Brilliant Wales secure point against England, Scotland thumped by Germany

England v Wales #EHC2019
Wales began their first top flight EuroHockey Championship campaign in 20 years in fine style by providing the biggest surprise of the tournament so far by drawing 2-2 with England.

Ranked 19 places in the world behind their opponents, Wales looked set to cause a huge upset as they lead 2-1 with two minutes remaining.

But James Gall popped up in the right place at the right time for England to snatch a point for his side.

It wasn’t such a positive return to the top flight for Scotland’s men though as they were beaten 9-0 by Germany.

Timm Herzbruch grabbed a hat-trick and Niklas Wellen was on target twice for a ruthless German side as they seek to better their fourth-placed finish from two years ago.

England 2 (1)
Ward (26’, PC), Gall (58’, PC)

Wales 2 (0)
G Furlong (32’, PC), R Furlong (52’, FG)

Having given England a real scare at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Wales knew they had the capability of causing an upset on the first full day of action at this year’s European tournament.

They almost had the perfect start too as Gareth Furlong fired an early corner towards goal, only for Sam Ward to turn it away while standing on the post.

England grew into the game after that and pressurised the Welsh circle, winning numerous corners and eventually converting as Ward flicked beyond Ieuan Tranter to open the scoring in the 26th minute.

However just two minutes into the second half Wales were level as this time Furlong beat Ward from a corner.

His brother Rhodri then found some fortune as he bagged a second for Wales with just eight minutes remaining, his cross deflecting past George Pinner off an unfortunate Henry Weir.

Danny Kerry’s team then dispensed of Pinner as they looked to scramble a late equaliser and they did so with two minutes remaining as James Gall diverted a clever corner routine into the net.

England then had chances to win the game but couldn’t make them stick, leaving both sides with a point to sit below Belgium in Pool A after the current world champions routed Spain 5-0 the night before.

Germany 9 (4)
Herzbruch (8’, FG; 40’, PC; 49’, FG), Wellen (9’, FG; 34’, FG), Grambusch (25’, PC), Fuchs (28’, FG), Ruhr (54’, FG), Haner (55’, PC)

Scotland 0 (0)

Scotland’s men were given a rude awakening on their first appearance in the European top flight since 2005 as they were thrashed by Germany.

Without injured captain Chris Grassick, Scotland were under pressure from the off and it told in the eighth minute as Timm Herzbruch opened his account for the game before Niklas Wellen added a second moments later.

Scotland then had a couple of chances of their own but Germany struck twice more through Mats Grambusch and Florian Fuchs late in the second quarter to give them a four goal lead at half time.

Shortly after the break Wellen added his second before Herzbruch struck again in the third and fourth quarters to make the lead seven.

Christoper Ruhr and Martin Haner then added insult to injury within moments of each other in the dying moments to ensure it was a day to forget for Scotland.

They have the chance to bounce back immediately when they face Ireland at 14:45 tomorrow.

That comes immediately after Wales will look to cause another upset against Spain at 12:30, while England’s men are back in action against Belgium at 17:00.

England’s women also begin their 2019 EuroHockey Championship campaign against Ireland at 10:15.

All of these games are available to watch live on BBC Sport’s digital platforms.