England Men 050s retain their Home Nations Title.

England Masters Over 50s Men Home Nation 2019 - Swansea

England Men’s O50s went into the tournament defending a winning streak back to 2008.  The aim of this new group of players was to develop as a unit quarter on quarter and game on game, and for all players to push forward their case for selection into the European Championship Squad  to go to Germany in August.

Eng 50s 2 Wales 0.

 

England won their opening game though struggled at times to break down a gritty Wales team.  With a number of changes from last year and a late withdrawal on the eve of the tournament England went into the game with a great deal of anticipation.  A number of circle penetrations did not yield results and 15 penalty corners did not bear any fruit.  An area of the game to work on.

With the score being a scoreless draw at half time England eeventually broke the deadlock with an open play goal.  With Wales threatening on the break England needed a second goal which game in the fourth quarter from Kevin Miller.  The game finished 2 nil with plenty to work on in the following games.

 

Eng 50s 7 Ireland 0.

 

After the stuttering display from Friday night the aim was to improve and the squad did just that.  With a lightly altered shape the team progressed well and without totally overwhelming Ireland they scored consistently throughout the quarters.  Mike Gillett scored the first from a penalty corner slip.  This was followed in the second quarter by  Neil Pendle again in the score sheet and Andrew Spooner  getting on the score sheet after a lovely half volley from his own rebound from the keeper.  The planets must have then aligned as  the third quarter started with not only Ian Phillips scoring but he did so with a rasping shot across the keeper.  This was quickly following be Andrew Spooner deflecting home at the back post after some great work down the left.  The fourth quarter was played at the same high intensity with the skipper Phillips again scoring  and Richard Jones piling in on the back post to deflect the ball in after good work down the right flank.

 

Eng 50s 4 Scotland 3

 

With the trophy retained after other results on the Saturday England could have taken their foot off the gas but wanted to go out and play some good hockey again.  Scotland had other ideas and made life difficult with the aggression and intensity they showed.  England scored with a lovely PC routine back to Colin Cooper who swept in nicely at the end of the quarter.  Scotland then pulled one back but England regained the lead on the stroke of half-time with a Neil Pendle PC drag flick.  The second half got a bit scrappy with a  number of cards disrupting play.  Neil Pendle then extended the lead.  quickly followed by Scotland closing the gap which was immediately repeated with Ian Hammond scoring  and Scotland responding.  The final score represented a tough match which was evidenced by the state of the players on and off the pitch

 

The big learning points from this weekend have been the number of cards which not only disrupted play but also meant significant periods were played with 10 men or less.  This need to be improved upon along with set piece play and the ability to breakdown solid defences

 

Squad

Plastow, Stoneley, Wood, Camilerri, Von Der Hyde, Duerden, Stokes, Watson, Gillet,  Cooper, Phillips (c), Pendle, Miller, Nash, Brown V, Spooner, Wood, Jones.

Manager – Tim Ollerenshaw, Coach – John Dixon