Scotland defeat Wales to finish third in World League 2 Belfast
19 March 2017
Scotland beat Wales 4-0 to claim third spot in Hockey World League 2 in Belfast. It was a superb performance by an inspired Scots side who looked dangerous throughout the match.
Scotland were in charge from the start of the game, asking questions of the Welsh rear-guard from the push-back. The Scots were unlucky with an early penalty corner, Wei Adams’ effort was deflected clear just in front of the Welsh goal line.
A short while later and another Scottish penalty corner was charged down as the Blue Sticks went pressing for an early goal.
A third penalty corner was awarded to Scotland and this time the shot was saved low to the right post, keeping the Scots at bay.
Then from open play, some good build up down the left saw Scotland work their way close to the Welsh goal but the danger was eventually snuffed out.
Wales then went on the attack early in the second quarter and a solid save by Tommy Alexander at his near post denied Wales the lead.
Scotland came close from yet another penalty corner, Adams’ effort was deflected over the bar by the Welsh charge.
Adams wouldn’t be denied for long from penalty corners however, and Scotland opened the scoring when Adams sent a drag flick into the right corner of the net to make it 1-0. It was deserved lead for the Scots who had the bulk of possession and attacking opportunities.
Almost instantly Alan Forsyth nearly doubled Scotland’s advantage; he went twisting and turning in the D but he couldn’t get his final effort on target.
On the cusp of half time Adams nearly converted another drag flick but was denied by an excellent diving save low to the right.
Alan Forsyth then made a great run into the Welsh D, he tried to scoop the ball over the advancing goalkeeper but the effort was blocked and Wales survived.
Forsyth came close again when he smashed a penalty corner towards the bottom right corner. It resulted in another penalty corner for the Scots. It was set up again for Forsyth but rather than smash it goal ward he twirled his way towards goal, and a couple of quick passes later the ball found Gavin Byers free at the far post to finish. 2-0.
Wales went seeking for a goal and came close when a penalty corner was deflected wide on the line by a combination of Alexander and Willie Marshall.
Then, up the other end of the pitch, Adams sent another penalty corner drag flick into the roof of the net to make it 3-0 for Scotland. A great finish to take the game out of reach.
Wales went to playing a kicking back following the third goal and it allowed the Scots in for a fourth. Ben Cosgrove took the ball into the D, created a good angle, and slotted the ball home to put the icing on the cake.
The game finished with the Scots recording a sensational victory to claim third spot in Hockey World League 2 in Belfast.
Scotland Head Coach Derek Forsyth said, “I’m really pleased, the players were fantastic today and it’s a great way to finish the tournament. We dominated for the majority of the game and it was a great team performance.
“Finishing third is a good achievement for a young squad. It’s great to see Ben Cosgrove scoring at his first senior tournament and Tommy Alexander keeping a clean sheet. As a squad we were excellent.”