Pat Lindsay gets the ball through in th W60s match against England. Pic: Alex Rotas

Glasgow welcomed 16 teams from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales at the weekend. And the visitors brought the sunshine with them as the GB&I 4 Nations between the women’s 50, 55, 60 and 65 age groups got underway. As always the ladies were in good spirits, relishing the opportunity to meet up with old adversaries and friends and show off some silky skills.

On Friday, 2nd June, Clydesdale Hockey Club provided a warm welcome in the clubhouse and a fine pitch. Although the facilities at Glasgow Green were not in use, the pitches at Glasgow Green provided a quality surface.

England on top

On day one England took the honours, winning all their games against Wales. The rest of the matches were contested between Ireland and Scotland. In the W55s it was an even affair until Ireland made their possession count. The heat took its toll on a depleted W55s squad, and they lost 2-0, but there was definite room for improvement.

In a fast and furious contest, Ireland beat Scotland W50s by a single goal. As Ireland didn’t have a W65 squad the Scots in that age group faced an England W70s. It was a keenly contested match but they eventually lost out 2-1.

Scotland W60s saved the home country’s blushes by beating Ireland 6-3. Ireland took an early lead against the run of play, which spurred on Scotland to respond with two quick goals in Q1. The Scots were 4-1 up at half time, notching – and conceding – a couple more to secure a 6-3 win. With six scorers on the scoresheet it was a great start to the campaign.

Scots feel the heat
England v Scotland. Pic: Alex Rotas

Another great day at Glasgow Green, which was kicked off by the Scot’s W65s. They soon felt the heat from their English opponents and, despite best efforts, lost the game 4-0.

The Scottish W55s had a great game against England but lost 1-0. Under the watchful eye of assistant coach Charlie Jack the players combined together well to take the game to the opposition. Despite taking off their keeper in the final minutes, just couldn’t get an equaliser.

The W60s faced England for the Caledonian Quaich, and took the game to the English right from the start. With neither team able to breakthrough, and some fantastic saves from GK Sue Cleaver the game ended in a – deserved – goal-less draw. The Quaich was presented by Maureen Bathgate in memory of her son, Richard Docherty.

As always the W50s gave their all in what was an improved performance from the previous day. Unfortunately their English opponents proved too strong, demonstrating excellent teamwork that moved them from defence to attack at speed. Scotland worked extremely well at the back but could not capitalise on their visits to the opposition’s D, despite some very brave play. Final score 2-0 to England, but probably one of the closest games in recent times.

In the other matches there was a mix of results:

  • W50 Wales v Ireland (1-4)
  • W55 Wales v Ireland (0-4)
  • W60 Wales v Ireland (2-1)
  • W65 Wales v England W70 (1-1)
Flying the flag

Sunday saw the England squads take on their Irish counterparts whilst Scotland faced the Welsh. England won the encounters in the W50 and W55 categories with the W70s beaten by their youngsters.

Flying the flag for Scotland the W50s recorded a 3-1 victory with two field goals and a penalty corner. Wales scored a late consolation.

Two goals in three minutes was enough to secure victory for the W55s and they were delighted to end a weekend of improvement on a high.

The officials smile for the camera

The W65s game finished 2-2 against Wales, but it will feel like a loss for the Scots. The home side came out of the blocks very fast and were 2-0 to the good by the 12th minute. They could not make the dominance count with a third goal though, and Wales had a solid final quarter and scored two goals in the final 10 minutes.

We like to leave the best til last, and after the W60s secured a tough 3-2 win over Wales all eyes went to the England v Ireland contest as this would decide the GB&I 4 Nations title. England needed to win by four goals and were 3-0 up by half time. They secured the title with Sue Crake’s penalty corner strike making it 4-0, eventually running out 5-0 winners.

Final standings then saw England win all the agegroups, with Scotland second placed in the W60s, third in the W50s and W55s and 4th in the W65s. Many thanks to all volunteers, spectators, organisers, squads, officials and players for making it a great tournament to remember.

Glasgow smiles better
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