MASTERS World Cup IN TERRASSA, SPAIN 14TH AUGUST 2018

Whilst the Lee Valley Hockey Centre in London hosted a fantastic Women’s World Cup this Summer, the Masters teams were in action at the Masters World Cup in Terrassa, Spain.

Magpies were represented by Tristan Baynes (England O40s), Kath Johnson (England O50s), Phil Cobbald (England O55s) and Murray Graham (Scotland O55s), whilst Judith Masters and Shirley McAllen played in the Grand Masters World Cup, making the England LX and O65s squads respectively.

Tristan, who played a key role in securing promotion with Magpies Men’s 2s last season, came second with the O40s in the group stages behind Spain on goal difference (with whom they drew 2-2 in their pool match). However in the final they played out a 3-2 thriller which England edged, bagging the gold medal.

Following wins over Wales and Italy, and a draw against Germany, the England Ladies O50s team topped their group and beat Wales 3-0 in the quarter final. A 2-1 defeat by Australia in the closely contested semi final saw Kath and her team face Scotland in the play off for third place. Trailing 1-0 with 6 minutes to go England scored twice to secure the win and another bronze medal to add to the one Kath won at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Three of Kath’s teammates from the ‘92 Great Britain squad also played in the match, with Ali Ramsey and Lisa Prince representing Scotland, and Wendy Justice captaining England.

Phil’s O55s team topped their group, beating Wales, France and New Zealand and drawing with Australia. After a convincing 7-0 win against USA in the quarter final the winning streak continued with a 3-0 defeat over the Netherlands (where Phil scored his third goal of the World Cup). The gold medal was secured for England by coming out 3-0 winners against Germany.

Despite the Scotland O55s finishing 9th out of 15, Murray didn’t concede many goals and relished the camaraderie and intense standard of hockey. There were over 3000 hockey players gathered in Terrassa with countries such as Zimbabwe and Oman represented. Making the Scotland squad is a fantastic achievement for Murray who only started playing hockey thirteen years ago and has now been to two world cups!

Judith narrowly missed out on selection for the O60s squad (having played with them for the previous 3 years) but did make it into the LX team who faced all the same teams as the O60s as well as the O65s teams. Alongside winning the trophy competition, Judith’s highlight was beating Argentina O60s 2-1 in a hard fought match which was played during the hottest part of the day (32 degrees!)

In her first season as an England International Shirley faced a gruelling schedule of matches but the O65s, as a newly formed age group, did themselves proud by winning 6 out of 6 games with Shirley contributing a goal against Alliance O60s. Judith and Shirley then had the honour of playing in an exhibition game at the Olympic Park in London before the England team took to the pitch. The match was billed as a showcase of Masters Hockey in the hope that it inspires more people to play into their fifties and sixties.

As a club, Magpies prides itself on providing hockey for all ages and abilities and to have so many players representing their country this summer, from ages Under 14 to Over 65, is a real reflection of the level of talent and commitment from these members.

If their stories have inspired you to pick up a stick you will be made very welcome at Magpies, please visit www.magpies-hockey.co.uk for more information about the club or email our mens or ladies club captains directly for hockey playing and training opportunities at ladiesclubcaptain@magpies-hockey.co.uk or mensclubcaptain@magpies-hockey.co.uk