Containment job with a hard fought consolation goal!
Really entertaining, good game of hockey from both sides, enhanced by an Indian Ladies side that were rock solid in every department and technically spot on in most areas.
And they weren't mucking about either, with tackling that was ferocious at times and accompanied by a few shoulders-in when they thought the ever alert umpires - Karen Thomson and Maggie Connacher - weren't looking.
But this Scotland Ladies U21's side weren't overawed in the slightest and kept the scoreline down through sheer hard work; and it was really hard for them throughout most of the first half, with the India ladies doing their best - particularly after they scored their first half goal - to just simply hold on to the ball at the back until the best pass was on.
Indeed, they looked like they might just wear the Scotland girls down, but ultimately they never managed it despite a number of attempts on goal.
And the second half proved that, as the Scotland Ladies came out with what seemed like a whole new aggression and really took the game to their opponents. In fact, the first half calmness of India, now strained and moaned at times under the many second half invasions into their 25 and circle by the Scot's girls, with Louise Campbell and Lucy Lanigan [pictured above] causing no end of problems with their fast, direct hockey.
Louise Campbell is small in height, but she's a no-nonsense super-fast, skilful, muscular-tank of a woman, who's not intimidated by anyone. Lucy Lanigan, meanwhile, has matured a lot since her recent Hutcheson Grammar/Giffnock HC days, and has an ever increasing physical presence that got the Indian defence in a visible flap in the last 20 minutes or so. She had a great game.
But India did get what was to prove their winning goal - and it was a cracker. The scorer slid in in bizarre fashion to meet a cross that flashed diagonally across the Scotland circle - Nicki Cochrane, who had pulled off some great saves earlier, could do nothing about it. Scotland Ladies kept pressing though and got a well deserved goal with a few short minutes to go, from a good attack that saw Louise Campbell lay off the ball for an easy tap in from Millie Brown.
So, did the best team win on the day? Yes, definitely. India did enough to get their two goals, but Scotland contained them enough to keep the score down, whilst managing to get those second half attacks in particular, deep into Far Eastern territory, complimented by a well deserved consolation goal.
There's a real discipline about this Scotland team. They all play with an attitude that shows they really want to progress on to a long future in International hockey. And there's some real serious contenders out there, including Campbell, Cochrane, Lanigan, Bethan Mann, Lara Mowforth, Alex Wilson, Heather Elder etc to name but a few. And this Scotland V India series is far from over! FINAL SCORE: Scotland Ladies U21's 1 India Junior Ladies 2. [Titwood, 15.30hrs - 5/5/2013] Andy Lovat.