WALES WOMEN TAKE FIRST BLOW OF GAMES AGAINST ENGLAND!
In a battling display of resilience and determination, Wales women took on international heavyweights England today in their second pool match of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The game began confidently, with unconverted penalty corners from both sides, ramping up the crowd excitement and overall momentum of the game. Although ranked 2nd in the world, Wales played fiercely; applying pressure against England that was no doubt felt. The first half ended 2-0 to England.
Wales came out strong during the second half, lashing out some firm and fast attacks from Phoebe Richards and Eloise Laity. Attacks that paid off for Laity after she found space on the right-hand side of Maddie Hinch and capitalised with an excellent first goal for Wales.
With 6 minutes left on the clock of the third quarter, Wales were dealt a tremendous blow when their most experienced player and Captain, Leah Wilkinson was ruled out of the game after an excruciating head collision with England Captain, Alex Danson.
Throughout the final half and without their inspirational leader, Wales felt the brunt of the English defence yet battled on valiantly; seeing Welsh goalie and GB athlete, Rose Thomas yield solid command over the defensive zone. An unlikely goal from a loopy deflection caught the Welsh defence and Thomas off guard before England went on to push through a further two goals. A commendable performance for Wales; ending 5-1.
Head Coach Kevin Johnson:
It was always going to be an extremely tough task to take on such a strong team, a day after we worked so hard to secure victory against India but I’m pleased with the effort and application of the group yet again. We tried to take the game to England at appropriate moments and our goal in the 3rd quarter gave us chance to try and get a result in the final period but it wasn’t meant to be and England showed us why they’re ranked top 3 in the world. Tonight and our first match yesterday were clear indication that we are improving and are aspirational with our future ambitions, both long and short term.
Wales face South Africa on Monday 9th April at 05:30am (BST). Watch live via BBC Sport Wales or BBC Sport.