Goalkeeper Rose Thomas made several good saves throughout the tournament. Pic: Hockey Wales.

Skipper Leah Wilkinson’s Late Strike Just Not Enough For Wales Women In Spain

Wales Women 1 Belarus 2

Wales finished sixth after losing their final game of the FIH Series Finals in Valencia.

Skipper Leah Wilkinson netted with around 90 seconds left from a penalty corner with her fourth goal of the tournament.

But despite finishing on the attack, it came just too late for coach Kevin Johnson’s side to make a comeback.

Belarus, ranked seven places higher than Wales in the world at 20, took control in the second quarter of the game after a goal-less first quarter.

Krestina Papkova flicked home on 21 minutes with Maryna Nikitsina adding the second eight minutes later – both from penalty corners.

Wales started the second-half strongly with Buckingham’s Eloise Laity going close to pulling a goal back.

Beth Bingham and Emily Rowlands, who was caught in the face, both needed treatment

The games will have given coach Kevin Johnson and his squad vital time together ahead of the European Championships in Scotland in August.


Leah Wilkinson took her tally to four goals for Wales in the tournament.

Wales finished third in their Pool B after drawing with South Africa 2-2, thrashing Thailand 5-0 before losing to Italy 4-1.

In the cross-over match that set-up the 5/6th place game, Wales were  beaten 1-0 by world No 7 and hosts Spain.

Wales squad: Beth Bingham (Holcombe Hockey Club), Caro Hulme (Beeston Hockey Club), 
Danni Jordan (Royal Leopold Club), Ella Jackson (GK) (Buckingham Hockey Club), Eloise Laity (Buckingham), Emily Rowlands (Hampstead and Westminster), Hannah Cozens (Loughborough Students Hockey Club), 
Izzie Howell (Durham University), Izzy Webb (Swansea Hockey Club) 
Jo Westwood (Holcombe), Julie Whiting (Bowdon Hockey Club),
 Leah Wilkinson (c) (Holcombe), Natasha Marke-Jones (Clifton Robinsons Hockey Club), Phoebe Richards (Buckingham),
Rose Thomas (GK) (Holcombe), Sian French (vc) (Bowdon), Sophie Robinson (Beeston), 
Xenna Hughes (East Grinstead Hockey Club).
*Sarah Jones is ineligible as she is representing GB in the Pro-league.


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