Robertson in the thick of it as young Scots give Ulster some stick

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SARAH Robertson claimed a double yesterday as Scotland’s Under-21s hockey women upped their game to whip Ulster 5-1 at Jordanstown.

The Selkirk-born, Edinburgh University law student, who gained her first senior caps against Olympic-bound South Africa in Glasgow recently, powered Scotland into a commanding 2-0 lead at the break.

The former Borders Player of the Year, who also has under-18 caps, netted after three and 12 minutes, the second following a drive into the circle and a clinical finish.

In between the goals, Ali Howie (Glasgow Western) also hit a post as the ultra-defensive Irish combine – made up of a mixture of experienced senior athletes and under-21 squad players – dug in after earning back-to-back 1-1 draws on Friday and Saturday.

But the eager Scots were not to be denied and rattled in three goals without reply in the second-half.

Haddington Ladies rising star Nikki Mollison made it 3-0 for the visitors from a penalty corner 17 minutes into the second period. And Stephanie McInally (Kelburne) increased the scoreline to 4-0 four minutes later following a deflection.

Scotland completed their goal tally with a fifth from Howie three minutes from a slick strike. The only disappointment for Scotland’s coach, Dave Stott, was a late strike from Ulster with four minutes remaining. Perthshire-based Stott said: “We restricted them to four circle penetrations in the first-half and three in the second. We had 11 in the first-half and the same in the second and we dominated possession.”

He added: “This was a big improvement from the first two games. We asked them to put pressure on the opposition early.”