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Perfect Start For Wales, Scotland Play Out Thrilling Draw

Wales' women got off to the perfect start at the 2021 EuroHockey Championships II while Scotland's men played out a thrilling draw with Ukraine in their opening game of the men's tournament.

Taking on the highest ranked team in the tournament, Wales put in an almost faultless performance to win 2-0 against Russia. Phoebe Richards opened the scoring just moments before the half-time break before Isabelle Howell added a second in the 39th minute while they defended superbly against a team who had been in the top European tier back in 2019.

The day was made even more special for Xenna Hughes as it was her 100th appearance for Wales while it was also a senior international debut to remember for Olivia Hoskins and Millie Holme.

Aiming for a repeat of their gold medal from the 2017 EuroHockey Championships II campaign, Scotland's men were pegged back late on by Ukraine as they played out a 4-4 draw.

The Blue Sticks got off to a flying start and were 3-0 up at the end of the first quarter courtesy of goals from Andrew McConnell, Alan Forsyth and Rob Harwood. Vitalii Kalinchuk and Oleksandr Solomianyi pulled the Ukrainians back to within one goal in the third quarter before Cammy Golden struck with four minutes remaining to seemingly hand Scotland the win.

But two goals in as many minutes from Viacheslav Paziuk and Bohdan Kovalenko stunned the Scottish defence to ensure both sides ended their first game with a point apiece.

Both teams are back in action tomorrow, with Wales facing Lithuania at 15:45 BST before Scotland play Austria at 18:00 BST. Both games will be streamed live on the EuroHockey TV website.

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