Tag: Scotland

Euro 2016 Qualifier: Scotland 6-1 Gibraltar

Steven Fletcher scored Scotland’s first hat-trick for 46 years as they recorded an emphatic victory over Gibraltar.

Shaun Maloney netted a penalty before Gibraltar stunned Hampden with their first competitive goal.

However, Fletcher restored the lead before Maloney tucked away another penalty and Steven Naismith got Scotland’s fourth.

The Scots laboured through the second half until Fletcher headed home and curled in for Scotland’s sixth.

That hat-trick – the first since Colin Stein netted four against Cyprus in 1969 – gave Scotland their biggest win since beating the Faroe Islands 6-0 in 2006.

The result means Gordon Strachan’s side keep pace with Germany, who beat Georgia 2-0 and, like Scotland, move on to 10 points, with Poland and the Republic of Ireland playing later in the evening.

Strachan had hinted beforehand at a change of system against a team who had conceded 21 and scored none in their four previous competitive fixtures.

And so it proved as he played just one central defender in Russell Martin, opting to load the attacking areas in the quest for goals.

But Scotland found Gibraltar awkward opponents, struggling to find a sufficiently high tempo or a crispness of passing to pick the lock of a well-drilled and stuffy side.

As they began to exert their authority, Fletcher might have had a penalty and moments later Maloney did, using his experience to dangle a trailing leg into the Gibraltar keeper Jamie Robba.

Read more at BBC Sport

Six Nations: Ireland win title from England & Wales

Champions Ireland retained their Six Nations title on points difference after an extraordinary final day.

The last round of games concluded with England falling agonisingly short of the 26-point winning margin they needed as they beat France 55-35 in an epic.

The day had started with Wales annihilating Italy 61-20 in Rome.

Ireland needed a huge win and their 40-10 demolition of Scotland was enough to both pass Wales and set a target just beyond England.

With three teams on three wins apiece going into the final round of games the stage was set, and what followed was one of the most incredible days in the tournament since it was first played in 1883, with 221 points scored in the three matches.

England started Saturday as leaders – just – from Ireland on points difference with Wales some way further back, and they would play in reverse order to decide who would become champions.

In the opener, Wales only led Italy by a point at half-time in Rome but cut loose in the second half, with George North’s hat-trick ensuring Ireland needed to beat Scotland by 21 points to take the lead on points difference.

The champions duly hammered Scotland by 30 points in Edinburgh, meaning Wales were out of contention and that England needed to beat France by 26 points to take the title.

In a see-saw encounter at Twickenham, England pulled steadily clear but never managed to get into a lead that would have denied Ireland the title.

However, Jack Nowell’s try with five minutes remaining put them 20 points ahead and meant a converted try would have given them the Championship.

They spent the closing moments hammering away at the French line in search of the winning points, and came within a foot of scoring, but in their desperation they infringed and the final whistle meant that although they had won handsomely, it was Ireland who are 2015 Six Nations champions.

Read more at BBC Sport

Six Nations: England 25-13 Scotland

England set up a climatic final day to the 2015 Six Nations but only after toiling to a 25-13 victory over Scotland.

Two weeks after succumbing to champions Ireland, Stuart Lancaster’s men were forced to draw on their reserves of character to see off opponents searching for a maiden win of the Championship and a first triumph at Twickenham for 32 years.

Only George Ford’s 44th-minute try separated the rivals for most of a second half controlled by England but also containing moments of high anxiety as Scotland, sensing a special result was theirs for the taking, ran with intent and ingenuity.

They deservedly led 13-10 at half-time after Mark Bennett crossed to help overhaul Jonathan Joseph’s early try, the outside centres exchanging scores, but they lacked the firepower to finish the job.

The 12-point win against the Six Nations’ bottom team, combined with Wales’ 23-16 victory over previously unbeaten Ireland earlier in the day, has created a three-way shoot-out for the title.

England, Wales and Ireland can each be crowned champions next Saturday, but the 2015 World Cup hosts know they squandered a glorious chance to place themselves in the driving seat.

As many as five try-scoring opportunities were left on the Twickenham turf, most of them in a dominant opening quarter, and it took Jack Nowell’s try with five minutes left to place them at the summit of the table with one round remaining.

