Italy 1-2 Scotland (E. Bianchi / S. Jamieson, C. Watson)
Scotland, backed by a huge home support, won Women’s EuroHockey Championship II in Glasgow with a 2-1 victory over Italy. The Tartan Hearts had already gained promotion back to the top level of European hockey, and did so with a gold medal at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.
The Scots got off to an excellent start and enjoyed lots of early pressure in the contest.
Six minutes into the final, Scotland took the lead. Bex Condie powered her way into the D and turned the defender before smashing the ball goal ward. Sarah Jamieson deflected the ball past the goalkeeper and it bobbled over the line to make it 1-0.
It was nearly a quick response from the Italians as they carved Scotland opened at the back for a one-on-one with Amy Gibson, but the goalkeeper was out quick to block.
Scotland continued with some good pressure and Sarah Robertson showed some lovely skill to keepie uppie her way into the D, but she couldn’t find an Italian foot at the vital moment.
At the start of the second quarter Italy had the ball in the back of the Scotland net but it was chopped off for a back stick in the build-up. The Italians looked sharp as half time approached but they couldn’t break Scotland down, and the Tartan Hearts held onto their lead at the break.
Early in the second half Fiona Burnet thought she’d scored but the goal was disallowed and the gap remained at one goal.
Scotland continued to search for a second goal and Amy Costello had opportunities from penalty corners to find the net. The first prompted an excellent save low to the left, then another was blasted just wide of the right post.
Then Robyn Collins came close, this time from an elaborate penalty corner routine that saw the ball switched around the D with Collins smashing just wide left.
The Italians emerged back into the contest and very nearly equalised when a great attack down the left saw Gibson touch the ball onto the post and wide.
After a series of Italian penalty corners it was Scotland who managed to strike the next goal. Amy Costello did well to win the ball, break forward and send Louise Campbell sprinting down the right. Campbell cut the ball back and Charlotte Watson managed to force the ball over the line to make it 2-0.
In the final minute of the match Italy pulled one back when a penalty corner looped into the net, but Scotland held on and won Women’s EuroHockey Championship II in Glasgow.
Scotland Head Coach Jen Wilson said, “I’m absolutely delighted with the win. We said yesterday we had one more job to do and the girls’ absolutely went out and did it today. It was a tough game for us but we played how we know we can play. It’s very exciting how this team is developing and they’ve earned this win tonight.”
Captain Kaz Cuthbert said, “I’m delighted, absolutely ecstatic. We had a goal when we came here – to get promoted and win the tournament. We got promotion yesterday and today was all about the gold medal. It’s important that we continue to develop from this but we’re over the moon to have won this on our own patch.”
Photo credit: Duncan Gray