Commonwealth Games: Scots set for England clash

Scotland's Leigh Fawcett steers the ball away from Sarah Jones. PicturE: Lisa Ferguson
Scotland's Leigh Fawcett steers the ball away from Sarah Jones. PicturE: Lisa Ferguson
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SCOTLAND recorded a double over Wales yesterday, with the women’s hockey side keeping their medal aspirations alive.

Gordon Shepherd’s team beat the Welsh 2-0 at Glasgow Green yesterday, a result that sets up the long-awaited encounter with England tomorrow with a semi-final place on offer for the winner. After England went down 3-0 to favourites Australia, both sides are locked on six points, but the Scots are well behind on goal difference, so a draw would be enough for England.

Yesterday, the Scots were by far the more enterprising side right from the start and a good run and shot by Ali Bell tested the Welsh goalkeeper. Then Bell received a good pass from Nikki Kidd and took time to place her shot wide of the goalkeeper to settle the nerves.

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Then followed an avalanche of Scottish attacks on the Welsh goal but no addition to the scoreline. The second finally came when a Bell shot from the top of the circle was well blocked by the Welsh goalkeeper, but Linda Clement followed up to touch the ball into the net.

The Scots came close to make it three just before the interval, a Kidd drag flick at another penalty corner was stopped on the line by a defender.

The vociferous crowd expected more of the same in the second half but the Scots ran out of steam and ideas, and the Welsh goal was only troubled by a shot from Kidd.

With five minutes left, a third goal seemed on the cards with the award of a penalty stroke after a sliding tackle on Nikki Lloyd. The Welsh made use of the video umpire and the decision was changed to a free hit out.

In the men’s event, Scotland’s never-say-die attitude sparked their 4-3 win over Wales.

They recovered from losing two goals in the first three minutes – they were also 3-1 down at the interval – but notched three goals in 20 minutes in the second half to take the three points. The result confirms Scotland’s fourth place in their group and virtually removes the possibility of the wooden spoon confrontation later on this week.

In the opening seconds Niall Stott carelessly gave the ball away, the Welsh won a penalty corner and Richard Gay fired his shot into the roof of the net. And a minute later, Gay flicked in a second. The Scots recovered gradually and Chris Grassick picked up a loose ball, advanced into the circle and sent a vicious low shot past the Welsh goalkeeper to pull one back.

The Scots pressed for the equaliser, and the best chance fell to Gordon McIntyre but his fierce reverse stick effort was blocked.

Gay completed his hat-trick for Wales on the half-hour with a penalty corner to put the Welsh in command at the interval.

As Wales had caught Scotland cold at the start of the game, the hosts turned the tables at the start of the second to equalise within six minutes.

A great run by Alan Forsyth took him from halfway to the base-line and his cut-back was pushed home by McIntyre. Before Wales could regroup, they conceded a penalty corner following a shot by Gareth Hall and Dan Coultas calmly sent his drag flick past the goalkeeper for the equaliser.

With nine minutes left, the comeback was complete. Niall Stott fed the ball on to Ian Moodie, and his cross was deflected into the net from close range.


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