Hockey: Abi Walker shines in penalty shoot-out as Scots beat Wales

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Scotland hockey keeper Abi Walker was the heroine with three crucial saves in a dramatic penalty shoot-out which the Scots won 3-1 against Wales to take seventh place in the Commonwealth Games at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi, after the teams had drawn 1-1 in normal time.

Kareena Marshall, Vikki Bunce and Catriona Forrest also played their part, all three coolly found the net from the spot to initiate the celebrations. But it should never have come to this nerve-jangling conclusion as the Scots had several chances, including six penalty corners, to win the contest during regulation time.

Wales did most of the early running but it was the Scots who took the lead in five minutes. Bunce swept past several Welsh defenders, the ball was passed on to Ailsa Robertson via Morag McLellan and the Grove player coolly lifted the ball over the goalkeeper. The lead lasted four minutes, at a penalty corner the ball was switched to Sarah Thomas who deflected it high past Walker for the equaliser.

In a pulsating contest, Catriona Forrest was sent to the sin bin and Scots keeper Walker came to rescue on three occasions with timely saves. Bunce believed she had given her side the lead when her vicious reverse stick shot appeared to fly high into the Welsh net but it only hit the side netting. In the closing minutes of normal time the Scots, with Bunce as the main tormentor of the Welsh, pressed for the winner but five penalty corner chances were wasted.

The final of the women's tournament will be between Australia and New Zealand tomorrow. England completely dominated their semi-final but their forward line huffed and puffed outside the Australia circle but rarely troubled the keeper. Just after the interval Donna Blyth scored the only goal of the game with a deft deflection past Beth Storry at a penalty corner. Lack of imagination was England's undoing in the second half as the Australia defence held out with some degree of ease.

The other semi-final produced another tense affair with the Kiwis just edging out South Africa with a solitary strike from Clarissa Eshuis.

In the men's competition, Scottish umpire Martin Madden will take charge of today`s semi-final between rivals Australia and New Zealand.