Western Wildcats trio strike gold with Scotland at Euros

Scotland celebrate after lifting the EuroHockey Championship II trophy (pic by Duncolm Photography)
Scotland celebrate after lifting the EuroHockey Championship II trophy (pic by Duncolm Photography)

Scotland's ladies' hockey side, featuring three players from Milngavie side Western Wildcats, have won gold at the EuroHockey Championships II in Glasgow.

Already guaranteed promotion to the top flight of European hockey by reaching the final, Scotland defeated Italy 2-1 in the competition final to take the gold medal.

The Scots' victory rounded off an unforgettable week for the Tartan Hearts and their Western Wildcats trio - skipper Kaz Cuthbert, Becky Ward and Kate Holmes.

They topped their group with three wins out of three, beat Poland in the semi-final to ensure promotion and then took the title itself by seeing off the Italians.

Backed by a huge home support at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre, the Scots got off to an excellent start and enjoyed lots of early pressure in the contest.

Six minutes into the final they took the lead. Bex Condie powered her way into the D and turned the defender before smashing the ball goal ward. Sarah Jamieson deflected the ball past the goalkeeper and it bobbled over the line.

It was nearly a quick response from the Italians as they carved Scotland opened at the back for a one-on-one with Amy Gibson, but the goalkeeper was out quick to block.

Scotland continued with some good pressure and Sarah Robertson showed some lovely skill to keepie uppie her way into the D, but she couldn’t find an Italian foot at the vital moment.

At the start of the second quarter Italy had the ball in the back of the Scotland net but it was chopped off for a back stick in the build-up.

Scotland continued to search for a second goal and it came when Amy Costello sent Louise Campbell sprinting down the right and she cut the ball back for Charlotte Watson to score.

In the final minute of the match Italy pulled one back when a penalty corner looped into the net, but Scotland held on.

Captain Kaz Cuthbert said: “I’m delighted, absolutely ecstatic.

"We had a goal when we came here – to get promoted and win the tournament. We got promotion yesterday and today was all about the gold medal.

"It’s important that we continue to develop from this but we’re over the moon to have won this on our own patch.”

Scotland Head Coach Jen Wilson said, “I’m absolutely delighted with the win. We said yesterday we had one more job to do and the girls’ absolutely went out and did it today.

"It was a tough game for us but we played how we know we can play. It’s very exciting how this team is developing and they’ve earned this win tonight.”