The Tournament in Barcelona took place between the 26th June and the 3rd of July. The event was open to teams from as far away as Argentina and Australia and for ages of 60's 65s 70's and 75s. The games were played at the Royal Club de Polo and the event was in tribute to Wim van Noortwijk. Wim was a well respected previous Chair of the WMGA from Holland and and played Hockey well into his 70's
Thistles took three teams, a 65's led by Ian McCeath and a 70's led by Ian Pett and a team of Thistles ladies. Most of the teams stayed close to the pitch in a local hotel and met together for meals and socials, as well as Hockey.
The 70's team was as follows and shown on the image opposite.
Left to right: Peter Robertson, Jane Neil (manager) Paul Finch, Jim Chisholm, Dougy Turner, Ian Lynch. Jim Watson, Chris Kalman, Alan Murray,
Front row: Alan Parker, Graham Conkie, Kieran McLernan, Steve Lowe, Peter Gordon, Ian Pett (Captain) John Smith
27th June Thistles v Dragons 0-0 draw
27th June Thistles v NHC70 B (Holland)
28th June Thistles v Old Lions (Belgium) 1- 0 Win
29th June Thistles v NHC70 A (Holland) 0-0 Draw
30th June Thistles v Gens Italica (Italy) 1-0 Win
End of the rounds, Thistles were second in the league and therefore had to play 3rd, which was Hollland
2nd July Thistles v NHC70 A (Holland) 0-3 Lost
3rd July Thistles v Old Lions (Belgium) 1- 0 Win, therefor we came 3rd in the tournament
70s report by Peter Gordon
The old adage “ —— to travel more in hope than expectancy “ may well have summed up the team’s aspirations when a series of late withdrawals reduced the squad to 14 players including two keepers. However the subsequent results belied all these fears and the squad returned as medallists.
In temperatures in the 30Cs all week the squad played 5 qualifying games of 20 minutes each half against opposition from Wales, Holland ( 2) , England , Italy and Belgium losing to England LX , defeating Belgium and Italy and drawing with Wales and the two Dutch sides. These results left the team in the second qualifying spot - and exhausted!
In all these sectional results , except for the defeat, the Thistles conceded no goals - a testament to the defensive efforts and skill of Messrs Kalman , Conkie , Robertson , Chisholm and Smith . In midfield Captain Pett, Laux, Turner, Murray , Fuller and converted goalkeeper Finch chased and harried the opposition into mistakes or passing backwards whilst up front a goal apiece from Watson and Gordon were enough to secure two victories and an opportunity to play in the semifinal against the Dutch A team.
This however was a game too far as injuries and exhaustion allied to a very fit and competent Dutch side proved too strong. The following day for the 3/4 placing we recruited Mike Button a former Thistles player and Moira a lady from Thistles Ladies to replace two players who had gone home. This game proved a mirror image of our previous games with a solid defence thwarting the Belgian attacks , a mid field relentlessly closing down the opposition triangles and the attack trying to put the opposition under pressure. With one minute to go a shot from Gordon was well saved but from the rebound the same player lifted the ball over the keeper and into the roof of the net for a victory and third place.
Overall this was an excellent trip coupling exhausting games , great team spirit and sociability. Roll on the Dundee Tournament in August.