Scots hockey stars promoted to Europe’s top flight after semi-final win

Scotland gained promotion to Europe’s top flight and a place in the final at the European Championships II at Glasgow Green yesterday with a convincing 3-0 win over Poland.

Scotland players celebrate their second goal against Poland. Picture: Duncan Gray

Jen Wilson’s squad will hope to continue their winning sequence with victory over Italy in today’s ultimate game.

The Scots made the dream start to the semi-final with a goal inside the first minute. Sarah Robertson sent across a penetrating cross from the right and Emily Dark darted in to deflect the ball past the Polish keeper.

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There followed torrential rain, the pitch immediately flooded, and play was suspended for over an hour.

However, the delay did nothing to alter the balance of play, and Scotland were soon further ahead once play resumed. Robertson won the first penalty corner, the initial shot was blocked, but the loose ball was passed on to Kaz Cuthbert, who promptly fired a low shot into the net to double the tally.

The killer blow for the Poles came in the closing minutes of the half. Sarah Jamieson took advantage of some slack Polish defending, and her resulting cross from the left was diverted into the net by a diving Louise Campbell for the third goal.

The Poles’ last throw of the dice was to replace their keeper with an additional outfield player to try to turn the tide, but it was Scotland who looked more likely to score in the closing stages.

Fiona Burnet almost found the net but her effort flashed across the Polish goal. Then Charlotte Watson broke into the circle and was left with an open goal, but her strike cannoned off a post to safety.

The other tie was a stroll for tournament favourites Italy, who swept Austria aside 4-0. Despite their superiority, it took Italy to the second quarter to take the lead through Ivanna Pessina with a direct shot at a penalty corner. The favourites quickly doubled their lead with a narrow angle finish from Jasbeer Singh. With Austria putting up little resistance the game was effectively ended as a contest by a penalty conversion from Maryna Vynohradova. The scoring was then completed by Emilia Munitis with a rebound shot from close range.

In the relegation pool there were wins for Wales and Czech Republic.