France vs. Wales: EuroHockey Championships II
In this intense match, history was made as Izzie Howell celebrated her 50th cap for Wales. The game kicked off with both teams eager to assert their dominance on the field.
France quickly displayed their prowess, netting an open play goal in the 7th minute. Despite a penalty corner opportunity for Wales from Holly Munro's excellent
delivery, they couldn't convert it into a goal. France capitalised on their chances, securing another penalty corner and doubling their lead through a drag flick.
Lauren Roberts, showcased her skills with a crucial save, denying France's third goal. The quarter ended with France leading 2-0.
As the second quarter commenced, France earned an early penalty corner, but Wales defended well and cleared the ball wide. A green card to France presented Wales with an opportunity, and Millie Holme and Holly Munro initiated a swift attack, which lead to a near miss with the strike just hitting the post.
Wales displayed impressive link-up play between Megan Lewis Williams and Izzy Webb, attacking well. Sarah Jones was instrumental in both attack and defence and helped to lift the intensity in crucial moments.
Just before halftime, Wales earned a short corner, but Holly Munro's shot went narrowly wide of the near post.
The third quarter witnessed an onslaught from Wales, as Phoebe Richards and Livvy Hoskins caused trouble for the French defence. Sarah Jones' 3D skills set up a penalty corner opportunity for Wales. Olivia Hoskins capitalised on her birthday, scoring a drag flick, narrowing the score to 2-1.
Wales' momentum surged, but a disallowed goal kept them on their toes. France had to endure immense pressure as Wales attacked relentlessly. Another penalty corner was awarded to Wales, but they couldn't find the equaliser.
The final quarter began with Wales' Megan Lewis Williams receiving a green card along side Holly Munro. Sarah Jones' skills continued to pose a threat, but France managed to extend their lead with a goal, making it 3-1.
Wales persisted in their pursuit of an equaliser, earning penalty corners, but luck was not on their side as they couldn't capitalise. Eloise Laity's efforts led to a yellow card for a French player, but despite Hannah Cozens causing trouble for the French keeper, Wales couldn't change the scoreline.
As the final whistle blew, France emerged victorious with a 3-1 win. Though Wales fought well the match showcased the intensity and competitiveness of the EuroHockey Championships.
Head Coach Kevin Johnson’s: “Despite the defeat we have continued to improve areas of our game and it feels we have pushed on again from our performance yesterday against a strong opponent. We now must keep this arc going and deliver both the performance and the result in our final group game.”
Stay tuned for Wales’ final pool game against Lithuania on Wednesday 11am BST.
Photo is from Czech Field Hockey