Scotland held to a draw by South Africa in opening match
Scotland arrived at the Women`s FIH Champions Challenge
in Dublin as underdogs and immediately dispelled that tag with a
fighting 2-2 draw with the much-fancied South African side in the
opening pool match.
In a heavy downpour, honours were even in the
opening 30 minutes with both Vikki Bunce and Emily Maguire testing
the South African keeper. The Springboks, nine places above
the Scots in the world rankings, were in a state of shock when
Scotland took the lead. Laura Bartlett created the opening up
the right and Louise Baxter fired a vicious low drive from the top
of the circle past the keeper.
The South Africans had barely recovered when the Scots added a
second, when a move involving Sam Judge, Ailsa Wyllie and Bunce won
a penalty corner in overtime, and at the second time of asking
Nikki Kidd scored with a low shot to the keeper`s right hand
The Springboks began to show their strenth after the half time
interval and put the Scots defence under considerable pressure.
Despite being pinned back for long periods, the Scots created
a couple of chances. Catriona Ralph and Bartlett combined but
Bunce`s reverse stick shot was blocked by the keeper while minutes
later a Nikki Kidd effort suffered the same fate.
Pietie Coetzee pulled one back in 52 minutes, before both she
and Scotland`s Catriona Ralph had a short spell in the sin bin.
In the interim Bunce, Bartlett and Kareena Marshall had a
rare sortie up the pitch, but Ali Bell`s shot narrowly failed to
beat the South African keeper, before Illse Davids equalised for
the South Africans with a low shot past Abi Walker.
Walker then became the heroine of the final five minutes with a
series of saves, mainly from Coetzee, to frustrate the Springboks
attempt to steal all three points at the death.
Japan edged out USA 2-1 in the other match in Scotland`s
You can continue to follow Scotland’s progress by visiting the
FIH Champions Challenge website.
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