Home International Championships 30-31 May 2009 Stirling

Grand Masters: Scotland v England v Wales     Great Grand Masters: Scotland v England


Stephen Stowell, England Grand Masters Captain, receiving the Linburn Trophy from Scottish Hockey Hon President Martin Boag

Stephen Stowell, England Grand Masters Captain, receives the Linburn Trophy from Scottish Hockey Hon President Martin Boag

World Champions England dominated the Grand Masters (Over 60s) tournament at Forthbank, Stirling on Saturday and Sunday 30-31 May from start to finish with an impressive display of quality hockey from a fit, well organised side which took just about every chance which came its way in the circle.

Central midfielders Perryman and new boy Bansal, who has just moved up from the Over 55s, controlled the midfield in both games and provided a steady supply of killer passes to the English forwards and attacking midfield players. Their short corner routines showed the benefit of many hours of practice as they seemed to have an endless series of permutations with which the Scottish defence in particular failed to cope.

Captain Stowell, just back from injury, marked his return with four goals against Wales before resting in the second half. Scotland's plan to contain him restricted him to what was almost an own goal as his shot was going well wide when a defender deflected it past keeper Black into the net, but that left the way open to others to win a series of penalty corners and penalties as well as four more goals from open play

The final game, between Scotland and Wales, was almost a sideshow as England had already claimed the Linburn Trophy. However honour was at stake and both sides fought hard to erase the memory of their defeats at the hand of England. Scotland had the majority of the play against Wales but could not convert it into goals. They were unlucky when one shot hit the post and again when a crisp hit from a short corner by Duguid was deflected past the post by his Aberdeen Grammar School FP team mate and Welsh defender Johnson.

In the Great Grand Masters (Over 65s) competition, played as a double header between Scotland and England, it was a case of two games of two halves. In the first match, England took advantage of a disorganised looking Scottish side struggling to find a pattern after a number of late withdrawals through injury and illness. With the score 5-0 at half time, coach Ian Wilson worked wonders on the team and they held their own throughout the half. However England still managed to sneak two goals and the Scots' lack of a specialist striker meant that there was little chance of any reply.

Scotland began the second match even better organised than they had finished the first, and had a slim majority of the balance of play. Once again they could not convert this into goals and the first half ended with no score. Straight after the restart, Scotland were caught cold when a breakaway by England left Stephenson one on one with keeper Fraser and he buried the ball in the back of the net. Scotland rallied but began to tire as they were now down to only ten fit players, the lame taking it in turns to come on, and England ran in a further three goals in the last ten minutes to record a score which did not really represent the balance of the play.


Ken Wilcox breaks through the Scottish defence
               past Scottish GGM Captain David Cassell

Ken Wilcox breaks through the Scottish defence past
Scottish GGM Captain David Cassell

Saturday 30 May
England 7 Scotland 0 (GGM)
England 7 Wales 1 (GM)

Sunday 31 May
Scotland 0 England 13 (GM)
Scotland 0 England 4 (GGM)
Wales 0 Scotland 0 (GM)