While England’s men and women were battling if it out among the world’s elite at the Kyocera Stadium in The Hague, over 120 Masters and Grand Masters teams competed for world championship gold in age groups from o40 to o75. The ‘younger‘ Masters groups (o40 to o55, men and women) were played at HC Rotterdam and the Grand Masters (o60 to o75) were hosted by HC Klein Zwitserland in The Hague, writes Adrian Stephenson.
England o55 and o70 men won gold to become World Champions in their age group as did the women’s o50 and o55. The over 70s, led by captain John Longden and well marshalled by coach John Oakshatt, won back the world crown that they had lost at Oxford two years ago.
A fine defensive performance kept a clean sheet until the final and then it took a penalty flick to get past goalkeeper Paddy Maher, while goals at the other end from Adrian Stephenson and Mike Surridge clinched a 2-1 win against the Netherlands.
At Rotterdam, Mark Precious and his o55s beat holders Australia 3-1 in the semi-final but had to go to a shoot out (4-2) to beat the Netherlands after drawing their final with the host nation.
In the women’s competitions the England o50 and o55s both ended successful campaigns with wins over Australia and the Netherlands to complete the England haul of four golds.
For the first time at a World Cup there were women o60 and men o75 age groups, both of which were won by Australia, with England in second place.
All the other England teams were on the podium in silver or bronze position to complete a fine performance from the national sides.
In the Grand Masters event at The Hague England’s LX Club won all three age groups in the tournament for national B teams.
The Finals: Men – o40: Aus 1 Ndl 1 (s/o 4-2), Eng 3 Germany 2 in 3rd/4th; o45: Aus 3 Eng 3 (s/o 2-1); o50 Ger 1 Eng 0; o55: Eng 1 Ndl 1 (s/o 4-2); o60: Aus 2 Ndl 1, Eng 4 Ger 1 4-1 in 3rd/4th; o65 Ndl 3 Aus 0, Eng 6 Ger 1 3rd/4th; o70 Eng 2 Ndl 1; o75: Aus 2 Eng 0. Women – o40: Aus 1 Ndl 1 (s/o 3-2), Eng 4 Rus 1 3rd/4th; o45: Ndl 2 RSA 0, no Eng side; o50 Eng 2 Aus 1; o55 Eng 4 Ndl 0;
o60 Aus 3 Eng 0.