ON A wet, cold and windy weekend at the National Hockey Academy at Peffermill, Edinburgh, Scotland hosted the Ladies’ Masters Home Nations.
Twelve teams had entered the competition, which sports age groups of over-40s, 45s, 50s and 55s.
With Scotland entered in each age group they knew the going would be tough, but had high hopes.
The over-50s were up first with Moira Anderson (Duns) gaining her first cap for Scotland.
Unfortunately, lack of match practice was to be their downfall and England ran in seven goals without reply from the Scots.
Denise Fairbairn (Borders Fjordhus, Melrose), gaining her first experience at international level, and Jackie Wilson (Borders Fjordhus, Hawick) were the Borderers in the over-40s who were also taking on a very experienced England squad. Unfortunately for the Scots, this was another rout, with the confident English winning 8-0.
The over-45s were last up with Carolyn Allison (Borders Fjordhus, Duns) and captain Janet Jack (Borders Fordhus, Jedburgh) involved. There were higher expectations from this age group who have had more experience together as a squad and were fighting to retain the trophy. The match was tense and physical, and remained scoreless.
Saturday brought cold, and windy conditions and all the Scottish teams were up against the Welsh.
The 50s overcame a sticky start to win 3-2. The 40s pulled out all the stops, but went down 3-1. The 45s, however, put on a fine display to win 5-0.
Feeling a little weary, the ladies braved the rain on Sunday to take on the Irish where the 50s put in a fine performance against England 55s, but weary legs led to a 4-1 defeat. The 40s won 2-0, though, with Wilson getting on the score sheet.
The 45s still had to score goals to ensure their retention of the trophy and they made it hard for themselves with a number of unforced errors and loss of possession. They pulled it together in the second half and a quick double midway through the game saw them finish 2-0 winners.
They then had to hope Wales stood firm against England. Things were looking positive at 1-1, but the English were too strong and eventually ran out 9-2 winners.
England returned across the Border with all three age-group trophies, but Scotland will be looking to get revenge in the Ladies Masters World Cup, which will be held later this summer in Canterbury.