Scotland travelled to Spain seeking promotion to the top tier of women’s European indoor hockey, but they finished a disappointing fifth out of six countries in the tournament in Ourense.
Coach Iain Strachan saw his 12-strong squad win only one game, a narrow success over bottom-markers Ireland who lost all five of their games and Scotland finished the tournament with a 3-1 defeat to Poland.
The Tartan Hearts let in 19 goals in their five outings and scored ten and their record reads a 5-1 defeat to Belgium, a 3-3 draw with Switzerland, the game-tying goal by the Swiss coming 40 seconds from time, a 6-2 reverse to Spain and a 3-2 win over Ireland plus the loss to Poland.
Scotland finished with four points and they were level with Poland at 1-1 in their final game, Edinburgh University player Jess Ross levelling after 17 minutes, poking the ball home from close range, four minutes after the European side had broken the deadlock.
The squad’s Spanish-based goalkeeper Jess Buchanan then stuck out her left pad to save a penalty stroke to give the squad a real boost but the Polish side then upped a gear to claim goals in the 26th and 33rd minute to secure the points.
Dundee-based Strachan said: “Our first three games were against the top three ranked sides in the tournament so I was a very tough opening for us.”
He said that the scoreline against Belgium did not reflect the game and the squad played really well against Switzerland. They stuck to the game plan and came so close to a win.
Strachan added: “We played really well against Spain with no reward then battled through against the Irish, playing six minutes with a player short because of cards, but we defended well.”
LIBRARY PICTURE: domestic indoor hockey