Three wins from four for Scotland women as they complete Canada series undefeated

Scotland women beat Canada 3-0 at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre in the fourth of four test matches to complete the series undefeated.

Fast starts by Scotland have been a theme of this series and this final match was no different with Scotland coming out the traps quickly.

First, Bronwyn Shields slalomed forward on a run through the Canada midfield, and the ball found its way to Sarah Jamieson on the right of the circle, but Canadian sticks piled in and blocked the final effort.

Scotland kept coming and Zara Kennedy was next to strike at goal but found the goalkeeper a match to her near post effort, with a save low at the right post.

Early in the second quarter the Scots got their deserved opener. A penalty corner routine was converted by Heather McEwan’s diving deflection at the right post to make it 1-0.

The celebrations continued as the Scots doubled their lead soon after. A powerful low pass into the circle found Jika Nyirenda who slipped the ball first time under the advancing goalkeeper from close range to make it 2-0.

Then a swift passing move between Sarah Jamieson; Heather McEwan and Sophie Hinds almost brought a third goal, but Hinds’ final effort was blocked by the leg guards of the goalkeeper.

Becca Birch almost bagged her first goal for Scotland through a slick penalty corner routine. Birch injected to Eve Pearson who fired it back to back to Birch to deflect goal-ward, but the deflection zipped over the bar.

Scotland continued to control the contest in the third quarter with Pearson and Jenny Eadie dominating the midfield. Nyirenda nearly struck again with a shot on the swivel but it fizzed narrowly wide of the left post.

At the end of the third quarter Canada almost pulled one back. A penalty corner strike looked destined for the bottom corner but Amber Murray had other ideas, and made a superb diving save low at the right post.

Murray was called into action again early in the final quarter after Canada opened Scotland up down the left flank, but the keeper was out quick to narrow the angle and saved with her left leg.

Katherine Holdgate came close to scoring Scotland’s third but her low shot saved after some good build up by Nyirenda down the right baseline.

The third goal came soon enough and rewarded Scotland for their efforts. Shields powered forward on a weaving run down the left and it led to a penalty corner for Scotland, another tidy corner routine saw McEwan deflect the ball high into the net for her second of the match, and 3-0.

Head Coach Chris Duncan said, “We started really well tonight, which was pleasing, and we were well worth our lead at half time. We were disappointed with our energy levels at times in the previous match but tonight we were consistent and showed what it means to play for Scotland.

“One of the biggest signs of development is watching the players problem solve and we’re starting to see our philosophy really build on the pitch.

“The youngsters coming into the squad did a really good job and it’s great to see the depth in our pathway. It’s important to give opportunities to the stars of tomorrow and there’s a lot of positives to take from the players playing their first games for Scotland.

“Winning is a habit and we’re delighted to win three games in a row, and come through the series undefeated.”

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