England v Scotland Over 70 International
Durham 10 March 2020
The venue was Durham University for the annual England 70s v Scotland Over 70 International and it was no surprise to see an English team consisting of members of previous 60s and 65 International sides, but the Scots were determined to give a good account of themselves - and this they achieved and more.
In last year’s corresponding fixture the Scots found themselves 4-0 down in the first quarter and they were determined to prevent this happening again. A different formation was adopted with the aim of closer marking allied to a clear understanding of each person’s role in the system - and it worked. The English spread the ball about in their usual manner but found it difficult to penetrate the circle and if they did hurried shots were competently dealt with by goalkeeper Nigel Dixon. A short corner was awarded just before the break and in added on time the English broke the deadlock.
The second period saw the English continue to press but resolute defending from Ian Pett, Graham Conkie and David Margerison, aided by Peter Gordon playing in the sweeper role, thwarted every attack and at half time the result remained the same.
There was no discernible change in the pattern of play as the third period developed with the Scots on the defensive but the English unable to find a way through until an unlucky break of the ball gave the home side a chance which they put away. The obvious pleasure this invoked was a testament to the effort and organisation the Scots had demonstrated. In the fourth quarter, much to the surprise of the English , the Scots midfield began to enjoy more possession and were able to hold on to the ball and string together a few promising moves. Just at the end the English increased their advantage to give what many would regard as a slightly unjust reflection of the game as a whole.
Post match discussion clearly showed that this performance was one of the best Scotland Over 70had achieved in recent years. Organisation and structure it was agreed was the key to this improved performance and allied to a great team spirit and willingness of all the squad to work for each other made the opposition realise that they had a game on their hands.
Special mention should be made of new recruit John Redmond who fitted in well to the defensive formation and who very kindly thanked his new teammates for the friendly manner in which they welcomed him to the squad and for the enjoyment he got from being part of such a cohesive unit.
Alan Bain, Graham Conkie, Roy Crichton, Nigel Dixon, Andy Ferrol, Peter Gordon, David Margerison, Duncan Mitchell, Alan Parker, Ian Pett, Martin Petty, John Redman, Derrick Reid, Norrie Springford, Dougie Turner, Sandy Weir.