Scotland edged Ireland 3-2 to earn their first win in the EuroHockey Indoor Championships, Division 2, in Ourense, Spain, but their promotion hopes suffered a hammer blow after a crushing 6-2 defeat to hosts Spain in their first match on Saturday.
Dundee-based coach Iain Strachan’s team led throughout a tense contest against the Irish side whom they beat 2-1 in a recent three-game, mini-series in Belfast.
Emily Dark (Watsonians) broke the deadlock with a penalty corner goal after seven minutes but Orla Macken levelled five minutes later.
Sophie Hinds (Edinburgh University) slotted from a narrow angle to put Scotland ahead for a second time a minute later.
Macken hit back for Ireland a minute later but four minutes after that unmarked Fiona Semple from Glasgow-based Clydesdale Western swept the ball home from the centre of the circle for the game-winner.
Scotland held out thanks to dogged defensive work, particularly as they were handed a number of cards for various offenses as the clock ticked down.
Earlier, Spain led 2-0 down at the break then the home side upped a gear, scoring four goals in 12 minutes including one in the dying seconds.
Berta Agullo picked up the loose ball after a point-blank save from the Spanish goalkeeper and ran through the entire Scottish team to slot home for her second goal of the game.
Rocio Ybarra top scored for Spain with three in the 6-2 win and Newburgh, Fife-based, Emily Dark, who plays for Edinburgh side Watsonians, scored two penalty corners for Scotland who clawed their way back into the game to make it 2-1 after 27 minutes but were then hit by three goals in five, nightmare minutes.
EuroHockey Indoor Championships, Division 2: women: Scotland 2, Spain 6; Scotland 3, Ireland 2 (in Ourense, Spain)