Scotland have been relegated to the third tier of European indoor hockey for the first time.
Even a 2-1 defeat to tournament whipping boys the Slovak Republic didn’t matter as the Scots were already consigned for the drop before the push-off in their game as Italy drew 2-2 with Belarus ensuring they both survived in the second tier.
The Slovak Republic lost all their three Pool B matches, scoring only eight goals and letting in 24. They then lost 5-3 to Italy but saved their best to last. Coach Billy McPherson’s side earned their only point in five matches thanks to a 0-0 draw with Italy in their opening game.
They then lost 4-3 to Ukraine, 4-3 to Sweden and 3-2 to Belarus and against Slovakia they were 1-0 down after 11 minutes.
Michal Blazovsky broke the deadlock from a penalty corner and the same player scored from open play after 28 minutes.
Ross McPherson (Grove Menzieshill) pulled one back from open play with nine minutes left but the Scots were unable to salvage a draw.