France visit London in the final match of Saturday’s triple-header and with the outcome of the title likely to be decided by points difference, England’s four-point advantage over Ireland is a poor return from an afternoon that began with such promise.

The dismal starts that had blighted their Six Nations appeared to be a distant memory as Ben Youngs and Ford combined to set Luther Burrell free, and although the inside centre butchered the chance, the Scots’ line soon cracked.

Hard yards from Billy Vunipola and James Haskell softened up the visitors and Joseph needed no second invitation to jink over from 10 yards out after being given a sniff of the whitewash by Youngs’ distribution.

Scotland were being over-run, with a one-booted Mike Brown unable to outstrip Stuart Hogg in a race to the line, obviously impeded by having to run with only a sock on his left foot.

Finn Russell was flattened by Courtney Lawes behind his own line and Nowell dashed into space as the pressure continued, but chances were being wasted at a worrying rate.

Any thoughts of a cricket score quickly evaporated as Scotland ran in a try launched from a line-out but born out of the vision of Greig Laidlaw, whose rapid miss pass enabled Mark Bennett to step inside and dive over.

Ford and Laidlaw exchanged penalties, the Scots’ three points coming after they were held up just short of the line, before Anthony Watson correctly had a try disallowed following a forward pass from Ford to Burrell.

England invited pressure on themselves when Joe Marler was penalised at the scrum for a second time and the visitors were now the dominant force, running the ball with intent.

Wide open space greeted revitalised Scotland, who were denied a try when wing Tommy Seymour was brought down by Brown before failing to create a clear overlap, but they at least finished the passage of play with a Laidlaw penalty.

England started the second half with purpose and were rewarded when Ford dummied his way over from close range, but it had been the hard running of wing Nowell that made the real yards.

Holes continued to appear in the blue wall as England wrestled back control, Ford underlining their growing authority with a penalty. England’s ability to self-destruct remained intact, however, as substitute hooker Tom Youngs flung out a wild pass having charged through a gap.

It became Brown’s turn to see a try chalked off for a forward pass – Haskell’s ball was at least a metre in the wrong direction – but the reward for their late superiority came in the 75th minute when Nowell darted over in the left corner.

The try had a hint of good fortune about it as a penalty by Ford struck the left upright and fell for England to launch an attack that has placed them at the summit of the table.

Read more at ESPN

Cricket World Cup: Australia thrash Scotland in last group game

Australia raced to a seven-wicket win and condemned Scotland to a sixth straight defeat in the final World Cup Pool A game.

World Cup Pool A, Hobart:
Scotland 130 (25.4 overs): Machan 40; Starc 4-14
Australia 133-3 (15.2 overs): Clarke 47
Australia won by seven wickets

Mitchell Starc took 4-13 and Pat Cummins 3-42 to bowl Scotland out for 130 in 25.4 overs in Hobart.

Michael Clarke, promoted up the order, hit 47 as Australia won with 34.4 overs to spare after a 90-minute rain delay.

They face a quarter-final against Pakistan or Ireland, who meet on Sunday, in Adelaide on 20 March.

Australia captain Clarke said: “We had one little hiccup against New Zealand, but now it’s the knockout stages.

“We need to play at our best and I think if we do, we can win.”

Scotland finished bottom of the group, having extended their unwanted record of World Cup games without a win to 14 since their debut in 1999.

But captain Preston Mommsen said: “We take a huge amount of positives from the past six games, and we leave the World Cup a better team.”

The batting problems which have undermined this campaign – Scotland have been bowled out in all but one game – were evident again as five players made ducks.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: Sangakkara scores fourth successive century for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara became the first player to score four successive one-day international centuries as his side beat Scotland at the World Cup.

World Cup Pool A, Hobart:
Sri Lanka 363-9 (50 overs): Sangakkara 124, Dilshan 104, Davey 3-63
Scotland 215 (43.1 overs): Coleman 70, Mommsen 60, Kulasekara 3-20
Sri Lanka won by 148 runs

The 37-year-old hit 124 in a total of 363-9 in Hobart, to go with his previous tons in the tournament against Bangladesh, England and Australia.

Sangakkara passed 500 ODI dismissals as Scotland were bowled out for 215.

Captain Preston Mommsen and Freddie Coleman scored half centuries but Sri Lanka finish with four wins in Pool A.

They look set to face South Africa in the first of the quarter-finals in Sydney on Wednesday.

