Following a fraught day of suspended play due to a deluge of rain, we finally have our finalist as Italy and Scotland won their respective semi-finals to make it to Amsterdam in 2021 and the final tomorrow!
In the semi-finals:
Match: 15: First Semi-Final of the Women’s EuroHockey Championship II finishes Italy 4, Austria 0.
Both teams are out strong in the first semi-final of the tournament but the Austrian defence blinks first, allowing a run from Italy’s Number 23 Maryna Vynohradova into the circle; she takes the shot but Austria’s Keeper Stella van Rahden comes out well for the save. However momentum stays with Italy; Number 20 Jasbeer Singh tries again but Austria’s Captain and Number 10 Corinna Zerbs gets down low for the tackle. Singh attempts to make something of the rebound from Zerbs’ stick but there’s no one there to receive the cross. Singh keeps trying; driving again but van Rahden will not let her through.
As the Austrian defence make a mistake, an attacking penalty corner is awarded to Italy. The ball comes out strong to Number 28 Ivanna Pessina; the Austrian defence send her strike wide for a long corner. Italy take it quickly but van Rahden is there again.
Quickly after, another attacking penalty corner is awarded to Italy following an Austrian foot in the circle but it’s not converted. Another unconverted Italian penalty corner leaves the scoreline at 0-0 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second, Italy push for the goal in their 4th penalty corner of the match. The ball comes out to Singh, who lays it off to Captain Chiara Tiddi. van Rahden gets a touch but it’s not enough. It’s 1-0.
Austria get the break after the restart but the opportunity to equalise is wasted in the circle. Italy counter attack: Singh drives for Italy, working in from the left, looking for her time to strike. She finds the angle to beautifully slot the ball past van Rahden. It’s 2-0.
Austria try to get on the scoreboard. It’s messy in the circle but Italy’s Keeper Natalia Schinoni gets the touch to allow the defence to clear.
Not to be disheartened, Austria try again but the Italian defence have the measure of the attack at this stage.
Italy keep up the pressure in the 3rd quarter and are awarded a penalty flick in the opening minutes. Italy’s Number 23 Maryna Vynohradova steps up and goes right; Austria’s Keeper Steifelmeyer gets the touch but it’s not enough. It’s 3-0.
Italy keep the pressure throughout the rest of the quarter but Austria’s defence work hard to keep it at 3-0.
The final quarter opens with another Italian attacking penalty corner, and another follows soon after. Ivanna Pessina takes the strike but Steifelmeyer is there again.
Austria keep working hard: Number 5 Helene Herzog makes the run up the middle of the pitch but the ball gets away from her. The Italians regain possession and drive deep into the Austrian defending quarter. A lovely ball comes from Singh to the penalty spot; she finds Number 26 Emilia Munitis, who finds the space past Steifelmeyer to make it 4 for Italy.
Despite Austria’s best efforts to get on the scoreboard, it’s Italy 4, Austria 0.
Match 16: Scotland 3-0 Poland
Scotland are in the Women’s EuroHockey Championship II final after they won their semi-final contest 3-0 against Poland in Glasgow. The Scots have also now been promoted to EuroHockey Championship I for 2021.
It was the perfect start for Scotland with an early goal by Emily Dark. Sarah Robertson took the ball in the right corner of the pitch and picked out Dark arriving in front of the Polish defender, and connected well to prod the ball home for 1-0.
Just then, the heavens opened, and play was delayed for a period of time. When the match resumed, Scotland came out flying. Kaz Cuthbert scored her fourth of the tournament when a penalty corner rebound fell kindly for her, and she rifled the ball low against the backboard for 2-0.
In the second quarter Poland looked threatening. They had some penalty corner opportunities but good Scottish goalkeeping kept them at bay.
The better opportunities continued to go Scotland’s way. Some good play by Robertson saw her pick out Sarah Jamieson, she the forward was blocked before being able to shoot goal ward.
Scotland’s third goal would come before half time and Jamieson was heavily involved again; her excellent sliding pass zipped across the face of goal and found Louise Campbell sliding in to put the ball high into the net for 3-0.
It was a good start to the second half for Scotland. An early penalty corner routine had Amy Costello snap a powerful shot at goal that was saved low to the left by the goalkeeper. Charlotte Watson followed in but was unable to squeeze the ball over the line at the near post.
The Scots looked comfortable in possession; moving the ball around well and at pace. They were enjoying themselves.
Watson came close when Scotland repeated their earlier penalty corner routine but her near post deflection went just wide of the mark.
Poland took their goalkeeper off for the final six minutes but the Scots had the contest under control and eased to victory, promotions, and a place in the Women’s EuroHockey Championship II final.
Scotland’s Sarah Robertson said, “It’s an absolutely amazing feeling, I’m delighted for everyone. It was such heartbreak two years ago when we were relegated but I’m absolutely buzzing to be back in A-Division. Getting promotion was the target but we still have a final to look forward to. There’s still one more game to go and tomorrow will be another big day.”
