THE only thing ‘green’ about them was the colour of the pitch beneath their feet but these hockey players – boasting an average age of 79 – showed that they could still stick it to players young enough to be their grandchildren.

Australia’s ‘Vintage Grand Masters Team’ warmed up for an international tournament by stopping off in East Lothian to take on a ladies’ team from Haddington Hockey Club.

The youthful Haddington team ran out 5-0 winners but were surprised by the fitness and skill levels of the visitors, who boasted an average age of 79 and had two 81-year-olds in their squad of 18 players.

Claire Colquhoun, match secretary, wished the visitors all the best in the upcoming Grand Masters Hockey European Cup, which Australia are competing in.

Claire said: “It was a really good game.

“The reason they are over is the Australian team are training for a European tournament.

“They were travelling to the European tournament and they went to Ireland and then to Wales and had a few days based in Haddington.

“They arrived on the Sunday [August 13] and played us on the Monday evening. Tuesday they were training and then they visited the Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the Tuesday evening.”

The match, which took place at Haddington’s Mill Wynd sports pitches, arose when Allan Golightly, a senior team coach and Scotland Veterans’ Over-65s’ hockey representative, invited the Australian team to play in Haddington ahead of their guest appearance at the upcoming Grand Masters Hockey European Cup, which kicked off in Glasgow on Saturday, with the final taking place this weekend.

At the Glasgow based games, the Australian team expect to be pitted against other international sides from England, Netherlands and Germany among others.

Prior to visiting Haddington, the Australians had already played two games each in England, Wales and in Ireland.

Team manager Bob Rowley said the upcoming tournament was an important precursor to the World Championships in Barcelona in 2018.

The friendship between the two sides stretched beyond the hockey field though, with a Burns Supper dished up at the Golf Tavern, on Haddington’s Bridge Street.

A piper and the traditional speeches were given before wishing the Australian team the best of luck.