Although they posted their best ever total batting second against a Test-playing nation, a fifth defeat means Scotland remain without a win. They will play co-hosts Australia in their final match on Saturday in Hobart.

On a day of records at Bellerive Oval, left-hander Sangakkara recorded his fifth World Cup century and is now one behind the record of six held by India’s Sachin Tendulkar.

He has now scored 14,189 ODI runs and only Tendulkar (18,426), who retired in 2013, has more runs for their country in the 50-over format.

Sangakkara, who became the first ever player to score four centuries at a World Cup, has previously suggested he will retire from ODI cricket at the end of the tournament.

The wicketkeeper has enjoyed a prolific spell in the last 12-18 months, becoming the fastest player to reach 12,000 Test runs in January in the same match in which he scored his 11th double century, moving him one behind the record held by Australian great Don Bradman.

“I’ve been batting and keeping for a long time, it’s getting harder and the joints are creaking and aching, but I consider myself lucky to be part of a great team,” he said.

“No matter how hard you try, it’s hard to pinpoint why I’m playing so well.

“Maybe I’m making better decisions at the crease, I don’t know. Whatever it is, it’s working for me at the moment.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: Scotland’s Cricket hopes ended by Bangladesh

Kyle Coetzer scored Scotland’s first World Cup century but their tournament hopes were ended with a six-wicket defeat by Bangladesh in Nelson.

World Cup Pool A, Nelson, New Zealand:
Scotland 318-8 (50 overs): Coetzer 156, Taskin 3-43
Bangladesh 322-4 (48.1 overs): Tamim 95, Mahmudullah 62, Mushfiqur 60
Bangladesh won by six wickets

Scotland can no longer qualify for the knockout stages after losing their fourth match out of four in Pool A.

Coetzer’s 156 was the best World Cup score by an associate nation batsman and helped his team post 318-8, their highest score against a Test side.

But Tamim Iqbal (95) led Bangladesh to victory with 11 balls to spare.

It was the second-highest successful run chase in a World Cup game after the 329-7 Ireland managed against England at Bangalore in 2011.

The result means England must beat Bangladesh in Adelaide on Monday if they are to keep alive their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.

Scotland, meanwhile, face Sri Lanka and Australia in their remaining group matches.

Their chances of a first World Cup victory looked promising after Coetzer brought up his century in style by hitting his second six.

The 30-year-old Northamptonshire batsman finished with 17 fours and four sixes in his 134-ball innings.

Scotland were reduced to 38-2 in the 10th over after being asked to bat but Coetzer put on 78 with Matt Machan (35) and 141 with captain Preston Mommsen (39).

His stand with Mommsen was Scotland’s first century partnership in 12 matches at World Cups.

After Coetzer was dismissed in the 45th over with Scotland 269-5, Richie Berrington (26) and Matt Cross (20) combined for a quickfire 39 that saw their side past 300 for only the third time in ODIs.

While Saxton Oval is a high-scoring ground, the total was made tougher for Bangladesh when opening batsman Anamul Haque appeared to dislocate his right shoulder when diving to stop a boundary and was unable to bat.

Scotland seamer Josh Davey took an early wicket but Tamim and Mahmudullah (62) made excellent progress before the latter was dismissed in bizarre circumstances.

The batsman was bowled by Iain Wardlaw for 62 after deflecting a leg-side delivery on to the stumps off his back foot.

Tamim was closing in on Bangladesh’s first hundred in a World Cup match but was trapped leg before wicket by Davey to renew Scotland’s hopes.

But Mushfiqur Rahim made a rapid 60 from 42 balls and then Shakib Al Hasan (52 not out) and Sabbir Rahman (42 not out) completed the victory with no further alarms as Scotland’s bowlers struggled.

Read more at BBC Sport

Six Nations: Scotland 19-22 Italy

Scotland slipped to a third successive Six Nations defeat as they fell to a battling Italian side at Murrayfield.

Mark Bennett ran in his first international try for the Scots before Joshua Furno and Giovambattista Venditti replied for Italy.

Greig Laidlaw’s 14 points with the boot kept them in front until the final minute.

But Vern Cotter’s side were undone by a last-gasp penalty try, which was converted by Tommaso Allan.

The result leaves Scotland bottom of the Six Nations table as the only team without a victory to their name while Italy secure their first championship win since 2013.

