Scotland players across the age groups experienced the agony and ecstasy of competitive hockey after being tested against the best in Europe in the Netherlands and Germany.
The 50s and 55s teams travelled to Krefeld HC in Germany to take part in their European Championships between August 8-17. The 55s achieved the women’s best-ever placing in Masters, securing silver. The 50s just missed out on a bronze, after a terrific tournament run.
Meanwhile, results proved disappointing in the Netherlands for the 40s and 45s, who failed to find a win on the pitches at Rotterdam HC at their tournament, which took place between July 22-27.
In Krefeld the 55s won five out of six matches, scoring 19 goals and conceding only three during the tournament. They lost the final 2-0 to England, who scored twice in the final seven minutes.
Scotland kicked off with a 7-0 thumping of GlobeDutch before recording a 2-0 win over Ireland. A 3-0 win over Germany put them in the quarter-finals against an Alliance team.
They notched up a 5-0 victory before a tough semi-final test against the Netherlands. The Dutch scored first but Scotland equalised on the 25-minute mark. They had to wait until the 58th minute for a late strike to take them through to the final against England.
On Saturday the English came out the blocks and put Scotland under pressure, but the defence stood firm and then came slowly in to the game. It was end-to-end stuff until the last seven minutes when England converted a short corner and followed up with a well-worked goal to seal the gold medal.
It was a great shift from the 55s, as well as silver, four Scots featured in the top 10 goalscorers, more than any other nation.
The 50s suffered the disappointment of missing out on bronze, after a field goal in the 15th minute from Ireland was enough to see them secure the medals. It was an impressive tournament run though, with three wins, one draw and two defeats in six matches.
Earlier in the summer Scotland faced the Netherlands, Wales, tournament visitors Ghana and France in the 40s section, improving as the week wore on and finding much to build on for the future. The 45s faced Wales twice, the Netherlands, Spain and Ireland – with some close encounters, which did not go their way.
Overall there’s much to celebrate and much to work on for all the squads.
Trials begin soon for selection for next year and anyone eligible to play for Scotland is welcome to attend. For more information on the Masters programme visit the SWMH website.
Scotland 7 v 0 GlobeDutch
Scotland 2 v 0 Ireland
Scotland 3 v 0 Germany
Scotland 5 v 0 Alliance (QF)
Scotland 1 v 2 Netherlands (SF)
Scotland 0 v 2 England (1v2)
Scotland 5 v 0 France
Scotland 0 v 0 Ireland
Scotland 2 v 1 Germany
Scotland 2 v 0 Wales (QF)
Scotland 0 v 3 England (SF)
Scotland 0 v 1 Ireland (3v4)
Scotland 1 v 2 Wales
Scotland 0 v 1 Spain
Scotland 0 v 4 Netherlands
Scotland 1 v 2 Ireland
Scotland 0 v 3 Wales (7v8)
Scotland 0 v 7 Netherlands
Scotland 0 v 3 Wales
Scotland 0 v 5 Ghana
Scotland 0 v 4 France