2019 Four Nations Tournament Trophy - Grand Masters (Over 60)

Aberdeen Sports Village, Linksfield Road, AB24 5RU on 24 and 26 May 2019

Countesswells Playing Fields, 233 Countesswells Rd, Aberdeen AB15 8AR on 25 May 2019

The inaugural Four Nations Tournament Trophy takes place at Aberdeen Sports Village and Countesswells Playing Fields, Aberdeen from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 May. The four nations will be represented by non-national sides England LX, Ireland B, Scottish Thistles and Welsh Dragons.

In the 2018 World Cup Tournament Trophy, in which all four sides competed, Scottish won silver, beating England LX in a penalty shoot out in the semi final - England went on to win bronze, with Ireland B in fifth place and Welsh Dragons ninth. A close contest is expected, though Ireland have a depleted squad in Aberdeen.

Scottish Thistles started the tournament with a resounding 5-1 win against Welsh Dragons, after losing an early goal to the Welsh, while England LX beat Ireland B 2-0. On the second day, Thistles were unable to overcome a stuffy Irish side, drawing 1-1, while England LX moved ahead of them with a thumping 12-0 win over Welsh Dragons. The Scots still had the chance to win the trophy but, in a match played in dreadful conditions on the final day, went down 3-0 to leave England LX undefeated in first place, with Scottish Thistles runners up and Ireland in third place.

Results

Friday 24 May Aberdeen Sports Village

16:00 Scotland Flag Scottish Thistles 5  Welsh Flag Welsh Dragons 1

18:00 All Ireland Flag Ireland B 0 England Flag England LX 2

Saturday 25 May 16:00 Countesswells

Pitch 1 Scotland Flag Scottish Thistles 1 All Ireland Flag Ireland B 1

Pitch 2 Welsh Flag Welsh Dragons 0 England Flag England LX 12

Sunday 26 May Aberdeen Sports Village

09:45 Welsh Flag Welsh Dragons 3 All Ireland Flag Ireland B 3

11:30  England Flag England LX 3 Scotland Flag Scottish Thistles 0

Altiusrt results and information

Grand Masters

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pt

GD

England LX

3 3 0 0 17 0 9 17

Ireland B

3 0 2 1 4 6 2 -2

Scottish Thistles

3 1 1 1 6 5 4 1

Welsh Dragons

3 0 1 2 4 20 1 -15

Shambolic is the only way to describe Thistles’ start to their first match on Friday 24 May at Aberdeen Sports Village. Within oly three minutes a Welsh player was allowed to wander through the midfield and slide the ball towards the penalty spot. The Thistles defence admired the Welsh play in the circle until the ball found Tim Withers unmarked on the back post to knocked in the opening goal. Thistles steadied and began to improve. Building from the back, Thistles started to press the Welsh into their own half, bring an equaliser from Rob Houston-Campbell and almost immediately Geoff Duke scored a second goal from a penalty corner to put them in front. Just before half time, Iain Cameron added a third Thistles goal, which then freed them up to start to play with more confidence, though without increasing their lead in the second quarter.

The Welsh reorganized at half time and Thistles took five minutes to adapt and then dominate the play, Geoff Duke scoring a field goal in 35 minutes. By the final quarter Thistles were playing their fast tight hockey that normally takes them a couple of games to achieve, Iain Cameron completing the scoring in 55 minutes from open play for finish the scoring and leave Scottish Thistles 5-1 winners. The Welsh had no answer to John Lees’s tenacious midfield play, Iain Cameron and Iain Lynch ran the legs off the Welsh defence, and Ian McCreath was commanding at the back.

At the heart of the story of the second game at Countesswells on Saturday 25 May was a resolute performance by the Irish. The set up very well to squash any penetrating play by the Scots. Anticipating this, coach Mike McInally asked the team to play wide and drive along the back lines. The boys did this but not with sufficient effect. The Thistles took the lead after only five minutes when Neil Macrae riffled in a sweet short corner strike. The Irish keeper got a pad to it, but the power took it over the line. The lead lasted only two minutes, the Irish exploiting a lapse in the Scots concentration which allowed David Impey to restore parity from open play. George Pickett played consistently well at left back and Danny Onn was a midfield machine.

In the final match played in cold, wet and windy conditions at Aberdeen Sports Village, Thistles were able to name only 13 players against England LX, with Geoff Duke, John Lees and Ian McCreath on the injury list. Their opponents had a very strong team which had won both their opening matches and were looking for revenge after losing out to Scottish Thistles in the 2018 World Cup TT Semi Final. Graeme Welsh scored a field goal for LX in six minutes and William Davidson converted a penalty corner at the end of the second quarter to put the English in the driving seat at half time. Mike Verity completed the scoring for England LX in the final quarter to win the inaugural Four Nations Tournament Trophy.

Neil Mackenzie

Scottish Thistles Squad

Scottish Thistles Four Nations 2019

Paul Bateson, Iain Cameron, Geoff Duke, Jim Frail, Robert Houston-Campbell, John Lees, Ian Lynch, Neil Macrae, Ian McCreath, Neil McKenzie (C), John Michalik, Alan Murray, Dannie Onn, George Pickett, Stuart Stephen, Ronnie Stott (GK)

Coach Mike McInally, Manager Clifford Martin, Sports Massage Megan Ralph.