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Scotland International Grand Masters Teams mixed results in Celtic Cup

03 May 2017

Scotland m Masters O60

It was with a range of emotions that the Scottish International Grand Masters teams returned from the Celtic Cup in Cork at the weekend.

They left the Scottish shores with high expectations especially with the O60 team being the holders of their Celtic Cup and strong squads having been selected in all three age groups.

With the O70 team having only Wales as opposition currently, it mean that it was left to the O65 and O60 to lead the way in the tournament on the Friday evening. The O65 played out a fairly tame 0-0 with Wales neither team playing the kind of hockey that they would have wanted. The O60 team had found it hard against a strong physical French team last September in Lille only winning 2-0 but this time they found their stride from the very start and played some good flowing hockey to run out comfortable winners 7-0 with goals from Arthur Robertson (3), Danny Onn, Bernie Morrison, Glenn Paton and Niall Sturrock.

Saturday saw the O65 play the usual hard fought battle with the Irish O65 who boasted a strong squad on their home patch. Unfortunately the final score saw the Scots go down by 2-1 with Peter Robertson getting the consolation goal.

Scotland m Masters O70The sprightly O70 squad scored early in their first match against Wales through Doug Morrice and whilst they had further opportunities to add to this they had to settle for the solitary goal in their 1-0 win.

The O60 have had a good record in recent years against the Welsh and again started strongly against a hard working Welsh team. Although the Scots lost their fluency in the third quarter they went on to run out comfortable winners by 5-0 with goals from Billy Taylor (2), Ali Hay, Derek Johnstone and Glenn Paton. They were indebted to Chris Taylor and Ian McCreath for the clean sheet after some sterling defending denied the Welsh a goal that they probably deserved.

This left all the competitions open for the final day.

The O65 played against the French team who had, due to restricted numbers of 19 players, were playing their 6th match of the weekend and although the Scots had most of possession the French defended resolutely and restricted Scotland to two goals from Alan Parker and Peter Gordon whilst scoring one of their own. The Welsh beat the Irish in their game to win the tournament and leave Scotland in 3rd place.

The O70 stepped up for their 2nd game in two days and spent considerable time in the Welsh half and were indeed more of less camped in it for the fourth quarter seeking the goal to break the 1-1 deadlock. The pressure eventually paid off when Roy Crichton broke through the defence and crossed the ball to Doug Morrice to tap in at the back post to seal the game and Cup for the Scots. Roy Crichton had scored earlier in the match.

The O60 went into their match leading the Irish on goal difference but knew that it would be a hard fought game with no quarter asked or given. It was a cagy start with Ireland keeping possession and towards the end of the 1st quarter they stole the ball from the Scottish defence and found a free forward who scored. From the start of the 2nd quarter Scotland had a chance with Ali Hay driving down the right but his cross found no takers in the circle. A penalty corner goal was disallowed by the disengaged umpire and that was a sign of things the kind of day it would be. Ireland had the one shot on goal and no penalty corners, Scotland had the majority of possession, a number of penalty corners and found the Irish goalkeeper in unbeatable form. Although Scotland spent the majority of the 2nd half of the game camped in Irish territory they could not find the finish that would allow them to retain the cup. The final whistle went with Scotland again in the Irish circle but the score remained 1-0 to Ireland.

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