Mixed fortunes for Conkie and Stockdale

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Borders hockey players Paul Conkie and Colin Stockdale swapped their Fjordhus tops for Royal Blue last weekend and joined the rest of the Scotland over-45 squad for the Masters tournament in Wakefield, Yorkshire.

The draw saw the home nations take on each other in the annual tournament at College Grove, the home of Wakefield Sports Club, which has two world-class water-based AstroTurf pitches.

Scotland had mixed success, losing their first game to Ireland 1-0 on Saturday morning with a rather rusty performance.

However, the Scottish squad played better in the afternoon against Wales to record a satisfying and hard-fought 1-0 triumph.

A game against England is always a measure of how good a side is, and the Scottish chaps were determined not to disappoint on Sunday. The game was played at a cracking pace, with England scoring twice, one in each half, but each time the Scots levelled quickly.

The Scots were determined to push their opponents all the way and not be overawed by a supposedly-superior squad.

Each side strived for the decisive goal and after looking wobbly during the last few minutes, England eventually found the winner for a 3-2 victory.

Scotland had to be content as runners-up again, but knowing that what in the past has been a gulf is now a gap in standard was encouraging for the squad.

Both Conkie and Stockdale are now aiming for the European Championships in Ireland in August to improve on last weekend’s second position.