England Over 70s Squad v Scottish Thistles

Maiden Castle Sports Centre, University of Durham Sunday 3 July 2011

Scottish Thistles team Durham 3 July 2011

Back Row: Bryce, Auld (Captain), Margerison, Robertson, Lloyd
Front Row: Burns, McIntosh, Young, Leighton, Strachan, McLernan, Egerton

A Scottish Thistles side of predominantly maturer players returned to Durham not long after the Home Internationals to fulfil a promise to give the English Over 70 team some match practice. The visitors welcomed into the midfield two appropriately silver-headed new boys Peter Burns and Mike Egerton.

The match followed the pattern of the EHL and was played in four quarters. In the first, the presence of the two holding midfielders produced immediate dividends and the visitors dominated play .In the second, that pattern continued to start with but the hosts realised they would have to go round the middle pair and they gained more effective possession and came more into the game but with chances at both ends. Still, 0-0 at half-time against the very experienced hosts was a good result.

The third quarter started with Thistles failing to control the ball and feeding the red shirts who gleefully took the opportunity of practice. Having received another misdirected pass, they quickly converted the opportunity to allow the evergreen Land to score a good deflected goal. In response the visitors had several good attacks resulting in short corners but no goals.

At the start of the final quarter the game was there to be won by Scottish Thistles. However an early loss of possession in our twenty three led to another goal. At 2-0 the visitors got another short corner and had the ball in the net only for it to be ruled off for the ball not being taken out of the circle - a marginal decision. The somewhat ragged distribution of the ball extended to the team shape on the field which allowed the hosts to dominate the latter stages and they ran out somewhat flatteringly winners by 3-0.

The hosts generously treated the visitors to an excellent tea and restoration of liquid balance in the customary way.

A very enjoyable outing.

Report contributed by Kieran McLernan