EuroHockey Indoor Championship III –
The Men’s squad had a busy weekend in Santander, Spain at the European Hockey Indoor Championship III. They opened their campaign with two matches on the Friday which saw a 2-2 draw against Ireland, followed by a 9-0 defeat to the eventual winners Spain.
After a recovery session on Saturday morning the team met Scotland and, after taking a 3-1 lead at the halfway stage, were held to a 4-4 draw seeing them go into the last day, and a final pool game against Slovenia, in forth place on the table.
The early push back against Slovenia saw Wales take a 1-1 draw and the opportunity to play Ireland in the 3rd/4th place play off.
The bronze medal match saw Wales take an early lead with a goal from Jonathan Fleck in the 7th minute of the game. Having defended their lead throughout, a penalty corner in the 38th minute saw Ireland draw equal. In the final minute of play, Ireland struck again from another penalty corner making the score 1-2.
The final standing saw Spain take the title against Scotland in the final, with Ireland in bronze and Wales taking forth spot.
Zak Jones, Head Coach for Wales, was pleased with the overall performance, particularly the way the team came back after the difficult defeat by Spain.
"Due to the exacting nature of indoor hockey and its unique pressures and challenges, the intense tournament environment provided the squad with a number of valuable development opportunities.
“Whilst some of the results over the weekend were a little frustrating, especially given the fact we put ourselves in a winning position in four out of the five matches. Overall, I was incredibly proud of the effort, intent, purpose and spirit the squad demonstrated throughout the tournament.
“All the athletes played with tremendous passion and pride in the jersey and I am confident that a young and relatively inexperienced squad, will have taken many valuable learnings from the experience, that will have important benefits both individually and collectively moving forward."
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