Unbeaten Scots go out in pool stages

From left: Claire Hill, Emily Galbraith and Kirsty Hill
From left: Claire Hill, Emily Galbraith and Kirsty Hill

Scotland’s Under-21 Hockey squad, including three Borders girls, came agonizingly close to making the knock-out stages of the European Championships in Vienna.

Kelso sisters Claire and Kirsty Hill, along with Selkirk’s Emily Newlands, were all part of the squad who travelled to Austria for the event, all three are supported by the Scottish Borders Athlete Support Programme.

Scotland started their European competition strongly with a win over Lithuania 6-0 with Claire Hill contributing to the score sheet.

Next for Scotland came a 3-3 draw against Ireland. The team fought hard in conditions of over 38 degrees and Scottish hopes of a win were raised in the 45th minute when captain Kirsty Hill made it 3-2, from a penalty corner, only for Ireland to equalise four minutes later.

This result meant they could not progress to the promotion pool stages.

Scotland therefore went on to play the runners up of the other two pools, where they defeated Belarus and Poland, 5-0 and 2-1 respectively.

The Scotland U21 women finished fourth despite an unbeaten campaign including three wins and a draw, scoring 15 goals and only conceding four, due to the peculiarities of the EuroHockey Junior Nations Championship 11 competition format.