Hockey: Chris Duncan's verdict after Scotland's women raise game to overcome Great Britain development squad

Scotland women’s hockey coach Chris Duncan praised his squad for lifting their game to extend their impressive recent unbeaten run with a 4-1 victory over a hard-working Great Britain development squad at Peffermill.

By Nigel Duncan
Sunday, 12th June 2022, 5:14 pm
Updated Sunday, 12th June 2022, 5:14 pm

The Tartan Hearts were held to a 2-2 draw by the same opponents on Saturday, going ahead twice only to be pegged back by late goals in each half.

Duncan was critical of that performance but he said: "Overall, it was a really pleasing weekend as it gave our girls a chance to play against a different kind of opposition.

"We recently played a very open team in Ireland and a very tight Welsh outfit but this weekend I would say that the development squad were in the middle.

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Louise Campbell steers the ball home as Scotland go 2-0 ahead against the Great Britain Development Squad at Peffermill, Edinburgh. Picture: Nigel Duncan

"We also had the opportunity to work on some things which we know will face us in Birmingham in the Commonwealth Games."

Duncan's squad play South Africa, ranked No 16 in the world, two places higher than Scotland, in their Games opener on July 29, and he admitted to being frustrated at the 2-2 draw on Saturday.

But the Edinburgh-based coach, who is also director of hockey at Edinburgh Academy, admitted: "It was good to turn it into a 4-1 win 24-hours later and to finish the weekend on a high note."

That took their unbeaten run to ten games in which they have recorded eight wins and the coach said that the visitors did really well, pushing Scotland hard, and added: "They are well coached and every time we did something well they came back at us. The players and coaching staff did a great job.

"Remember, as their programme develops, these girls will be Great Britain and Olympic athletes of the future and they gave us a really good test."

Duncan's only disappointment was a suspected broken nose suffered in the second-half by Edinburgh University player Eve Pearson and the initial diagnosis is that the injury may take six weeks to heal.

The visitors took the game to their hosts early on but they were made to pay for missing chances when Edinburgh University’s Amy Costello opened Scotland's account. Clubmate Louise Campbell, just back from injury, netted the second and Heather HcEwan made it 3-0. Millie Giglio pulled one back before Scotland captain Sarah Robertson made it 4-1.

On Saturday, Costello scored from a penalty corner and then Fiona Burnet scored for Scotland, with Liv Hamilton and Becky Manton scoring for the visitors.