Scotland top pool in style with commanding win over Austria

Scotland won their pool in style with a perfect record after a 3-0 win over Austria at the European Championships at Glasgow Green yesterday. Jen Wilson’s side will now take on Poland in tomorrow’s crucial semi-final for promotion to Europe’s top flight, while Austria face tournament favourites Italy in the other tie.
Scotland's Sarah Robertson in action against Austria. Picture: Duncan Gray/Scottish HockeyScotland's Sarah Robertson in action against Austria. Picture: Duncan Gray/Scottish Hockey
Scotland's Sarah Robertson in action against Austria. Picture: Duncan Gray/Scottish Hockey

The Scots hit the ground running against Austria, and were so dominant the only surprise was that they were just three in front at the interval.

The opener emanated from brilliant individual skill from Jen Eadie. The Clydesdale striker waltzed along the bye-line past several defenders, then created space for herself before firing the ball past the Austrian keeper.

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A minute later the home side should have doubled their tally, but Fiona Semple took too long to get her shot away and the keeper had time to block her effort.

However, the second was only delayed by a couple of minutes. Sarah Robertson’s initial shot was blocked, but it fell kindly to Sarah Jamieson, who took her time to fire a low shot home.

Early in the second quarter the home team had the ball in the net again, but the umpire had already blown for a penalty. Up stepped Kate Holmes to calmly convert from the spot for the third goal, which effectively killed off the game as a contest.

A fourth goal looked on the cards just before the interval, but Emily Dark missed a glaring chance when it seemed easier to score.

Scotland continued to dominate proceedings in the second half and the only surprise was that they failed to add to their goal tally despite a myriad of chances on offer.

In the third quarter Charlotte Watson drove down the right into the circle but her drive went wide. Jamieson did something similar, but her effort was saved on the line by a defender.

Further chances followed in the final quarter, the first being a shot by Fiona Semple which whizzed wide. Scotland were then awarded two penalty corners, but both Robyn Collins’ drag flick and Dark’s powerful shot were blocked by the keeper.

In the other pool match the Czech Republic missed out on the possibility of a semi-final slot when they were on the wrong end of a shock 4-3 defeat at the hands of Ukraine

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As predicted Italy topped the other pool with a 10-1 thumping of Turkey. There were two goals each for Lara Oviedo, Giuliana Ruggieri and Chiara Tiddi in the slaughter.

The race for the other semi-final slot was a close affair, Poland just edging it by a single point after drawing 2-2 with Wales. Magdalena Zagajska put the Poles in front, but that goal was cancelled out by the interval with a penalty corner strike from Sarah Jones.

Wiktoria Blaszyk gave Poland a 2-1 lead, and although Leah Wilkinson levelled in the final minute it was not enough to save Wales’ semi-final aspirations.