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Hockey - 07. July 2008.

A Scots Deluge Lifts the Celtic Cup

It poured both rain and goals in Cork as Scotland`s senior women seized the Celtic Cup in some style by whipping France 10-2 in the final match, and Milne Craig Western striker Holly Cram was again the heroine with a well taken hat-trick.

A delighted Keith Joss, Scotland coach, said: "I can`t remember when Scotland last scored double figures in an international match, if ever, the girls were simply too fit and too fast for the French. I was particularly impressed by the intensity of our press which gave us so much of the ball that the French were rarely seen out of their own half."

With Ireland only able to defeat Wales by 3-1, the Scots took the cup with a substantial goal advantage.

The avalanche started in 12 minutes, a move up the left involving Ali Bell and Katie MacKay carved an opening in the French defence, the ball was slipped to Giffnock`s Julie Bryce who dispatched a first time volley past the stranded French goalkeeper. A carbon copy move within a minute achieved a similar result, this time Cram was on hand to finish it off for the second.

Midway through the half MacKay made it 3-0 with a carefully executed slap hit and almost immediately Fiona Donald scored her first goal for Scotland when she volleyed home after the ball had rebounded high off the keeper. Although the French were to steal one back through Charlotte Boyer, the four goal cushion was restored when Lorna Dobbie dispatched a first time strike at a penalty corner just on the interval.

The second half saw the procession of goals continue; Holly Cram stole the ball on the half way, waltzed past the bewildered French defence, rounded the goalkeeper and calmly slipped the ball into the empty net. Clare Scott made it 7-1 while the eighth came from a set piece, Cram slipped the ball left to MacKay and her trademark slap hit deceived the keeper.

Geraldine Bonenfant notched another consolation for France, but the punishment went on unabated. Laura Wrightson made it 9-2 with a hit from the edge of the circle and Cram completed her hat-trick with a fierce strike to bring up the double figure.

Elsewhere, Scotland`s under 21 women’s squad completed the treble over Poland with a comfortable 3-0 victory in the final build-up for the European Trophy in Prague later this month.

The Scots took a half time lead when Edinburgh University`s Sue Davidson opened the scoring following a pass into the circle by Becky Ward. Just after the interval, a Nikki Kidd cross found Amy Rowan, she drew the Polish goalkeeper and slipped the ball back to Kidd for an easy tap in. In the dying minutes Amy Rowan found Kareena Marshall in the circle and the Giffnock player`s volley whistled past the keeper for the third.

On Saturday the Scots won the second test by a single goal despite dominating proceedings from start to finish. But, the goal when it came, however, was outstanding, with Rhona Stewart making a good run up the right, passing to Ellie Cockburn, who relayed the ball to captain Nikki Kidd in the circle - her shot deflected in by Sue Davidson.

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