Wales drew against Poland in their final pool match of the EuroHockey Championship II.
In the first quarter Poland began to use an aerial ball approach in an attempt to catch Wales off guard, however, Wales remained dominant in possession as they kept the ball away from Poland’s attack.
Poland’s defence kicked the ball in the D, awarding Wales a penalty corner. As a result of the penalty corner, Wales had a shot on target but it was intercepted in the air from Poland’s defence.
The game was tied end to end with little action happening in mid-field as the ball went East to West with both teams having penalty corners, but Poland finally snuck past Wales’ defence to face a 1-on-1 with Wales’ goalkeeper, which unfortunately led to Poland’s first goal making it 0-1 to Poland at 15’ from #7 Magdalena Zagajska.
Poland’s #4 Amelia Katerla was given a green card at 18’ making Wales a player up but Poland put up a fight making it difficult for Wales to gain ground into the D.
The teams were met with a different challenge in the second quarter as the weather took a turn for the worst in a sudden torrential downpour. Wales continued to push hard despite the harsh Scottish conditions and had another shot on target from a penalty corner but sadly was again blocked by Poland’s defence.
As conditions deteriorated the players were slowed down until play was stopped at 11’ until the rain let up and the pitch was cleared.
Play resumed and Wales came back onto the pitch with a vengeance, as Poland fouled it gave Wales a penalty corner, where #21 Xenna Hughes took a shot, it deflected off the goalkeeper but not all hope was lost as #8 Sarah Jones was in a prime position and capitalised on the keeper being down as she slotted one across the line making it a level playing field again for Wales as the score went 1 all at 28’.
HALF TIME: WALES 1 – 1 POLAND
As the second half opened, Poland were quick off the mark and utilised a fast break as #24 Wiktoria Blaszyk whacked in a goal at 32’ making it 1-2 to Poland.
Throughout the third quarter Poland maintained a group defence, often cornering Wales’ attack 3 on 1 making it difficult to break away. Wales managed to break off on occasion but couldn’t turn it into points.
Following Poland’s 2nd goal, both teams weren’t able to progress onto the score sheet in the second half and it looked like Wales were going to come away with a loss, when in the final moments, skipper #17 Leah Wilkinson smashed in a goal for Wales off of a penalty corner, equalising the score between the teams. With less than 60 seconds left on the clock a determined Wales had possession and pushed Poland’s defence hard until the final whistle went and the game ended 2 all.
FULL TIME: WALES 2 – 2 POLAND
This concludes that Wales will play against the team placed 3rd in Pool B, on Friday 9th August at 12.30pm.
\Cover photo by @Duncolmsports