Wales Women face Italy in crunch final Pool B game on Saturday after seeing off Thailand.

Five Star: Wales Women Thrash Thailand In Series Finals In Spain

Wales 5 Thailand 0

Skipper Leah Wilkinson struck twice as Wales Women beat Thailand to maintain their unbeaten record in the FIH Series finals in Valencia.

Sophie Robinson, Tash Marke-Jones and Xenna Hughes also all found the net as coach Kevin Johnson’s side followed up their deserved draw with South Africa in their opening game.

Thailand may be ranked just one place below Wales at 28 in the current world rankings, but they were never a threat.

Wales dominated the game from the start and deservedly took the lead on 11 minutes when Beeston Hockey Club’s Robinson rounded off a neat move to fire home a low shot.

Nottingham-based Robinson returned to the squad earlier this year having taken a break since 2011 with Johnson welcoming her goal-scoring threat.

Sophie Robinson in action for her club Beeston. Pic: David Kissman

And seven minutes later skipper Wilkinson bagged her second of the tournament by dribbling her way into the area and flicking high past keeper Siraya Yimkrajang.

The Holcombe stalwart, already Wales’ most capped sports person in a team sport, was extending her hockey record to 161 caps.

Wales increased their lead four minutes into the second-half when Marke-Jones smashed home after being set-up by Phoebe Richards.

Xenna Hughes, in action against England at last year’s Commonwealth Games, rounded off the scoring. Pic: Morgan Hancock/Action Plus via Getty Images)

And right at the end of the third-quarter Wilkinson added her second from a penalty corner.

Hughes rounded off the scoring to set Wales up for their final Pool B gamed against Italy, who thrashed Thailand 7-0 on the opening day, on Saturday.

Vice-captain Sian French and Wilkinson had scored in the 2-2 draw with world No 15 South Africa on Wednesday.

The pool games will be followed by crossover games between the second and third-placed teams with the winners qualifying for the semi-finals. Pool winners qualify directly for the semis.

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.

Remaining Pool Games: Saturday 22nd June vs Italy – 12:00pm BST

 

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