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EuroLUC Supervétérans Tournament 2012

Stade Pierre de Coubertin, Lille, France Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 March 2012

There were eight teams in the tournament, played in two pools, drawn by lots. All teams played five matches of 15 minutes each way. The pool competition was on Saturday 10 March and the final placings were decided by cross over ties between 1st & 2nd, and 3rd & 4th in each pool to decide which teams played off for 1st/2nd, 3rd/4th, 5th/6th and 7th/8th positions.

Scottish Thistles had a squad of only twelve players, Donald Dunbar being the baby of the team and the only one under 65. Brian Moore came along as umpire. Thistles finished in fourth place and midfielder David Ballingall was awarded the trophy as best Scottish player overall.

Pool A: France, Scottish Thistles, Wales Over 60 and Zestigplussers

Pool B: Alliance, Eburons Tungri, England LX, Italy

Scottish Thistles pool matches Saturday 10 March

France 0 Scottish Thistles 3 (Paterson, Morrice, McIntosh [pen]

Thistles were in complete command in their first match in Lille, pinning the French into their own half for most of the game. Paterson opened the scoring following a good run by McIntosh down the left wing, meeting the cross and looping the ball into the net. Morrice added a second, keeping, extending his scoring run to four matches in a row after having scored for Scotland in each of the two matches in Llandudno in November 2011 and having scored the equalising goal in the club fixture on 4 March. McIntosh completed the scoring from the spot after the French keeper had used the back of his stick to thwart Crichton.

Zestigplussers 1 Scottish Thistles 2 (Morrice, McIntosh)

Zestigplussers stunned the Scots by taking the lead with a breakaway goal early in the game but once again Scottish Thistles pressed the opposition, their Dutch opponents packing their circle and making themselves hard to break down. Morrice went nap with his fifth goal in five games before McIntosh scored Thistles' goal of the tournament, coming in from the left to bullet a first time effort from a right wing cross past the helpless keeper.

Wales Over 60s 2 Scottish Thistles 0

It was a different story against a much younger and stronger Welsh side, who took control of midfield and sent wave after wave of attacks into the Scottish circle. Thistles were unable to provide the forwards with any kind of service and their defence was outnumbered at times as Welsh midfielders poured upfield to support their forwards. Scottish Thistles would have needed a win in this tie to finish top of the pool as Wales had a superior goal difference, and in the end had to settle for second place and a cross-over match against the winners of Pool B.

Cross over tie Sunday 11 March

Scottish Thistles 0 England LX 3

At the Gala Dinner on the Saturday night, it was announced that Italians had won Pool B, though the Italians queried that result. Scottish Thistles set out their game plan accordingly but when they arrived at the stadium the following morning, found out that the result of Pool B had been changed and that England LX had qualified as winners, though they had looked far from impressive in their pool matches. It soon became clear that the Scottish formation worked out to counter the Italian team was ineffective against an England LX side which took command of midfield and once again put the Thistles defence under tremendous pressure. An early goal for LX gave them the confidence they had been lacking in their pool matches and they started to play simple 1-2s through the midfield. Even though goalkeeper Pearce had a fine match, the supply of good ball into the Scottish circle allowed the English to put three past him to condemn Thistles to a play off for 3rd/4th place.

Final matches

David McIntosh in a spot of trouble v Wales
David McIntosh in a Welsh sandwich in Lille

(3rd/4th place) Scottish Thistles 0 Wales Over 60s 1

This time, Scottish Thistles knew in advance who their opponents would be, though Wales had been expected to beat Italians easily in the first round of the play offs. That didn't happen as Italians resisted constant Welsh pressure, scoring two breakaway goals to book their place in the final. Though Wales had the majority of possession in the second match between the two sides, the Scottish midfield were better set up to resist them and the Welsh found it much more difficult to break down a stubborn Scottish defence. When they did, they found Pearce a match for almost everything they could throw at him. Unfortunately, 'almost' was the appropriate word and he was left with no chance with the goal which turned out to be the winner for Wales. Scottish Thistles still finished in the top half of the scoreboard and got there by playing some good hockey.

The final between England LX and Italians was a less than exciting affair, almost matching the yawn-inspiring 0-0 draw in their pool match. However this time LX managed to break down the Italian defence twice to emerge as clear winners.

Squad

Ballingall, Crichton (Captain), Di Rollo, Downie, Donald Dunbar, Lloyd, McIntosh, Margerison, Morrice, Paterson, Pearce (GK), Robertson, Brian Moore (Umpire)