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Celtic Cup Bangor Northern Ireland 24-26 April 2015

The 2015 Celtic Cup took place in Northern Ireland for the first time, on the sand dressed pitch at the Aurora Sports Centre, Bangor. All matches were played in 4 x 15 minute quarters.

Scotland, current holders of the Grand Masters (Over 60) Celtic Cup, played three matches in a round robin against France, Ireland and Wales for the 2015 Celtic Cup. Unfortunately, hopes that France would join the Great Grand Masters (Over 65) competition for the first time were dashed when the French were forced to withdraw after illness and injury cut down their squad to the point where they had to withdraw. Scotland (holders) therefore once more played Wales for the Over 65 Celtic Cup.

Friday 24 April
Scotland flag Scotland 1 (Crichton) Wales 1 Wales flag Over 65 for the Celtic Cup

Wales got off to a bright start pinning the Scots in their own half and causing the defence a number of worrying moments. However their initial pressure was thwarted by a resolute defence well marshalled by skipper Auld and a determined keeper Kalman. As the first half continued the Scots came more into the game and began to cause the Welsh a few worries but the half ended with neither side able to pierce their opponent's defence.

The second half began with the Scots continuing to exert more pressure on the Welsh midfield with Brittain-Dodd negating the influence of the Welsh key player and helping the Scots to create a few half-chances. However against the run of play the Welsh centre forward capitalised on a deflection and crashed a shot past the unsighted keeper. In previous matches the Scots might have been deflated but on this occasion efforts were redoubled and within minutes a penalty corner was awarded and Ferrol slipped the ball to Crichton who left the keeper with no chance. From then until the end of the match the Welsh became more desperate in their efforts as the Scots closed down the game and no further chances were created.

The 1- 1 result meant that the Saturday game would decide the destination of the trophy.
Scotland flag Scotland 7 France 1 France flag Over 60

Goals from Connaghan, Johnstone, Loudon, Ogilvie, Morrison and two from Bishop secured an emphatic victory in the Over 60s opening match. John Hay was voted Man of the Match.

Saturday 25 April
Scotland flag Scotland 1 (Gallacher) Wales 0 Wales flag Over 65 (decider for the Celtic Cup after 1-1 draw on Friday 24 April)

Encouraged by their efforts of the previous day, the Scots were in a much more confident mood as they resolved to put more pressure on the Welsh defence. This resulted in the Scots having much more possession and subsequently giving the experienced Welsh midfield little opportunity to create chances. The Scots defence ,with Turner revelling in a new role on the left hand side and Dunbar in complete control of the centre, continued to frustrate the Welsh and it was no surprise that a planned short corner routine created a golden chance for Gallacher to open the scoring - but he dragged his shot wide with his foot! Undeterred the Scots continued to press - Gordon square to Auld, a fierce ball into the far post and there was Gallacher to put the ball into the net - this time with his stick. For the next 15 minutes the Welsh tried to mount attacks but the Scots held them at bay easily and emerged victorious - if exhausted.

The trophy was therefore retained and deservedly so. On paper a much more experienced and skilful Welsh were favourites - but the organisation, team spirit and effort put into the games carried the day. Now to build for the future. [Over 65 reports by Peter Gordon]


Scotland flag Scotland 0 Wales 0 Wales flag Over 60

As Wales had drawn 1-1 with Ireland the previous day, a goalless draw after a scrappy match left Scotland in control of their own destiny, requiring only a draw in the final match of the tournament against Ireland to retain the trophy. Ian Wilson was the team's choice for Man of the Matvch

Sunday 26 April
Scotland flag Scotland 1 (Morrison) Ireland 3 All Ireland flag Over 60

it was not to be for Scotland, the Over 60s going down 3-1 to give Ireland the trophy for the first time, Bernie Morrison grabbing Scotland's consolation goal after Ireland had opened up a 3-0 lead. That earned him Man of the Match. Ian Wilson was voted Player of the Tournament by the squad.

 

Squads

Over 60

Bate, Bishop, Candlin, Chisholm, Connaghan, Hay, Kalman (GK), Johnstone, Loudon, Macdonald, Morrison, Ogilvie, Paton, S. Robertson, Taylor (GK), Wilson (Captain). Ally Trainor was Manager.

Over 65

Auld (Captain), Brittain-Dodd, Cathro, Crichton, Dunbar, Ferrol, Gallacher, Gordon, Kalman GK, Parker, Robertson, Tucker, Turner, Weir. George Black was manager and reserve goalkeeper.