Alan Forsyth scored a hat-trick as Scotland came from two goals down to beat Ireland 3-2, and bag a place in the Men’s EuroHockey Championship II final.
Ireland got off to a good start in the contest and put Scotland under pressure with a penalty corner, but it was well saved by Tommy Alexander.
A short time later Ireland took the lead with a goal by Kevin O’Dea. He found space in the Scots circle and coolly slid the ball home for 1-0.
Scotland battled back into the contest and nearly bagged an equaliser when Cammy Golden sent a drag flick towards the top right corner, but it was well read and saved to deny the goal.
Early in the second quarter Scotland had Alexander to thank for a superb double save to stop an early strike.
Seconds later and Ireland did double their lead when Ben Walker swept the ball home from close range to make it 2-0.
Then the Blue Sticks were awarded a penalty stroke after Golden’s penalty corner struck a foot on the line. Alan Forsyth stepped up and buried the ball into the bottom left corner to make it Ireland 2-1 Scotland. It was Forsyth’s fifth goal of the tournament.
Ian Stuart very nearly scored for Ireland right after half time but his shot across goal just went wide. Then Forsyth had a chance for Scotland from the top of the D and his ferocious strike was well saved by the leg guards of the keeper.
The half tore on and Golden was denied by a save at full stretch when a low penalty corner was touched around the post.
As the third quarter came to a close an absolutely tremendous finish by Forsyth gave a deserved equaliser to Scotland. Forsyth took the ball on the left and absolutely buried it across the keeper into the far corner. 2-2.
It was all to play for in the final quarter and both sides came out fighting with the game raging from end-to-end.
Scotland was awarded a penalty stroke and Forsyth stepped up again to take responsibility for the strike. The striker made no mistake, finding the bottom left corner again, to bag his hat trick and put Scotland 3-2 ahead.
An outstanding diving save by Alexander denied Ireland an equaliser with the clock ticking down, and Scotland was strong enough to hold out for the win and secure a place in the final.