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Grand Masters European Trophy Bra Italy 6-10 June 2012 - Over 60s

Squad

Alan Bain, Hew Bishop, Jim Chisholm, Graham Conkie, Ian Dunbar, Donald Dunbar, Mike Egerton, Colin Gallacher, Peter Gordon, Tim Pollard, John Smith. Steve Macdonald and Jim Watson have been added to make the squad up to 13.

The Over 60s are in Pool A with Alliance, Germany A, De Zestigplussers A (Netherlands), England LX Blue and Belgian Old Lions. Pool A contains De Zestigplussers B, England LX Red, Germany B, Egypt, Italy and Welsh Dragons.1st and 2nd in each pool play off in a round robin of two matches each for the trophy (carrying forward the result against the other team in their pool), while 3rd - 5th play off with a single play off against the team finishing in the same position in the other pool (3rd A v 3rd B etc). Teams finishing in first and second position in their pool will play a total of seven matches and the others a total of six matches; all matches will be of 2 x 25 minutes.

Pool matches

Scotland Over 60s used this tournament to help them build a new style of play and this, along with the fact that players were just beginning to get to know each other, made results largely irrelevant. Good performances against the better sides were offset by disappointing play against teams they would have been expected to beat, but Scotland signed off in emphatic style with an 11-0 win against Egypt. While the opposition was far from strong, Scotland at last started to play a brand of hockey which bodes well for the more important Home Internationals and World Cup to follow over the summer.

Thur 7 June 09:00 Scotland 1 (Bishop) England LX White 2

Hew Bishop about to score against England LX

England LX Whites started the match on the front foot and kept Scotland penned in their own 22 for much of the first ten minutes, forcing a series of short corners and creating a number of good chances, Pollard in the Scottish goal foiling the English with some excellent saves. However, an aimless Scottish pass across the circle found an unmarked English forward on his own, his crisp shot giving Pollard no chance. The sheer pressure eventually led to another chance which Pollard was unable to stop after a great double save. The Scottish midfield gradually came into the game, relieving the hard pressed defence, though still unable to carve out any chances for the forwards. The second half was a different story, much more even and with Scotland slightly on top in midfield. Bishop, who had worked very hard in a high midfield role, pressed forward and scored a cracking goal to reduce the deficit to one. An Egerton short corner whistled narrowly past but Scotland couldn't fashion another chance and the English side held out for what in the end was a narrow victory.

Thur 7 June 15:00 Scotland 0 Germany A 1

In their second match of the day, Scotland were on the back foot for most of the match against a strong Germany side, but resolute defence and wayward German shooting kept the match all square until the final seconds, when a hard hit into the Scottish circle was deflected high into the net by a German forward to claim full points in a match which they had dominated throughout.

Fri 8 June 11:00 Scotland 1 (Bishop pen) Belgian Old Lions 1

Hew Bishop converts penalty V Belgium Old Lions

Scotland started strongly and had their Belgian opponents on the back foot for the first ten minutes without troubling the Lions keeper. The Belgians looked dangerous on the break and a mistake by Chisholm almost let the Old Lions striker in on goal, but Chisholm put in a saving tackle to prevent a shot. Scotland's midfield gradually lost their grip, allowing their opponents to force a series of short and long corners, and the first half ended goalless with neither side able to claim the ascendancy. The second half was owned by Scotland as the midfield took control one more. Old Lions were still in the game and Pollard had to look sharp to save a close-in effort by a Belgian striker. With ten minutes to go, Scotland lost a goal to a well taken deflection high into the roof of the net from a ball driven hard from outside the 22. The heads did not go down and the Scots piled in on the now tiring Belgians in search for the equaliser. Watson found himself clear on the left and, with the keeper beaten, the Belgian defender on the line conceded a penalty as he prevented a certain goal with his foot. Bishop stepped up and despatched the ball past the keeper with a well-taken penalty stroke. The match ended in draw with Scotland pressing to the end.

Fri 8 June 16:30 De Zestigplussers A 3 Scotland 0

Scotland faced an uphill task against a fast, skilful and well organised Dutch side, and resisted well for 15 minutes until the Zestigplussers' right winger lost his man, latched on to a through pass and placed the ball past keeper Pollard. A second followed before half time when the Dutch central midfielder, the most skilful of them all, drove into the circle and despatched a reverse stick ball into the back of the Scottish net. Scotland battled away courageously for the whole of the second half, without ever threatening the Dutch goal. Any time a breakthrough looked on the cards, a cynical Dutch tackle, punished always only with a free hit, would stop it in its tracks. it wasn't until the final minutes that Pollard's stalwart resistance was overcome. A good save left the ball in front of him and the defender cleaning up could not prevent the Dutch forward following up from despatching the loose ball into the net. The result was far from a diisgrace for a Scottish side which had fought courageously to the end.

Sat 9 June 09:00 Alliance 3 Scotland 1 (Smith)

This was a match which everyone concerned on the Scottish side other than goalscorer Smith would gladly forget. The side bore no resemblance to the determined and well organised outfit which had performed creditably against the Dutch the day before, meekly surrendering the points to Alliance. The result condemned Scotland to a match against Egypt to decide the last two places.

Cross over matches

The top two teams in each pool played off for positions 1-4 (two matches each), with original pool results carried forward to the play offs. 3rd to 6th in each pool play a single match against the team finishing in the same position in the other pool to decide places 5/6, 7/8/ 9/10 and 11/12. Scotland finished in last place in their group and faced Egypt in the playoff for eleventh and twelfth places.

9 June 15:00 Pitch A Scotland 11 Egypt 0

Hew Bishop converts penalty v Egypt

Scotland recorded their highest ever score by beating a weak Egypt team in a totally one-sided match. The Egyptian midfield was non-existent and Scotland had a grip on the match from the start. Four goals in the first half, including a penalty, were followed by seven in the second. Watson had a nap hand, with one goal in the first half from a penalty corner and four goals in the second half from close in. Gallacher contributed a hat trick and Bishop scored two, including his second penalty of the tournament. Gordon completed the list of scorers with a fierce reverse stick shot. Eleventh place was Scotland's reward.