A great weekend of hockey for Scotland U16s and U18s
After their victory the previous night, Scotland U16 girls’ were confident going into their second fixture against Wales in Cardiff. The team started in a strong fashion. Several opportunities went the way of the Scots, but they were unable to find the net. The Tartan Ribbons continued to search for a goal, but strong defensive play from the welsh saw the teams remain at 0-0 at half time.
The second half was a closer affair with both sides having chances to take the lead, however none were successful. It was in the final quarter when the Scots finally got their breakthrough. Susannah Godfrey-Fawcett scored the goal after the ball fell to her during a penalty corner.
The win meant the Scots had won two out of two against their Welsh hosts. Final Score: Wales 0 - 1 Scotland.
Scotland U16 boys’ also continued their great form from day one with another solid victory over Wales. The opening goal was scored by Fraser Moran from a penalty corner in the fourth minute. Jamie Golden doubled Scotland’s advantage from another penalty corner in the tenth minute.
The Scots went 3-0 up when Finn Halliday finished off a penalty corner in the 38th minute of the match before Struan Walker made it 4-0 from another penalty corner on 43 minutes.
Fraser Heigh completed the scoring for the Scots in the 52nd minute before the Welsh pulled one back right at the death.
Final score: Wales 1 - 5 Scotland
Over in the Netherlands Scotland U16 girls’ continued their drive for success at the HDM tournament in The Hague.
Ypenberg (NL) were the opponents and an early goal by them unsettled the Scots early on. Scotland built on the previous day’s experience and had some good passages of play, with a draw a realistic prospect, but their hopes were dashed by a second goal. Ypenberg scored again with seven minutes to go which ended Scotland’s hopes of finishing the pool top.
As third placed pool team Scotland then faced the top team in the other pool in the quarter final - Schaerweijde (NL), another older and physically stronger team who had won their three pool games by at least five goals in each.
The Scots started extremely well with excellent interlinking and for most of the first half were by far the stronger better team, which had the opposition rattled. Schaerweijde then scored against the run of play towards the end of the first half.
Schaerweijde stepped up a few gears in the second half, rattling in five more goals to make it 6-0. There were some excellent performances from the girls and a number of outstanding saves drew admiration from home and away support alike.
Scotland U18 boys’ got their weekend off to a good start with a draw against Wales.
Wales opened the scoring through Oliver Evans from a penalty corner. 1-0. Scotland wouldn’t be kept at bay however and Cameron Golden levelled the scores when he equalised for Scotland.
Final score: Wales 1 Scotland 1.
Scotland U18 girls’ took on Wales in what proved to be a fantastic game for both sides. After a frantic first quarter, Scotland began to settle in the second period, and went ahead when Katie MacCallum took advantage of Welsh hesitation in the circle to fire a reverse stick shot through the keeper’s legs.
A defensive mix-up at a penalty corner saw Wales equalise shortly afterwards, but Scotland reacted well and restored their lead after Lorna Crawford intercepted smartly and fed the ball forward for Hanna McKie, who guided the ball past the Welsh goalie into the bottom corner.
The third quarter saw Scotland continue to control the game without really creating any clear chances, and the lack of a cutting edge proved costly when they failed to deal with a Welsh counter despite a number of opportunities to snuff out the threat.
Again Scotland reacted well to adversity however and after a prolonged spell of concerted pressure, Emily Dark put the Scots back into the lead with a few minutes remaining. From a penalty corner, her initial drag flick was well-saved but the Dundee Wanderers player reacted quickest to smash the rebound high into the net on her reverse.
Final score: Wales 2 Scotland 3
Scotland U18 boys’ faced Switzerland U21s in their second game of the weekend and it proved to be a tough encounter for the Scots. A final score of 6-1 to Switzerland was a good learning curve for the team, who have had very little time together since the new coaching and management takeover. The scorer for Scotland was Owen Jenkins Garcia.
Final score Scotland 1 Switzerland U21's 6
Scotland U18 girls’ played their second game of the day against Switzerland. The Swiss side, which contained a number of U21 players, sat deep in an effort to frustrate the Scots, who initially struggled to break down the massed ranks of red shirts until Hanna McKie opened the scoring. After the Scots squandered a string of penalty corner opportunities, a simple corner routine finally saw Katie Stott extend their lead with a firm strike.
In the third and fourth quarters, the Scots continued to dominate possession, spending most of the game camped in the Swiss territory. Lexi Sabatelli added a third with a sweetly-struck penalty corner, before Emily Cross rounded off the scoring by engineering some space at the top of the circle and slamming the ball the corner.
Final score: Scotland 4 Switzerland 0
Scotland U16 boys’ clocked up the result of the weekend with a superb 9-0 victory in their final encounter against Wales.
It was 3-0 to Scotland at the end of the first quarter. Jamie Golden opened the scoring in the fifth minute before Euan Menzies scored just three minutes later to make it 2-0. The third was also struck by Menzies just as the first quarter came to a close.
The goals didn’t stop there and Scotland had a 6-0 lead by half time. Andrew Lochrin scored in the 20th minute before Menzies bagged his hat-trick. Fraser Moran then scored just before half time from a penalty corner.
Struan Walker made it 7-0 in the 36th minute before Moran added his second and third to complete the scoring.
Final score Scotland 9 Wales 0
The final day for Scotland U16 girls in Cardiff, was another competitive one against Wales. A penalty corner half way though the quarter saw the ball slipped to birthday girl Ellie Stott, who struck a wicked reverse stick past the goalkeeper into the far bottom corner. Despite this momentum and several chances, the score stayed at Wales 0-1 Scotland at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter started and a lapse in concentration with a poor pass out from the Scottish defence, allowed the Welsh inside the D. The ball took a deflection off a Scottish stick and ended up in the back of the net. Both teams remained strong throughout the remainder of the quarter and the score at half time was Wales 1-1 Scotland.
The second half saw the Tartan Ribbons come out more aggressively and apply pressure to the Welsh defence. A drag flick late on the game by Olivia Bell just narrowly missed the target and the score remained at 1-1. Despite the best efforts of the Scots, they were unable to find a winner in the closing seconds. Final Score: Wales 1-1 Scotland.
The final results means the Tartan Ribbons come away with two wins and a draw - a fantastic few days in Cardiff.
The final day at HDM for Scotland’s U16 girls saw them up against Purmerand (NL). Scotland’s hard work at the tournament paid off with Ellie Rutherford scoring after seven minutes. The early strike really settled the team and goal number two came after 12 minutes, taken well by Kirsten Cannon. No sooner had the restart been taken, than Ellie Mackenzie stepped up to score number three.
In the second half Purmerand after the break, but the Scots kept their cool and Isla McRobbie slotted home goal number four from a penalty corner. The opposition pulled another one back before Lucy Bliss scored Scotland's fifth and final goal. Final score: Scotland 5 Purmerand 2.
There was some lovely play from all the girls over the weekend, including some great saves by goalies Amber Murray and Nea Craig, as well as lots of valuable learning for the future. Given that Scotland’s youngest player was 12 years old and were playing teams of 16 and 17 years old, there is a lot still to come from this young exciting squad.
Next up for Scotland U18 boys was a toe-to-toe with Switzerland in their final encounter of the weekend. A very even game between the two ended at stalemate in the first quarter after some excellent hockey by both sides.
Scotland moved up a gear in the second quarter and were rewarded by a couple of goals. Some excellent pressure from the Scots resulted in two quick successive goals from Robert Nimmo and Cameron Golden gave the Scots a good 2-0 lead at half time.
Scotland furthered their lead in the second half with a double from Cameron Golden, completing his hat-trick, as the Scots hit their stride to clock up a great win against the Swiss.
Final score: Scotland 4 Switzerland U21 0.
The final game of the weekend for Scotland U18 girls’ was another excellent run out for the squad. The young Scots started sharply and Imogen Davies was unlucky not to open the scoring in the first few minutes when she deflected a Katie Stott pass onto the post. The Scots weren’t to be denied for long however, as Lexi Sabatelli pounced on a rebound off the Swiss keeper after Emily Dark had forced the initial save. In the second quarter, Scotland continued to dominate proceedings, and it was only a series of good saves by the Swiss goalie that prevented them adding to their account.
Minutes into the third quarter Scotland doubled their lead with a swift counter. After Stott and Davies had robbed the Swiss midfield on the halfway line, Georgia Smith’s quick through ball found Hanna McKie in the circle, and the Grove Menzieshill striker rounded the keeper on her reverse stick and shot low into the net from a tight angle.
Midway through the final period, Kathryn Meenan burst down the right and drew the foul as she attacked the circle, and from the resulting penalty corner Emily Dark flicked low into the corner. The Scots continued to hassle and harry their opponents and moments later stole the ball from the Swiss high up the pitch. A neat interchange saw Katie MacCallum pick the ball up at the top of the circle unmarked and she netted her second of the game with another reverse stick finish past the Swiss keeper.
Watsonians forward MacCallum scored again two minutes later to make it five when a lovely passing move down the left-hand side allowed Emily Cross to demonstrate some nice 3D skills along the baseline and set up MacCallum to score with a tidy reverse edge sweep into the far corner, and it was no more than the Scots deserved after a patient performance.
Final score: Scotland 5 Switzerland 0
With the squad containing players in their first year of the U18 programme, it was a positive weekend for the U18s, as the team’s performances improved markedly with each game.