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Scotland Over 70 v England Over 75 Squad and England Over 70

Maiden Castle Sports Centre, University of Durham 25 & 26 March 2015

Scotland Over 70 travelled to Durham for their first ever international, against England Over 70 on Thursday 26 March 2015. The warm up match the previous day against the England Over 75 squad ended in convincing 3-0 win for the Scottish side.

Squad

Scotland Over 70 team photograph

Back: Alan Bryce, Robbie Robertson, David Margerison, Alan Auld, Kieran McLernan, Donald Paterson, Fred Lawson ,Ernie Di Rollo,
Ian Downie
Front: Doug Morrice, Tim Pollard (GK), Alan Strachan, David Cassell (Captain), Andy Ferrol.

Wednesday 25 March

England Over 75 Squad 0 Scotland Over 70 3 (Morrice, McLernan, Paterson)

The match started with a period of activity in the middle of the park, neither side being able to dominate possession or to create openings. However a rare Scottish foray into the circle produced a penalty when a Morrice shot hit an English foot. Downie stepped up, sent the keeper the wrong way but pulled his stroke past the post - a real missed opportunity. However Scotland soon took the lead when a good run and cross from Margerison was met by Morrice, who guided the ball past the English keeper from close range. 1-0 half time.

Scotland, whose passing had been rather wayward in the first half, started to play good, constructive hockey and began to dominate the middle of the field, lacking only the killer final pass. Scotland finally found their passing touch and a good move down the left saw Ferrol's cross find Paterson unmarked at the right hand post. Despite the efforts of the English keeper to thwart Paterson, he could only watch as the ball spun into the goal to put Scotland two up. Soon after, McLernan adopted a new approach to the passing problem by dancing his way into the circle past man after man and slipping the ball past the English keeper for Scotland's third and final score. 3-0 full time.

For most of the Scotland team with the noticeable exception of Fred Lawson who had played in a string of senior victories for Scotland, this was a first victory over any kind of England side, and a hopeful sign for the international the following day, and indeed for the European Cup in August.

Thursday 26 March England Over 70 2 Scotland Over 70 0

Scotland started brightly, moving the ball around and keeping possession for good spells. England took a similar, careful approach and the first quarter of the game was marked by good spells for both sides in the middle of the park with neither side threatening to break through. The second quarter saw England step up a gear and they won several short corners in succession, all ably defended by Auld running out no. 1. England as usual were always a threat down their right and, with only seconds to go in the first half, they took the lead when their right winger broke into the circle and cut the back to an unmarked England forward to put the home side one up.

The second half was an uphill struggle for Scotland, the players beginning to show signs of fatigue which led to basic errors. Still, they kept their shape and restricted England to playing the ball around outside the circle without showing real signs of penetration. The game began more and more to be compressed into the Scottish half and Scotland found it almost impossible to find an out ball to relieve the defence and midfield. As in the first half, England scored right at the end of the half when an England midfielder broke through a Scottish challenge and shot from the top of the circle. The ball rebounded straight back to him off keeper Pollard and he netted the rebound to end the game 2-0 to England.

Considering that this was Scotland's first ever Over 70 international, and that they were playing the current World Champions, this was a creditable performance and bodes well for Scotland's prospects in the European Cup in London in August.