Home Internationals: Scotland v England
Team England’s final game of the 2013 Home Internationals saw them take on the host nation, Scotland. Both teams were in action the day before with Scotland losing to Wales and Team England overcoming the England Invitational team.
Scotland started brightly gaining the first possession from the draw but were called up for being offside, which gave possession to England who made it count by breaking up the field quickly and allowing Sophie Brett to find Ruby Smith who fired past Ari Midgen in the Scotland goal with one minute on the clock. This was an early indication of how England would play the game, fast and furious, but it was Scotland who took control from the draw and created an opportunity, Lydia Nicol finding Lizy Gill open in the fan, however England goalkeeper Cat Gaunt spotted the danger and ran out to make the check. England had a Laura Merrifield goal disallowed for a goal circle violation before scoring four more goals, Kelley Watt with a free position bounce shot, Asha Niven with a drive around the circle, Smith finishing a fast break and Alex Bruce finishing top corner to take the score to 5-0.
Scotland’s first goal came from Hannah Grant starting a drive from behind goal and rolling to open up the opportunity to put the ball past Gaunt (5-1). England would answer back within two minutes with Katy Bennett finding Anna Featherstone who finished high under pressure (6-1). Ali Smith tallied her first goal after twenty minutes from a Gaunt save and a quick England break (7-1) but Scotland also showed that they could finish fast break opportunities with Cat Thompson calmly converting (7-2). England stepped up the attack another level for the remainder of the half, with goals from Ali Smith, Merrifield, Emily Grey, Bennett and two from Brett to leave England 13-2 up at the halftime whistle.
The Half-time score of 13-2 reflected the play with England enjoying most of possession and converting the opportunities, and playing some solid defence to keep Scotland with only two goals. England put on the pressure from the start of the second half, hunting down the ball and making it hard for Scotland to clear
Early in the second half, Scotland’s Ailsa Stott received the game’s first yellow card for a dangerous shot, but it was Scotland who managed to score with a player down as Ellie Bygroves shot past a diving Gaunt (13-3). England answered back from a Gaunt save leading to another quick clear which was finished by Liv Wimpenny (14-3). The high pressure on the Scotland clears allowed England to gain more and more turnovers to score a further run of four goals from Featherstone, Merrifield, Brett and Bruce to take the score to 18-3. Scotland would finish their next attack after some good possession play with Grant converting past England’s Gaunt (18-4).
Bruce would increase England’s lead with a converted free position shot before Stott converted on a drive from the top of the fan (19-5). England answered back soon after with a similar goal by R.Smith, putting on the burners to beat her defender after another England passage of play starting from defence (20-5). Stott carried the fight for Scotland, scoring the last goal of the game with a free position shot that bounced past Gaunt’s stick to take them to six goals for the game. Final score in the game would be 20-6 in favour of England.
England came into the game knowing they would need to perform in one of their final high level games before heading to Canada for the World Cup and they did not disappoint, with flair in attack and a great work rate in defence which frustrated the opposition throughout the game and led to England having lots of possession.
|Ruby Smith (3)||Hannah Grant (2)|
|Alex Bruce (3)||Ailsa Stott (2)|
|Sophie Brett (3)||Cat Thompson (1)|
|Laura Merrifield (2)||Ellie Bygroves (1)|
|Anna Featherstone (2)|
|Ali Smith (2)|
|Kelly Watt (1)|
|Asha Niven (1)|
|Emily Grey (1)|
|Katy Bennett (1)|
|Olivia Wimpenny (1)|