Honours were (almost) even in the recent Celtic Cup in Aberdeen – with three out of the four nations returning home with silverware. Scotland topped the M60 agegroup, Ireland the M65 and Wales the M70 category in the the first-ever tournament organised by Scottish Masters Hockey (SMH).
Held between Friday 15 April and Sunday 17 April at Countesswells, on the outskirts of the Granite city, the event comprised three round robin competitions involving France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales at M60, M65 and M70 agegroups. As France could raise only an M65 team, the Scottish Thistles M60 and Celtic M70s played friendlies against Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the respective competitions, the Celtic Cups being contested by the three remaining international sides.
The tournament kicked off with not one, but two matches. Scotland M60 took on Ireland with two goals apiece by full time, whilst Wales M65 lined up against Ireland with Ireland winning 2-0. It was an unbeaten start for all the Scotland teams on Friday, the M65s beating France 3-0 and the M70s notching up a 5-0 win over Ireland.
On Saturday an East coast haar shrouded the pitches, but that didn’t dampen players’ enthusiasm. The Scottish M60s enjoyed a 3-0 win over the Thistles and there were goals aplenty in the M65 encounter between Scotland and Ireland which ended 4-4. The M70s were beaten by a Wales side, the final score 3-0.
Sunday brought a goal-fest and an 8-0 victory for the M70 Scots over the Celtic team and the final two fixtures of the event were both Scotland v Wales. The M60s won 2-0 whilst the M65s enjoyed a convincing 6-0 win. Presentations were held immediately after the final match in each competition, with Scottish Hockey President Colin Fraser and Tournament Director Grace Mulholland handing out the silverware. The final standings were:
- M60 – Scotland
- M65 – Ireland
- M70 – Wales
All three agegroups retained the trophies they won in Belfast in 2021, though in the case of the M65 competition, Scotland finished equal to Ireland on points, goal difference, goals for and the result of the match between the two sides. With no time to hold a shoot out, the final tournament rule awarded the trophy to the holders, Ireland.
Civic Reception and tournament dinner
Another highlight of the weekend was the Civic Reception Tournament Dinner, preceded by a Civic Reception hosted by Aberdeen City Council, which took place in the Beach Ballroom.
The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett, welcomed guests to the reception before more than 250 players, officials and guests enjoyed an excellent tournament dinner to round off a memorable weekend.