The three younger squads swapped the sunshine of Scotland for the bright rays of Swansea, traveling to Wales for their GB&I 4 Nations last weekend.
The W45s faced Wales first. Keepers Ali Hosie and Sheona Craig made last-ditch saves in each of the first two quarters to shut the door on the hosts. Scotland had chances too, and Sally Hall’s last minute deflection from a short corner put the Scots 1-0 at half time.
Wales came back with a goal of their own early in the second half but Scotland pressed aggressively and got their reward – Katie Francis sending home Janet Hall’s square ball to make it 2-1.
Wales threw everything at the game, including pulling their keeper for an outfield player in the last five minutes. The Scots staved off five short corners at the death to claim all three points.
An opener against the hosts was also on the cards for the W35s. After a goal-less first half Wales scored a brace, but Lynsey Steele pegged one back after the ball pinged around the D at a short corner in Q3. However, the full three points were secured by Wales with a 58th minute field goal. Final score 3-1 Wales.
Despite losing three quick goals to England in first quarter, the W40s regrouped to play some great hockey, and worked hard. England only managed one more goal past them in Q4. A 4-0. loss.
On day two the W35s could not make any headway in the English half, and were soon overcome by their opponent’s ruthless efficiency, losing 8-0.
Only one goal from a PC separated the W40s v Ireland at half time, but the Irish dominated the second half, and put the Scots to the sword, netting four to notch up a 5-0 win.
The W45s were the late centre pass, and provided an entertaining match. Even though England were 2-0 up courtesy of a breakaway field goal and a penalty flick by half time, Scotland probed and pushed throughout and were never out of it. The biggest disappointment will be the failure to capitalise on the many PCs they forced from their opponents.
Sunday round up
On pitch 2 the W45s were hopeful of points against Ireland and this was an end-to-end game with both teams spurning chances. The Scots hunted in packs and harried throughout, and the defence put up some brilliant resistance. Ireland got the breakthrough 10 minutes from time with a top D PC strike which was all too easy. They had to work harder for their second goal which was a neat deflection past the keeper.
Wales battered the W40s’ D in the first half but were held off until the 45th minute when they scored from a penalty corner. They added a second minutes later. Amy Atkinson closed the gap to make it 2-1 from a penalty corner, but it wasn’t enough to drag the light blues back into the match, eventually losing out 3-1.
As they look to the Euros both the W40s and W45s have aspects to work on, but demonstrated they are capable of more.