EUROHOCKEY INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP II – WOMEN’S ROUND-UP.
This weekend saw the Welsh women compete in the EuroHockey Championships II in Croatia.
The team were to face some tough competition in the 2nd Division of this highly contested Championship, not least in their opening game against the country 6th in the World rankings, Poland.
Wales competed well, but the Polish side had a point to prove, having recently been relegated from Division 1, and opened their campaign with a 6-0 win, making their intentions clear early on with a goal from a penalty corner in the opening three minutes.
Later that day the young Welsh team met another top-level team in Russia. It was an incredibly tough game which saw the eventual group champions put 22 goals passed Wales.
After a recovery session on the Saturday morning, the team had two matches, the first against Lithuania which saw them concede 6 goals, and a third game without a point.
The second match of the day saw the squad face Scotland, who were sitting towards the top end of the table and competing well in the championship.
The game started with two quick goals from the opposition, but Wales came back with a goal from Jodie Beddow towards the end of the first quarter. After another goal from the Scots in the opening minute of the second quarter, Beddow struck again to make the score 2-3 to keep Wales in the game.
The goal count went quiet for 20 minutes after a penalty stroke for Scotland in the 18' saw them pull further ahead, but a goal by Livvy Hoskins in the dying minutes saw the final score 3-4.
Their first match of the final day of play saw Wales face hosts Croatia. An early penalty corner, followed by 3 goals to the home side put Wales behind, but Jodie Beddow got one back in the 32', before a final goal from Croatia to make the score 5-1.
After conceding 13 goals to a strong Turkish team in the final game for Wales, Gareth Terrett, Head Coach explained that this tournament was a real learning curve for the young side.
“We went into this championship knowing we would be up against some of the best indoor international competition.
“This was a real opportunity to challenge and compete at this level, and to expose our players to this will serve them well moving forward.
“They had a great learning experience and, as we hoped, enjoyed the opportunity and bonded as a group.”