For me, last weekend’s international games marked the end of the 2015/16 hockey season. Without a break, the 16/17 domestic seaon started with Division 1 games on 17th September. I was at Auchenhowie to see the Wildcats take on Menzieshill, with both clubs hopeful of contesting for top league places but both giving a game to quite a few youngsters.
The game was closely contested throughout but it was the visitors from Dundee who created the best scoring opportunities. This was reflected in the scoring, Menzieshill had an early two goal lead and held on to finish 4-2 winners.
photos – Western Wildcats v Grove Menzieshill
The first steps for lower ranked teams to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in India are the World League round 1 tournaments which have been played around the world. Scotland’s men had home advantage for their round as the tournament was played at Glasgow Green between the 6th and 11th September. The tournament featured five teams playing a round-robin competition with the top two qualifying for the next round.
The tournament came to a climax on the Sunday afternoon as Scotland met Wales in the final match. Both teams were unbeaten in the tournament and had already qualified for the next round. Scotland, who hadn’t conceded a goal all week, found themselves two behind after only a few minutes and 3-1 down at halftime. The Scots pulled one back in the second half but it was Wales who held out to secure the first place trophy.
Of the visiting teams Switzerland classified third were ahead of Portugal and Slovakia.
Portugal v Wales
Scotland v Switzerland
Portugal v Switzerland
Scotland v Slovakia
Wales v Switzerland
Portugal v Slovakia
Slovakia v Wales
Scotland v Portugal
Slovakia v Switzerland
Scotland v Wales
With little more than two weeks until Scotland men play in the World League 1 round in Glasgow they played a three game series against Italy between 18th and 21st August.
Game one on the Thursday night went well for the Scots. They started strongly with two early goals finished with a penalty corner conversion which completed the win at 5-0.
photos – Scotland v Italy, game 1
Saturday’s game saw another early 2-0 lead for Scotland. This time though they let Italy back into the game and found themselves 3-2 down in the second half before forcing an equaliser.
photos – Scotland v Italy, game 2
The final game of the series was played on Sunday morning. Yet again Scotland were 2-0 up early in the game. This time however they quickly doubled the lead to 4-2 and continued to build through the game. The final score was an 8-2 win.
photos – Scotland v Italy, game 3
I didn’t get a chance to see Edinburgh Wolves play in Division 1 North during the regular season. They had a great season, finishing with a 10-0 winning record and only conceding 54 points all year.
Their first round play-off was played at Peffermill on 7th August against Nottingham Caesars. This was a scrappy game, not least due to the strong wind which continued to blow throughout. The Wolves kept up their performance and had built up a 20-0 lead before Nottingham forced a consolation touchdown in the dying minutes.
photos – Edinburgh Wolves v Nottingham Caesars
For the semi-final game on 14th August the opposition were the Kent Exiles. It was a long journey for no reward for the visitors. In much better conditions the Wolves dominated the game and finished 35-0 winners.
This result gives the Wolves a place in the Division 1 Britbowl against Bury Saints in Leeds in a couple of weeks. It also means they’ll be promoted into the Premier Division for next season. Expect a healthy rivalry with East Kilbride Pirates.
photos – Edinburgh Wolves v Kent Exiles
The end of the Scottish Australian Rules season has come round again and, for a change, Edinburgh Bloods were missing from the Grand Final. This years game was an all-Glasgow affair featuring the reigning champions, the Greater Glasgow Giants, and the Glasgow Sharks.
In the early exchanges of the game the Giants were well on top but the Sharks soon came back into it and they held a 10 point lead at half time. The game was close until the final few minutes whhen the Sharks became dominant and secured the win by (18.12) 120 to (11.2) 77.
photos – Glasgow Sharks v Greater Glasgow Giants
The second level European age group championships for both boys and girls were held at Glasgow Green between 24th and 30th July.
The girls tournament was dominated by two teams who were almost unseperatable. When France and Belarus drew their pool match they finished with identical records and a shoot-out was required to separate them. The French girls won that one and both teams went on to reach the final. Again the game was drawn and this time it was Belarus who won the shoot-out and took the trophy. Both teams have secured promotion to the top level for the next competition in two years time.
The Scotland girls finished in fourth place after losing the Bronze Medal match to the Czech Republic in another shoot-out.
The French boys made up for the girl’s loss with a dominant performance in their final and a 5-1 win over Poland. There was a bit of success for the Scottish boys too as they took third place after a 2-0 win over Austria.
photos – EuroHockey Under 18 Championships II
The tournament was a great success so well done to all the staff and volunteers who put on 40 games over the week. Yes, 40 games. I managed to get at least some photos from 38 of them.
The winning teams together – France boys and Belarus girls.
Having missed out on Premier Division play-offs this year, the Pirates played their final home game of the season against Sheffield Predators at Hamilton RFC on 16th July. Both teams were in the running for the third place slot in the division but it was East Kilbride’s day to shine. They produced in a dominant performance right from the start and rolled over the visitors by 69-0.
photos – EK Pirates v Sheffield Predators
There was more good news for the Pirates organisation the following day as the under 19 Junior team clinched the Scottish title, and a play-off berth, with a home win over Highland Wildcats. This was a much closer game. After the Pirates built a 12-0 half time lead the Wildcats fought back and were in front by 16-12 before a couple of quick scores brought the win for the home team by 26-16. They’ll now be travelling to Manchester or Leeds next month for their play-off game.
photos – EK Pirates v Highland Wildcats
The England under 21 Women’s team made a visit to Glasgow for a series of games over the weekend 8- 10th July. Their Friday game was against Scotland under 21s, a team reinforced by a number of players who’d returned from duty with the senior squad in Spain.
This was a high quality game. England took the lead on the last minute of the first half while Scotland forced an equaliser half way through the second. From there the result could have gone either way, but in the end 1-1 was how it finished.
I wasn’t at the second game, which also finished 1-1 thanks to a last minute Scottish equaliser. In the deciding game on Sunday morning the English proved to have most stamina as they swept to a 3-0 half time lead. Scotland put up a better performance in the second half but the victory went to England by 5-1.
photos – Scotland under 21 v England under 21
Late last Alan Wilson, year one of American Footballs referees died suddenly. Alan is deeply missed by everyone in the sport in Scotland, and that certainly includes me. To compound the tragedy, his widow, Brenda, passed away just a few days later.
A memorial flag football tournament was held in their memory at the Toryglen Regional Football Centre on 2nd July. Nine teams were entered, some representing established Scottish teams, others just thrown together. After a full day of competition which everyone enjoyed the winners were the Glasgow Hornets who edged out ‘Team Brian’ in the final.
photos – The Wilson Bowl 2016
All profits from sales will go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thewilsonbowl
Glasgow Green hosted a three game series for the visiting Irish side on 28-30 June.
With some of Scotland’s better under 21 players being away with the senior squad in Spain it was the Irish girls who proved to be the stronger team. Inded they won all three games, including a 2-0 win in the third game, which was the one the photos come from.
photos – Scotland under 21 v Ulster under 23s