Lenzie youngster helps Scotland to European hockey gold

Scotland won U18 Girls' EuroHockey Championship II with a sensational 2-1 win over Russia in the final.
Scotland won U18 Girls' EuroHockey Championship II with a sensational 2-1 win over Russia in the final.

Lenzie youngster Kirsten Cannon helped Scotland’s under-18 girls to a remarkable European hockey triumph in the Czech Republic.

Kirsten, who plays for Milngavie side Western Wildcats, was part of the squad which lifted the EuroHockey Championship II with a sensational 2-1 win over Russia in the final.

Their triumph - thanks to a last-minute winner by Kirsten’s Wildcats team-mate Rachel Bain - not only won the gold medal but also secured promotion for the Scots to the top tier of European U18 girls’ hockey.

Kirsten played in all five matches, including the final, bravely battling against injury which caused her to come off during the semi-final win over Austria.

The Scots began with a sensational 4-0 win over Wales and then followed that up be defeating the highly fancied Russians 3-1.

That put the Scots in a strong position to go through to the last four and they reinforced that with a 6-0 win over Lithuania in their final group match.

Austria were despatched 2-1 in the semi-final, although it was painful experience for Kirsten who had to come off after being struck in the face by the ball.

That prompted a special mention from coach Keith Smith who said: “Kirsten has been great all tournament and showed tremendous bravery today after taking a knock to the face.

“The girls’ wanted to win for Kirsten; thankfully she’s fine and is already back pitch side desperate to play in tomorrow’s final.”

And so it proved as she returned to play in the final.

After a goalless first half the Scots struck first only for Russia to quickly level.

But with a minute to play Bain popped up to strike for gold with a dramatic winner.