Five games and goals aplenty for Scotland age groups against Wales
It was an exciting day of hockey throughout the age groups as Scotland played five games against Wales from U16 age group to U21. There were victories for Scotland U16 Boys and Girls, draws for U18 boys and girls in Wales, while a close match saw Scotland U21 women lose in Glasgow.
Scotland U21 Women 3-4 Wales
In the first match of the day Scotland U21 Women were defeated 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre in the opening game of a three-match series against Wales. The series is in preparation for U21 EuroHockey Championship II this summer where Scotland will compete in Alanya, Turkey
The pitch at Glasgow Green was gleaming in sunlight as the teams got the contest underway, and Scotland started well enough with a close–range strike from Georgia Jones taking advantage of poor Welsh defending. Then it was the turn of the Scottish rearguard to drop off and allow Meg Bowen to equalise. The Welsh player seemed to have plenty of time in the D to finish well for 1-1.
Scotland would take the lead for a second time in the contest. In overtime at the end of the first quarter the Scots were awarded a penalty corner and Cailin Hart`s shot eluded the Welsh keeper.
Hart had a strong game playing at the back for Scotland. Ellie Wilson was another player who caught the eye; dictating play with good passing from the back.
The Scots youngsters continued to create chances in the second quarter but failed to add to their 2-1 tally. But just before half time the Scottish defence nodded off and allowed quickfire goals from Bowen again and Izzy Webb to give Wales a 3-2 lead.
Another open play strike from Jones levelled at 3-3 and it was a great team goal by the Scots. The ball was transferred across the back and forward up the left channel. Five players were involved by the time it reached Jones left of the D, she then spun inside and sped across the top of the circle before slipping the ball under the goalkeeper in a composed finish.
As the game reached a conclusion Wales was rewarded for a high press and with four minutes remaining Caro Hulme snatched a late winner for the visitors.
The sides play again on Saturday at Glasgow Green in the second test.
Wales u18 Boys 2-2 Scotland U18 Boys
A very competitive and even opening to the Scotland versus Wales U18 Boys’ series ended in a 2-2 draw. Fraser Heigh and Fraser Moran were the scorers for Scotland, each bagging a drag flick in Wales.
It’s a new group of players pulling on the shirt for Scotland and they took to the pitch with energy and enthusiasm. The team tried out a new defensive set-up and adapted well, with the team performance improving throughout the contest.
The teams were evenly matched but it was Scotland who took the lead when Fraser Heigh sent a lovely drag flick low into the goal for 1-0.
Wales equalised and then took a 2-1 advantage in the contest.
Scotland were always in the contest and played some nice hockey, Euan Burgess in particular looking good. Burgess had an excellent clearance off the line to prevent another Wales goal when his team was under pressure.
Fraser Moran struck with a lovely drag flick to equalise for Scotland and there was nearly a last minute winner for Scotland but the ball was called to have struck a foot and the goal ruled out.
There’s an excellent series brewing between these two, but it’s honours even after day one.
Wales U18 Girls 5-5 Scotland U18 Girls
The U18 girls battled out an exciting goal-fest of a match as Scotland drew 5-5 with Wales in a great spectacle of hockey.
A penalty corner strike gave Wales the lead before Aisha Saini equalised for Scotland when she rebounded a penalty corner into the net for 1-1.
Wales raced into a 3-1 lead but Scotland battled back and Michaela McCarthy scored a brilliant goal to pull one back for Scotland. The move went from back-to-front with most of the team touching the ball before McCarthy bravely forced the goal home to pull it back to 3-2.
The goals kept coming and it quickly became 5-3 to Wales. The Scotland goal was struck by Jenn Tait in another brave finish after some good work on the baseline.
There was a great spirit about the Scotland squad and they kept battling their way back into the match.
Ellie Stott pulled it back to 5-4 with a composed finish to take the ball past the goalkeeper and a defender to strike for Scotland.
Then Lucy Williamson found the equaliser for Scotland with an unstoppable penalty corner to make it 5-5.
Scotland very nearly snuck a victory at the end when Ellie McKenzie went on a great solo run; she beat four players but just run out of steam at the strike.
It ended up an incredible draw with two more exciting games on the cards in Wales.
Wales U16 Boys 2-4 Scotland U16 Boys
Scotland U16 boys’ put in an exciting performance as they beat Wales 4-2 away from home to get their three-match series off to a great start.
A hat-trick for Euan Menzies and a strike for Ben Galloway clocked up a composed win for the Scots.
It was a slow start to the match for Scotland with seven new caps taking to the pitch after a long day of travelling to Wales. They showed good mentality to go 1-0 up when Euan Menzies scored a lovely goal – from the middle of the pitch Scotland countered and Menzies finished with style for 1-0.
It went to 1-1 just before half time before Menzies bagged his second after the restart with a drag flick from a penalty corner.
Ben Galloway added his name to the score sheet with a low penalty corner strike before Wales pulled one back to make it 3-2.
Scotland had a penalty flick well saved before Scotland scored the goal of the game to make it 4-2. Jamie Croll carried the ball forward and under pressure he slipped it to Menzies to finish for his hat trick and Scotland’s fourth of the match.
Scotland had plenty penalty corners, and could have scored more, before Charlie Jack was beaten by the buzzer at the end of the match when he pinged in a fifth.
In the end it was an excellent 4-2 win to kick start what looks to be another exciting series in Wales.
Wales U16 Girls 2-6 Scotland U16 Girls – report to follow
The curtain falls on the Scottish Hockey domestic season at one of the highlights of Scotland’s sporting calendar – the Scottish Cup Finals!
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