Scotland’s performances in defeats by France and Wales had offered some signs of encouragement, but there will be no crumbs of comfort in losing to Italy, who celebrate a first win in Edinburgh since 2007.

With matches against title contenders England and Ireland to come, the Scots are staring at the very real prospect of a Six Nations whitewash.

They started the match in positive fashion. Captain Laidlaw kicked Scotland in front with barely a minute on the clock after an Italian infringement, and it was immediately obvious the Scots were aiming to play a more expansive game than in those opening two matches.

The Scots’ ambition was helped by some sloppy Italian play, fly-half Kelly Haimona’s wayward pass an open invitation for Mark Bennett to intercept and coast under the posts unchallenged.

The visitors were not about to crumble though. A driving maul from a line-out on the Scotland 22 carried the Italians over the try line, with lock Furno the man grounding.

Two Laidlaw penalties either side of Haimona’s three-pointer extended Scotland’s lead to 16-8, but they conceded just before half-time through a slice of bad fortune.

Haimona’s penalty attempt came back off the post and the ball bounced favourably to wing Venditti, who managed to force the ball down through a ruck of bodies to make it 16-15 at the break.

Allan, on for Haimona, spurned a good chance to put Italy in front for the first time on 54 minutes, sending a fairly straightforward penalty attempt wide of the posts.

For the second match running the home side had a try ruled out, though in this instance there was no controversy; Sean Lamont’s off-load to Stuart Hogg a blatant forward pass.

Laidlaw nudged Cotter’s men four points ahead with a routine penalty 13 minutes from time, but the Italians would not lie down.

They forced a succession of line-outs and scrums deep in Scottish territory, and with the home defence desperately trying to halt a rolling maul, referee George Clancy deemed they were doing so illegally and awarded a match-winning penalty try, which was converted by Allan to seal a desperately disappointing day for the Scots.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: Moeen Ali-inspired England beat Scotland

Moeen Ali’s century led England to a 119-run victory over Scotland and a first win of the World Cup.

World Cup, Pool A, Christchurch:
England 303-8 (50 overs): Moeen 128, Bell 54, Davey 4-68
Scotland 184 (42.2 overs): Coetzer 71, Finn 3-26
England won by 119 runs

Moeen scored 128 and shared 172 for the first wicket with the stuttering Ian Bell, who contributed 54.

But, when they were parted, England could only manage 131 runs in the final 20 overs as they posted 303-8.

Still, it was too many for Scotland, who never threatened an upset, despite Kyle Coetzer’s 71, and were bowled out for 184, with Steven Finn taking 3-26.

Following heavy defeats against co-hostsAustralia and New Zealand, the success in Christchurch provides England with a much-needed morale boost.

However, little can be learned as to whether England are in better shape for the sterner tests to come – starting with Sri Lanka in Wellington on Sunday – given the nature of the opposition.

Scotland are the lowest-ranked one-day international side in Pool A and slip to the bottom of the table following the three-wicket defeat by New Zealand in their opening game.

Preston Mommsen’s side face Afghanistan on Thursday, likely to be their best chance for success in the tournament.

Still, there were times when they troubled England. An attack which began poorly improved to take eight wickets in the final 20 overs and ensure that Eoin Morgan’s men did not fully capitalise on a platform of 172-0 after the first 30.

At one point around the beginning of the batting powerplay, England lost three wickets for two runs in three overs, Moeen being caught on the leg-side boundary from the off-spin of Majid Haq, Gary Ballance continuing his poor run by chopping on to his own stumps and Joe Root edging behind.

Before that, Moeen, who gave a half-chance to cover on only seven, scored freely, particularly through fierce pull shots and lofts down the ground.

His 107-ball knock included five sixes and 12 fours and his second ODI century is also his highest score.

In contrast, Bell never looked fluent, scratching his way to a half-century in an 85-ball innings that contained only two fours.

It was Bell’s wicket, caught at extra cover off the medium pace of Richie Berrington, that began England’s slide, a decline halted by the late impetus of Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler.

Patient at first, Morgan accelerated to a 42-ball 46, including two sixes, while Buttler contributed an inventive 24 from 14 deliveries.

If the win was most welcome for England, then next will be the runs scored by Morgan, who had managed only 19 in his previous five innings.

