• International

Wins For Scotland And England, Wales Draw On Eighth Day Of EuroHockey Championships

England and Scotland's women won their opening games of Group C while Wales played out a thrilling draw with Russia on another pulsating day of the 2021 EuroHockey Championships.

England's women moved a step closer to World Cup qualification as they beat Ireland 5-1, Sarah Evans scoring twice and Anna Toman, Giselle Ansley and Jo Hunter all getting on the scoresheet too.

That followed Scotland's women sealing their first points of the tournament with a 3-1 win over Italy thanks to goals from Bronwyn Shields, Sarah Robertson and McKenzie Bell.

And Wales' men capped off their tournament with an exciting 3-3 draw against Russia, Joey Naughalty (2) and Hywel Jones finding the target.

Scotland's first victory at the 2021 EuroHockey Championships moved them to second in Group C. Credit: World Sport Pics

Coming off the back of a 10-0 defeat to The Netherlands in their final game of the first group stages, Scotland went into their game with Italy determined to claim their first win of this year's event.

However they came under pressure right from the start, with Amy Costello saving on the line in the first minute while goalkeepers Amy Gibson and Nicki Cochrane were kept busy early on.

Having held firm, Scotland then took the lead in the 17th minute as Shields turned a clever corner routine home for her first international goal before Robertson doubled the advantage shortly after.

Italy continued to throw everything they had at the Scottish defence but still couldn't find a way through, with Bell then adding a third for Scotland in the third quarter to see them to victory despite Sofia Laurito's late consolation.

Sarah Evans scored twice to take her overall tournament tally to three goals. Credit: World Sport Pics

Having agonisingly missed out on making the semi-finals, England's women turned their attentions to Ireland knowing victory would put them within touching distance of a place at the 2022 Women's Hockey World Cup. But they got off the the worst possible start as Deirdre Duke expertly deflected in Anna O'Flanagan's cross to give the Irish the lead in the 10th minute.

England ramped up the pressure once the second quarter got underway and it paid dividends, with Toman slotting home her first goal for Great Britain to equalise in the 20th minute before Evans struck twice to give England a commanding 3-1 lead at half-time.

Ansley then fired home her 25th international goal to make it four in the third quarter before Hunter's looping deflection on a Toman shot added some gloss to an impressive performance that left England top of Group C on six points, with Scotland sitting behind them on three points.

A draw against their Scottish counterparts tomorrow would be enough to see England finish in fifth place and claim the last World Cup qualification spot.

Joey Naughalty scored twice in his 101st appearance for Wales. Credit: World Sport Pics

Wales' men headed into their final game of the tournament looking to end with a win against a Russian side ranked four places below them in the world. Their start was far from ideal though as they behind as Andrey Kuraev scored for Russia.

Naughalty - who had won his 100th cap for Wales in the previous game - calmly converted a penalty stroke early in the second quarter to draw the scores level before Hywel Jones produced a lovely finish on the spin to give Wales the lead heading into half-time.

There was a second goal for Naughalty early in the second half as he converted a penalty corner before Marat Khairullin produced a neat finish to halve the deficit. Alexey Sobolevskiy then looked to have drawn Russia level with a brilliant goal of his own, only for it to be ruled out after a review. But Russia did score a third through Semen Matkovskiy to draw themselves level and they even pushed for a winner but the Welsh defence held firm.

With Wales' tournament having come to an end, England's men and women and Scotland's women will follow suit tomorrow. First up it's the men's bronze medal match, which will see Danny Kerry's England side look to emulate their fine victory over Belgium in the group to stand on the final step of the podium. That game takes place at 09:00 on BT Sport 1. The Home Nations clash between England and Scotland's women then follows at 17:45 on BT Sport 3.