Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hockey men thrashed 9-0 by rampant Australians

There is a gap of 23 places in the world rankings between Scotland and Australia and it was all too evident as the tournament favourites crushed Russell Garcia's men 9-0 at the Commonwealth Games in the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi.

The contest was effectively over by half time as the Australians cruised into a five-goal lead. The Scots succumbed to Australian pressure in 14 minutes with a penalty corner shot by Luke Doerner.

Two minutes later the Wallabies doubled their lead when Chris Ciriello forced the ball home after a goalmouth scramble. Scotland's first attempt at goal came from a reverse stick shot from Stephen Dick which led to a penalty corner. Mark Ralph, on the occasion of his 150th Scotland cap, saw his drag flick charged down by a defender. Almost immediately Australia scored their third when Rob Hammond sent a fierce reverse shot high past Scots keeper Alistair McGregor. Two further goals followed before the interval, the first from a drag flick from Ciriello and then a deflected shot past McGregor by Trent Mitton.

The second half saw a similar procession of goals from the Aussies as the Scots defence came under almost constant pressure, and the total might have been higher but for some telling saves from McGregor. Towards the end Scotland did have some chances to get a consolation, with the Aussie keeper producing a great double save from Kenny Bain before Niall Stott's penalty corner effort was also blocked by the keeper and then Ross Stott hit the sideboard.

Scotland's women have the chance to progress up their pool table today when they take on bottom side Trinidad. Coach Gordon Shepherd still remains upbeat despite his side losing 2-1 to South Africa in the last game.

"I was disappointed with the first-half showing against South Africa where we didn't get the tactics right, but I was delighted with the second-half performance and I can't praise the girls highly enough. I feel that I'll have no problem lifting the girls for our next game after this setback as this side has now become used to not losing games," said Shepherd.

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