Scotland men book final spot after successful indoor Euros day 2
Scotland convincingly beat Slovenia 9-0 before battling out a 4-4 draw with Wales on day two of Men’s Indoor EuroHockey Championship III in Santander. The results put Scotland in tomorrow’s final where a win will see them promoted to the second tier of European indoor hockey.
The day will see the Blue Sticks take on hosts Spain in a double-header, first to resolve who finishes the pool stage on top before they play in the final to decide who gets the gold medal and promotion spot.
Slovenia 0-9 Scotland (D. Coultas x3; C. Golden x4; S. Dick; C. Falconer)
Scotland started day two at Men’s Indoor EuroHockey Championship II with a comprehensive 9-0 victory over Slovenia. Cammy Golden scored four; Dan Coultas scored a hat-trick; and there were goals from Stephen Dick and Craig Falconer.
It was a match where Scotland were clinical from penalty corners scoring four from six. Slovenia parked themselves on the D and presented the Blue Sticks with the challenge of breaking them down.
Midway through the opening quarter the Scots went to work on their goal scoring exploits. Drag flick expert Dan Coultas fired home a penalty corner and almost immediately Cammy Golden followed up with a strike to make it 2-0.
Golden and Coultas again were the protagonists in the second quarter as the Blue Sticks thundered home more goals. First Coultas completed his double before two Cammy Golden penalty corner finishes gave him his hat-trick.
The goals continued in the third quarter and again it was Cammy Golden who pinged home his fourth of the match from another penalty corner for 6-0.
Scotland’s captain Stephen Dick made it 7-0 for Scotland early in the final quarter before Coultas bagged his hat trick to go 8-0 ahead.
Craig Falconer got in on the act as the match neared a conclusion when he finished to make it 9-0 with a minute remaining.
The result meant Scotland required at least a draw against Wales in their next match to guarantee a place in the final.
Wales 4-4 Scotland (D. Coultas x2; C. Golden; A. MacKenzie)
Scotland earned a vital point in a 4-4 draw against Wales in Men’s Indoor EuroHockey Championship III in Santander. The Scots are now five points clear of the Welsh and two points behind Spain in the pool with one game left to play before the final later tomorrow where they’ll face Spain for the promotion spot.
It was the Welsh who came out the traps quickly and Benjamin Francis opened the scoring in the first minute of the game when he gave Wales the lead from a penalty corner.
From there Scotland dominated the play and issued a quick response through another clinical Dan Coultas penalty corner equalised to make it 1-1.
Early in the second quarter Wales retook the lead and it was Francis again who provided the strike to make it 2-1. A quick counter-attack saw the ball in the Scots net at a time when the Blue Sticks were running the show.
Wales furthered their advantage as the quarter progressed; it went to 3-1 when Jonathan Fleck scored on another break with two minutes of the half remaining to give his side a solid advantage at half time.
Scotland re-emerged with purpose and Coultas scored his second of the match as Scotland pulled one back to make it 3-2 to Wales. He finished well in a crowded D to get the important goal.
Moments later and there was an all-important equaliser for Scotland when a clinical Cammy Golden penalty corner made it 3-3. The ball was switched to Golden and he made no mistake with the finish.
Three minutes into the final quarter a yellow card was shown to Coultas, giving the Welsh a player advantage, and they made it count when William Riley made it 4-3.
The Scots battled hard and then earned back-to-back penalty corner opportunities to equalise – and did some damage with the second one. Adam MacKenzie equalised with two minutes to go, slamming home a goal of upmost importance to give Scotland the vital point required.
Scotland face hosts Spain in the final Pool game before the final placings are settled later in the day.
Scotland Indoor Head Coach Stuart Neave said, “It was great to get the point against Wales and I’m delighted we’re in the final. Sometimes you have games where you’re on top and it just doesn’t quite click, but the guys dug in well and got what we needed. Wales pushed us so it’s really important we got that point.
“The earlier game was a different challenge; Slovenia sat at the top of their D and made us break them down. The boys stuck to the task and did really well.
“Tomorrow is a big day for us. Again, we’ll refocus tonight and look at the video of today. The first game is unusual as it doesn’t really mean anything, but the final afterwards is where we’ll have to be on top of our game. It’s a great opportunity.”
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