Tournoi Euroluc super-veterans 09

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Lille - 14 & 15 March 2009

Fifth Place for Scottish Thistles

Scottish Thistles took a squad of 12 players and 1 umpire for the Euroluc tournament at LUC Ronchin, Lille, France, the third time Thistles had participated in the tournament. The 13th player, Morrice, arrived too late to play in any of the qualifying games and was snapped up by Eburons to play against Scottish Thistles, and then by Alliance to play in the final against eventual winners, Wales. Scotland was well represented in the final, supplying another player, Donald Dunbar, to Alliance, and Ken Hunter was chosen to umpire the final.

Sue Cassell admires the cup awarded for fifth place, held by President George Black

Sue Cassell wonders why George Black is so happy at holding the cup for fifth place

Scottish Thistles played pool matches against Alliance, France and Zestigplussers on Saturday 14 March, finishing in third place in the group. This left them to play off for 5th and 6th place against Eburons of Belgium, a game they won by a single goal to claim fifth place in a tournament won by a long distance by an impressive Welsh team.

It was the same old story for Scottish Thistles - virtually complete domination of all their games but with no cutting edge to score the goals which win games. At the other end, two goals against the run of play for France and Alliance condemned the Scots to third place in their pool. Against Zestigplussers, the team played good hockey up to the circle, particularly down the right, but made the mistake of continually firing the ball in from the 25 yard line against a massed Dutch defence. All attempts to break down the defence failed and Thistles managed no shot worthy of the name, while Black in goal was a spectator.

In the second game, against France, the team played better, and constant pressure led to a short corner. The receiver Cassell slipped the ball to Downie, whose shot was deflected by Weir on to the foot of a defender on the line. Though the Egyptian umpire did not have a good game, he made the correct decision on this occasion, awarding a penalty which was converted by Downie. Unfortunately, the Scots lead did not last long. An isolated French attack down the Scottish right led to a looping shot from a French forward which bounced past the unsighted Black to level the scores. Again no amount of Thistles pressure could produce a winner.

The final pool game was against Alliance, old friends and foes from all over Europe and Australia. At the request of Johan Herbert of Alliance, there was a minute's silence before the game, in memory of Jim White, a member of Alliance as well as of Scottish Thistles, who had died almost exactly a year before. Alliance, who eventually went on to contest the final, put up a stronger resistance than the other two opponents but Thistles still dominated possession. Once again the goal came from a breakaway attack down the Scottish right - ironically scored by another player with dual membership, Peter Terleski, who picked up the ball and in one movement swivelled and swept the ball past the helpless Black.

Allan Golightly, scorer against Eburons

Allan Golightly

The results meant that Thistles missed out on the semi finals and had to be content with a play off match for 5th/6th places. Because the Belgian championships were being held on the same day, Eburons fielded a multinational side with players from a range of other sides including Scottish player Morrice. The Scots again had the majority of possession, but wasted much of it by firing the ball up to the forwards who, for the most part, were unable to shake off their markers. When the goal came, it was once again from a set piece. As Golightly was already upfield supporting the attack, he took on the role of striker at a short corner and successfully converted it with a bouncing shot which eluded the keeper and defenders on the line. This was Golightly's first goal for the team as well as the first time he had played in a winning Thistles side - double reason to celebrate.


Scottish Thistles 0 Zestigplussers 0
Scottish Thistles 1 (Downie, pen) France 1
Alliance 1 Scottish Thistles 0

Scottish Thistles 1 (Golightly) Eburons 0

LUC Ronchin 2009 Scottish Thistles Squad


Matt Aird
Howard Andrew
George Black
David and Sue Cassell
Ernie di Rollo
Ian and Catherine Downie
Donald and George Dunbar
Allan Golightly
David McIntosh
Doug Morrice
Donald and Elizabeth Paterson
Sandy and Jean Weir

Ken Hunter - Umpire