointing performance of this cycle. It was very much a case of ‘Sunday morning syndrome’ on a Monday. Ireland deservedly took the lead in the first quarter through Paddy Goode. Despite having 11 players to our 13 players Ireland coped better than Scotland with the heat and humid conditions, especially as one of their defenders was good at relieving pressure on his defence with his aerial passes. After a deserved, yet constructive, rollicking at half time from coach Sandy Keith Scotland were transformed in the third quarter playing some of their best hockey of the tournament so far. Scotland gained a quick equaliser in the second half with Roy Crichton scoring on his front stick after a penalty corner. Scotland continued to press and got a well deserved goal following a ‘stramash’ in the circle with Kieran McLernan calmly flicking the ball in to take the lead. Scotland continued to play well in the fourth quarter, although they were not as sound as in the previous quarter, and pressed hard for the killer goal, only to be undone by a defensive error that let David O'Driscoll equalise. Scotland snatched a draw from the jaws victory, however despite this the squad achieved their first objective of finishing third in their pool, albeit only on goal difference, in a very tough group with Germany and the Netherlands. They now face the hosts Belgium on Wednesday who themselves lost out on third spot in their pool due to goal difference of only one goal. The boys will need to step up a level to ensure they win this game to go into the 5/6 play off. Man of the Match by a significant margin was Alan Bryce, not only for his attitude and hard hitting but for the number of nose bleeds suffered crossing the centre line.

Netherlands won the group with a win over Germany.

Netherlands Flag Netherlands 1 German Flag Germany 0

Great Grand Masters Pool B

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pt

GD

Netherlands

3 3 0 0 17 0 9 17

Germany

3 2 0 1 16 2 6 14

Scotland

3 0 1 2 2 15 1 -13

Ireland

3 0 1 2 3 21 1 -18

The teams finishing first and second in each pool played off for positions 1-4 in the standard semi-final/final format, and the teams finishing third and fourth played off in the same way for positions 5-8.

Cross Over/Final Ties

Wednesday 26 June

Italian Flag Italy 1(3)All Ireland Flag Ireland 1(0) 5-8 Semi Final
Italy won 3-0 in a penalty shoot out.

Scotland Flag Scotland 0 Belgian Flag Belgium 3 (Peeters, Gielen, Frere) 5-8 Semi Final

Scotland were without captain Alan Auld and were back down to twelve players. After a non scoring first quarter, Daniel Peeters opened the scoring just before half time and Belgian captain Charles Gielen added a second from a penalty corner just before the interval. Francis Frere finished off Scotland with a goal just before the end of the match. The 3-0 defeat condemned Scotland to a second match against Ireland for ninth place.

Thursday 27 June

England Flag England 8 German Flag Germany 1 1-4 Semi Final

Netherlands Flag Netherlands 3 Welsh Flag Wales 0 1-4 Semi Final

Friday 28 June

18:00 Pitch 2 Belgian Flag Belgium 0 Italian Flag Italy 2 5-6 Final

18:00 Pitch 3 Scotland Flag Scotland 3 All Ireland Flag Ireland 7-8 Final

Scotland finally came good in their last match, claiming seventh place in the Senior Grand Masters European Cup with a 3-1 win over Ireland. The match was played at 6 pm with some parts of the pitch in the shade, making the temperature slightly more comfortable for both teams. Yet again, Scotland started with a somewhat sluggish first quarter but in the second quarter they started to move up the gears and put Ireland under sustained pressure for much of the rest of the match, particularly as the Irish began to tire more quickly than the Scots and appeared to be carrying more injuries. It is credit to coach Sandy Keith that, at last, Scotland made their penalty corners count, all three goals coming from practised routines. Ian Pett gained bragging rights in the Pett household by opening the scoring in the third quarter and Alan Bryce scored a second in 60 minutes to put Scotland firmly in the driving seat. Scotland seemed to be coasting to victory at 2-0 but here was a slight wobble when Donal Sands pulled one back for Ireland with five minutes to go, but David Margerison showed fast reflexes to seal victory with Scotland's third goal close to the final hooter.

This was a creditable performance after a tournament in tough conditions with never more than twelve men per match, and it was nice to leave the wonderful and hospitable facilities of KHC Dragons in Brasschaat with a winning feeling. Scotland will use winter training to build on the strengths gained from this tournament as well as working on some areas for development. Man of the Match or rather Lady of the Match was Abigail Reilly who did an outstanding job as physio throughout the tournament with no player missing any matches through injury. Not only did she do a great job professionally but she fitted right in, rather more worryingly, with the squad of septuagenarians!

Saturday 29 June

Welsh Flag Wales 1 German Flag Germany 3 Bronze Medal

Netherlands Flag Netherlands 1(1) England Flag England 1(2)Gold/Silver
England won 1-0 in the penalty shoot out

Sandy Keith

Sandy Keith looks on in disbelief

Final Standings

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

Altiusrt results and information

Scotland Squad

Scotland Over 70

Alan Auld (C) (missed Belgium match), Ernie Brittain-Dodd, Alan Bryce, Roy Crichton, Nigel Dixon (GK), David Margerison, Kieran McLernan, Martin Petty, Doug Morrice (last three matches), Ian Pett, Murdoch Shirreffs (missed last match), Dougie Turner, Sandy Weir.

Coach Sandy Keith, Manager Rona Beattie, Sports Massage Abigail Reilly