Another win for the hosts and despite a heavy defeat, finally something to cheer about for the Welsh. Find out all about the action on day three of the women’s competition of the Investec London Cup.
South Africa 8-2 Wales.
Seven different players got their names on the score sheet as South Africa bagged eight goals in a big win over Wales. Amanda Partington’s side played their part in the game too, with Emma Batten and Eloise Laity hitting their two replies, the team’s first goals in the competition.
South Africa took the lead in the fourth minute with Shelley Russell capitalising on some space in the D to beat Ria Male with an accurate shot. They forced a penalty corner soon after but Dirkie Chamberlain was unable to get a touch on the pass and the ball went wide. It wasn’t long however before Kurt Cerfontein’s team got their next goal. Male made a good save from a penalty corner but Celia Evans reacted quickly to stab home the rebound.
Wales were showing a lot more attacking ambition in this game and Sarah Jones, in the middle of midfield was having a good game, battling and scrapping for every ball, ensuring the illustrious Marsha Cox was never allowed too much time or space.
With Wales building up a head of steam, South Africa hit them with a sucker punch and made it 3-0. Russell showed the defence a clean pair of heels round the right and set up Jade Mayne who slotted the ball into the corner.
Male was having another splendid game in goal for Wales but there was little she could do to keep out a missile from Ilse Davids which found the top corner to make it 4-0.
It took just three minutes for South Africa to find the net in the second half. A well-worked corner routine allowed Bright to fire home via a defender’s stick.
It was 6-0 in soon after with a cross from the right finding Kathleen Taylor inside the D, the No22, a trained concert pianist outside hockey, hit the right note and beat the goalkeeper with a good strike.
In the 45th minute, Wales raised the biggest cheer of the day. A penalty corner was executed to perfection and Leah Wilkinson’s pass was deflected in by Batten for her team’s first goal of the competition.
Male made a miraculous save to keep out Mayne with her stick at the far post but then Chamberlain lifted the ball over the goalkeeper on the rebound from a penalty corner to make it seven. Bright notched her second and her team’s eighth when she was left all alone at the back post to apply a finish and that was the end of the scoring for South Africa. Wales gave a first cap to goalkeeper Ella Jackson who replaced the excellent Male with five minutes to go and then they grabbed their second of the match on the stroke of full time. Wilkinson’s penalty corner was well saved but Laity stabbed home to the delight of the crowd.
South Africa were happy with the win, if not the performance, whilst Wales know they are making progress against some much stronger teams ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
England ran out 2-1 winners over their old foes in a tight encounter that saw Scotland produce an excellent second half display to really put their hosts under pressure. Goals from Alex Danson and Ellie Watton had given Danny Kerry’s side the lead but Nikki Kidd’s precise penalty corner pegged England back and ensured there was a nervy finish to the game.
The opening quarter of an hour was fairly even with both sides battling for control of the midfield. England started to settle into the game and forced a penalty corner on 16 minutes. The ball was slipped to Sam Quek whose flick hit the defender resulting in a penalty stroke being awarded, which was downgraded to another corner after an umpire consultation. Kate Richardson-Walsh’s effort from that was too high.
Sophie Bray impressed with some good skills, her close control gave her a chance at goal that she hit just wide of the post. With 23 minutes gone, Bray was again chief instigator as England broke the deadlock. She did well to get away down the left and picked out Alex Danson who fired an excellent slapped shot into the net from near the penalty spot.
England almost doubled their lead late in the half: Giselle Ansley fizzed a low cross in that both Watton and Lucy Wood were just a whisker away from connecting with.
England added to their lead two minutes after the break. Danson got free and sent a cross in that found Watton and the Beeston striker made no mistake with the finish. Scotland frustrated England for the rest of the half, hassling and harrying them and upsetting their rhythm. Roared on by the Scotland men, the Gordon Shephard’s team raised their game. Kidd went close with a deflection that Hinch did well to save but then on 49 minutes, the same player got the better of the goalkeeper. The No17 slotted a lovely penalty corner right into the bottom corner beyond the goalkeeper’s reach.
Quek deflected a penalty corner just wide but England were in for some high drama late on. Kidd had another penalty corner chance but aiming for the same spot she could only shoot fractionally wide.
England held on for a 2-1 win, which whilst not the prettiest, sent the crowd home happy.
I saw the England match! I sat there trying not to scratch at my prickling sunburnt arms.
Oh, can you tell the organisers that they really don’t need to have blaring music playing in between matches? It did my head in, tell them to shush.