Earlier today we had the Pool C games, which were also affected by the weather:
Match 14: Wales 7-3 Ukraine
It was a goal-fest in the Pool C contest between Wales and Ukraine with the Welsh winning 7-3 in an entertaining match at Women’s EuroHockey Championship II in Glasgow.
Wales took the lead early on pitch 2 in Glasgow when they were awarded a penalty stroke. The opportunity was buried by Sian French into the bottom right corner to make it Wales 1-0 Ukraine.
Wales then went 2-0 ahead over Ukraine when a powerful low shot by Leah Wilkinson zipped into the left corner and doubled the Welsh advantage.
Wales were lethal from penalty corners and another routine put them 3-0 through a Xenna Hughes drag flick.
Polina Volokhova nearly pulled one back after a quick Ukraine counter attack but a good save low to the left denied the goal.
The Ukrainians eventually did pull one back from a penalty corner strike buried into the bottom right corner by Yevheniya Kernoz.
Early in the second half Wales extended their lead over Ukraine. A lovely finish on the turn at a penalty corner by Joanne Westwood made it 4-1 in Glasgow.
Ukraine pulled another one back from a penalty corner strike from the top of the D. Olha Honcharenko blasted the ball home to make it Wales 4-2 Ukraine.
Ukraine then struck again right at the end of the third quarter; Honcharenko again rifled home from the top of the D to make it Wales 4-3 Ukraine.
Any Welsh unease was put to rest when they scored a fifth through a Sophie Robinson finish from close range to make it 5-3 to Wales.
Then a nice turn and shot by Xenna Hughes made it 6-3 to Wales in Glasgow.
As the match came to a close there was another one for Wales when they took a 7-3 lead with Natasha Marke-Jones scoring at the end.
Match 13: Turkey v Czech Republic finish 2-5
Within the first minute of the match, the Czech Republic’s Number 13 Adela Lehovacova calmly lifts the ball over Turkey’s Keeper Elif Küpeli to put her team ahead. The Czechs continue to dominate; Lehovacova drives again but Turkey’s Number 27 Hazime Nur Kizilirmak gets a stick to the ball as it comes high towards to the goal.
No respite for the Turks though; it’s flick for the Czech Republic. Turkey’s Küpeli is down quickly for the save.
Motivated, Turkey press for the equaliser, driving up the right. Turkey’s Number 16 Pinar Yilmaz controls the ball over the Keeper. It’s 1-1 at the end of the 1st quarter.
As the second quarter gets underway, the Czech Republic are awarded an attacking penalty corner. The ball comes out strong and is quickly sent crashing towards Turkey’s Küpeli but she’s down for the save. Turkey scramble to defend and force the Czechs to make a mistake; it’s a moment of respite for the Turks as they’re given the opportunity to clear.
Turkey drive on the break. Some strong Czech defending sends the Turkish attacker down at the top of the circle; it’s a Turkish attacking penalty corner but it’s not converted.
The Czech Republic use the break to drive towards the Turkish goal; the momentum stays with them until play is suspended due to the weather.
After a significant delay, the match is restarted.
Into the 3rd quarter now, Turkey aim to tip the scoreline in their favour with Number 4 Yeter Çelik going in for the strike but the Czech Republic’s Keeper Barbora Cechakova is there for a fantastic save, getting the touch with her right glove.
The Czech Republic’s Number 24 Katerina Basova responds to the Turkish attack with a spectacular ball up the left where she finds Adela Lehovcova, who can’t quite find her way through the Turkish defence.
In a turn of the tide, the Turks are back down in their preferred half and are awarded a flick. Despite some protest from the Czech defence, Number 10 Perihan Küçükkoç steps up to the spot but the Cechakova gets down for the save. It’s still 1-1 as play is suspended again because the rain.
We reopen proceedings with an attacking penalty corner for the Czech Republic but they can’t find the goal to take the lead. Turkey attempt to push the Czechs back but the attacks come in waves. The Turkish defence falters in the circle to see another penalty corner awarded to the Czechs. The ball comes out to Lehovcova, who takes the strike. It rebounds off the Keeper’s pads to the waiting stick of Number 11 and Captain Tereza Mejzlikova; she makes it 1-2 for the Czech Republic.
Turkey’s Küçükkoç drives up the middle, skilfully weaving her way through the Czech defence; she takes on the Keeper and wins! It’s 2-2!
Into the 4th quarter of this marathon match, the Czech Republic pull ahead after Lehovcova finds the backboard at a penalty corner to make it 2-3.
And it’s plain sailing from there for the Czech team. A penalty flick comes their way after a mistake from the Turkish defence in the circle; Number 2 Katerina Lacina steps up to make it 2-4. Soon after, Number 5 Jindriska Reichlova pushes it to 2-5.
As the match draws to a close, Turkey keeps trying but the Czechs are impenetrable. Final score: Turkey 2, Czech Republic 5.
Pool C Ranking:
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Final day’s games 10th August: