Scotland: Scotland men earn seven new caps in 4-1 defeat to Wales

Congratulations to Euan Burgess, Pete Caughey, Jamie Croll, Calum Douglas, Ben Galloway, Alex Marsland and Alasdair Richmond who earned their first Scotland cap today.

Unfortunately for the Scots, it was Wales who emerged 4-1 winners on the day – it means that the series is now level after the Scots won the opening fixture 2-1. Perhaps more important is that Scotland have failed to make up any ground in the world rankings – Wales will remain 18th, two places above the Scots. But there is always tomorrow!

The Scots had the best of the first quarter, in the second minute David Nairn`s reverse stick shot flew over the bar. That was followed by Scotland`s first penalty corner and Struan Walker`s flick was saved on the line by a Welsh defender. Scotland dominated and Wales had no real chances.

In the second quarter Pete Caughey had his effort easily blocked by the keeper, but at the other end Calum Douglas had to look lively to divert a shot for a corner.

However, the Scots were soon in front, Walker`s initial shot was saved by the keeper but it created the opening and the loose ball was fired home by Cammy Golden… and that was half-time. There were not many chances to either side in the first half but the Scots had the most and deserved their narrow lead.

It was different Welsh side that emerged in the second half and it was not long before they asserted their authority. There is a punishment for not clearing your lines in defence and the Scots suffered as Rhodri Furlong took advantage to level only two minutes into the second half.

Not long after Wales took the lead after a stick chop in the circle and Gareth Griffiths converted from the spot with a powerful low shot for a 2-1 lead.

The Scots had a chance to level at a penalty corner but Jamie Golden`s effort was blocked by the keeper. Just before the end of the third quarter Jack Pritchard put Wales 3-1 ahead with a well-worked deflected goal.

The outcome was finally sealed early in the final quarter with a deflection by Owain Dolan-Gray for a 4-1 lead. The Scots then pressed to get back into the contest, Struan Walker`s effort was deflected over the bar and an overtime penalty corner went wide of the target..

The result was a 4-1 defeat. But there`s always tomorrow!

Head Coach, Jonny Caren reflected “I was very happy with how we started the game given the big occasion for some of the players.”

“We created some great opportunities inside the D but didn’t convert enough of the chances. The players executed the game plan really well both on and off the ball and set the tempo”.

“The second half was has provided us with an opportunity to learn what to do when things change. As this group develops and grows together, we will be able to adapt and play proactively rather than reactive(ly). Quick turn around before tomorrow’s game so we will need learn our lessons quickly.”

The teams go head to head for the final time in the second official test match tomorrow at 12pm at Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

by Scotland Hockey

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