Posted on

EuroHockey Qualifiers D, Men

Wednesday 24th August 


Wales 8 – 0 Switzerland

Scotland 9 – 0 Gibraltar

Wales vs. Switzerland; Copyright Duncan Gray (Duncolm Sports Photography)

What’s Happened

Wales 8 – 0 Switzerland; I’ve arrived at my hotel about two hours before the start of first game. I’m staying about twenty minutes from the venue for this qualifying event, which is held at the  Uddingston Hockey Club. The commute includes a train ride across the Clyde River in Glasgow on the way to this satellite town, o the West Coast of Scotland. Apparently, the last time these two teams met, the Welsh ran out seven nil winners. 23 year old Ioan Wall made his 50th appearance for the Brits today. The first goal of the tournament came from a rewarded short corner, that was forced over the line by Wales and GB player Rupert Shipperley. After an initial save from Lars Kleikemper in the Swiss goal, Shipperley bagged the rebound. Switzerland very nearly equalised early in the second quarter. A short corner shot found its way through the leg guards of the Welsh goalie, Toby Reynolds-Cotterill, but was easily cleared off the line. The second goal of the game came in the 24th minute. After making three saves in a row, Kleikemper was finally beaten at the back post by Jolyon Morgan. A third is added from a short corner, by Gareth Furlong, who then added another on the cusp of half time. Oswald Maximillian absolutely wore a shot from a short corner, on the line, giving away a penalty stroke. Gareth Furlong duly tucked it away, making it six nil to the Welsh, after Rupert Shipperley had got his second earlier in the half. Furlong made it four for him and eight for Wales just on the hooter. 

Daniel Newcombe – Hockey Wales Coach
Gareth Furlong – Hockey Wales Player

Scotland 9 – 0 Gibraltar; there were a few more fans at the ground for the second match of the day. Hosts Scotland seemed to be slightly more well supported than their Gibraltarian opponents. Jamie Golden opened the scoring for the Scots, after he rifled home a short corner in the third minute. Their lead was doubled shortly afterwards from open play, as Rob Harwood tucked one away after a neat bit of play from the boys in blue. This was how it stayed at the end of the first quarter. In the second period Struan Walker added two more goals for Scotland, one from open play and another from a short corner. Scotland play a patient ball possession type of game. There was a lot of passing between the defence and the midfield that was happening tonight, especially in the third quarter, in order to create angles and move the opposition out of the way. It proved to be effective, as Jamie Golden added his second of the match from another short corner, to extend the score line to seven nil. Julian Hernandez thought that he had scored for Gibraltar, but it had hit his foot on the way in. Scotland immediately went up the other end to make it eight nil. Jamie Golden then got his hat trick before the final whistle for a nine nil to Scotland.

Alan Forsyth – Scotland Captain

Rob Harwood of Scotland, Scotland vs. Gibraltar; Copyright Duncan Gray (Duncolm Sports Photography)
Alan Forsyth Scotland Captain, Scotland vs. Gibraltar; Copyright Duncan Gray (Duncolm Sports Photography)

Best Moment of the Day

Rupert Shipperley’s second goal of the day was pretty decent. It was the fifth for Wales and the first goal of the second half. A diagonal pass across the top of the Swiss defensive circle saw Rupert pick the ball up on the turn. A quick pivot around the ball put him on his strong side, before he fired it into the bottom corner.  

In the second game of the day, Struan Walker scored a nice reverse hit shot, to make it three goals to nil for the Scots. A direct ball from the defence, which maybe travelled about 50 yards. Walker picked it up nicely and pinned his marker, before firing the ball into the goal. However, he beat this goal with an even better one. He picked the ball up near the top of the circle, spun the Gibraltarian defender, before he whacked it into the top corner, past the goalkeeper, Joseph Borg. 

The best moment of the day, though, happened in the first quarter of the opening match, a hopeful long ball sent forward by the Swiss was initially left by the Welsh goalkeeper, Toby Reynolds-Cotterill, thinking that it would trickle over the back line. It, of course, then hit the post and rebounded back into play. After a brief interlude of increased heart rates, the British lads dutifully managed to play the ball forward. It happens to the best of us, evidently…

Struan Walker of Scotland, Scotland vs. Gibraltar; Copyright Duncan Gray (Duncolm Sports Photography)

Star Player

Switzerlands captain, Fabio Marelli is a decent player. He was looking to start attacking play from his deep lying defensive position. Lars Kleikemper, the goalkeeper, was kept busy and actually had a good game, despite the score line. The Welsh had plenty of good performances; Draper, Shepperley both stood out, with the latter getting a hat trick. 

It was a high scoring day; three Scots also took hat tricks in their opening match against Gibraltar. Jamie Golden looked good from set pieces, with his team mates Struan Walker and Rob Harwood also bagging a few goals. The best player of the day, however, has to be Gareth Furlong, with four goals to his name. He looked great from short corners, carrying his good form, from the recent Commonwealth Games.

Tommy Alexander – Scottish Hockey Goalkeeper
Struan Walker – Scottish Hockey

Scotland 9 – 0 Gibraltar; Copyright Tao MacLeod/Half Court Press