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Late surge by Scotland U18 Girls but Ireland hold on to take victory

09 July 2017

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Scotland U18 Girls’ pushed Ireland to the very limit but lost the final game of the series 2-1 at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

With some stereotypical Scottish weather, the opening quarter began with both sides having some positive spells of possession. It was the Scots who managed to break through the Irish defence first and were rewarded with a short corner in the opening five minutes, but a good save by Ireland’s keeper kept the score level. The rest of the quarter was a pretty even affair, until the final minute when Ireland managed to score just before the hooter to take the lead.

The second half was very similar to the first with Scotland having slightly more possession, but it was the Irish who looked more threatening in front of goal. As the Irish continued to add pressure to the Scottish defence, they were rewarded with a penalty corner towards the end of the half. It was a similar outcome to the other two games, with a well worked short corner which resulted in a goal, making the score at half time 2-0 to the visitors.

The third quarter started and it was the Scots who applied immediate pressure on the Irish. Some great pressure from the front line resulted in Ella Watt driving towards the Irish D before being fouled by a defender, giving the Scots their second corner of the game. The well-worked corner resulted in the ball falling to Tara Aitchison who fired home to peg one back for the Scots.

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The Scots then found their motivation and continued to apply pressure to the Irish backline, but some strong defending by Ireland helped keep their one goal lead going into the last quarter.

Similar to the third quarter, the Scots came out very determined to find an equaliser. An early turnover in the first few minutes by Ella Watt, just on the half way line, nearly proved costly for the visitors as she dribbled down the channel and played an excellent reverse stick shot across the D, but Captain Imogen Davies’ deflection just crept over the bar.

It then prompted a very exciting climax to the game as both teams were applying pressure on each other’s goal. Ireland had a few penalty corners but could not convert. At the other end, the Scots had chances towards the Irish D, but were unable to fully test the keeper. With less than a minute on the clock, the Irish were awarded a penalty corner and looked to seal the game, but some good defending by the Scots resulted in the final score staying at 2-1 to Ireland.

Scotland played some very entertaining hockey over the course of the weekend against a very good Ireland side who travel to Spain to play in the European 6 nations in the next few weeks.

Photos by Duncan Gray and Mark Pugh

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