Scots draw at Titwood

27 May 2012

1ST TEST MATCH   SCOTLAND V SOUTH AFRICA - TITWOOD (GLASGOW)

In the first of five test matches at Titwood, a fighting performance by Scotland`s women produced a well earned 2-2 draw with the much-fancied South African, six places above the Scots on the international rankings and on their way to the London Olympics in a few weeks time.

Gordon Shepherd, Scotland`s coach, managed this result with a side composed of experience and several youngsters, and without his four GB players Laura Bartlett, Emily Maguire, Abi Walker and Vikki Bunce.

It certainly did not look good for Shepherd`s charges with just seconds left, they trailed 2-1 but were then awarded a belated penalty corner.  At the second attempt Nikki Kidd`s drag flick was deflected goalwards by Catriona Ralph and first cap Nikki Lloyd nipped in to make sure of the equaliser.

The Scots had their chances early on, Kidd hit a post at a penalty corner, Sam Judge`s strike was disallowed for dangerous play at another set piece, then Kidd again sent a reverse stick shot wide of the target.

South Africa took the lead midway through the half, the initial shot was saved by Scotland goalkeeper Amy Gibson but Dirkie Chamberlain followed up to strike the rebound home.   Although South Africa dominated the rest of the half, Linda Clement had a chance in the final minutes at a goalmouth scramble after Kareena Marshall`s cross had struck a post.

In the second half the Scots shocked the pre-match favourites with a goal against the run of play, a move involving Kidd, Judge and Clement finally reached Ali Bell whose miss-hit shot eluded the stranded goalkeeper.

South Africa continued to dominate play with four penalty corner opportunities and took a 2-1 lead with eight minutes left when Kathleen Taylor was left with a simple tap in after a quick attack had opened up the Scottish defence.   But the Scots never gave up and were rewarded with Lloyd`s late counter.

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