The target of 304 always seemed beyond Scotland and they never came close to pulling off a first win against a Test-playing side as they slumped to a 10th defeat in as many World Cup matches – joining the Netherlands with the worst record in the tournament’s history.

Read more at BBC Sport

Cricket World Cup: New Zealand sink Scotland in Dunedin

New Zealand made it two wins out of two in Pool A with a bizarre three-wicket victory against Scotland in Dunedin.

World Cup Pool A, Dunedin:
New Zealand: 146-7 (24.5 overs): Williamson 38, Davey 3-40
Scotland: 142 (36.2 overs): Machan 56, Anderson 3-18
New Zealand won by three wickets

The Scots were reduced to 12-4 in the fifth over before Matt Machan (56) and Richie Berrington (50) put on 97.

Four batsmen fell first ball, a World Cup first, and only the third such instance in a one-day international, as they were 142 all out in the 37th over.

But New Zealand had more alarms than expected in a curious run chase, before winning with 25.1 overs to spare.

The Scots are in their third World Cup campaign and are yet to win a match in nine attempts, but came closer at the University Oval than anyone could have believed after such a destructive start.

They thrashed their higher ranked fellow qualifiers Ireland by 179 runs in a recent warm-up game yet it quickly became apparent they would not be emulating the Irish team’s victory over West Indies on Monday.

Facing an in-form New Zealand on their own patch was a rather different proposition to a fragmented Windies, and the co-hosts, semi-finalists six times, justified their position as one of the leading contenders for the trophy with a fine display in the field after winning the toss.

Left-arm seamer Trent Boult expertly exploited the conditions, swinging the ball back into the right-handers at pace to claim wickets with his opening two deliveries in the second over.

Tim Southee also struck with consecutive deliveries and there was concern the lowest World Cup total of 36 by Canada was in jeopardy.

But Sussex left-hander Machan played with calm assurance in a 79-ball innings to restore some respectability with the purposeful Berrington.

However, wily spinner Daniel Vettori wrapped up the innings with successive wickets and the Kiwis had almost 40 minutes of batting before the official lunch interval.

Skipper Brendon McCullum and opening partner Martin Guptill appeared to want to reach the target in the nine overs bowled before the break, with number of wickets lost not affecting a team’s overall run-rate in the group table, and both were caught behind in the mini-session.

The prolific Kane Williamson top-scored with 38 but edged seamer Josh Davey in the 18th over, one of four wickets to fall for 31 in a surprisingly ragged batting display from the Kiwis, who next face England in a day-night fixture in Wellington on Friday.

Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said he was “very proud” of his side after they ran the co-hosts so close.

Scotland’s next match is against England, in Christchurch on Monday.

Read more at BBC Sport

Six Nations: Scotland 23-26 Wales

Tries from Rhys Webb and Jonathan Davies guided Wales to a 26-23 win over Scotland in the Six Nations at Murrayfield.

Nine days after being silenced on home soil by England, the dragon rediscovered its roar to an extent as tries by scrum-half Webb and Jonathan Davies consigned Scotland to a second Six Nations defeat in a row. Full-back Leigh Halfpenny, who delivered an immaculate performance in attack and defence, kicked 16 points, while Scotland replied through a breakaway Stuart Hogg score and substitute lock Jim Hamilton’s late touchdown, plus three Greig Laidlaw penalties and a conversion, and a Finn Russell conversion.

The Scots again showed obvious signs of their improvement under coach Vern Cotter, yet Wales looked a more dangerous team with ball in hand and possessed outstanding runners in Webb, Davies and Halfpenny. Wales, though, still have to do it the hard way if they have any realistic aspirations of Six Nations silverware.

Sam Warburton’s men know they cannot afford another defeat, and their next two games are against France in Paris and at home to reigning Six Nations champions Ireland. For Scotland, it is far from a case of going back to the drawing board, as they again displayed some high-class rugby to confirm a feelgood factor that has surrounded them since Cotter took charge last year.

Both sides showed two changes from contrasting opening round Six Nations defeats as they faced a make-or-break game. Sean Lamont replaced injured Scotland wing Tommy Seymour and prop Geoff Cross took over from Euan Murray, who does not play on Sundays for religious reasons. Wales, meanwhile, opted to rest powerful wing George North, who took took two heavy blows to his head during the 21-16 defeat against England last week, so Liam Williams deputised, with Ospreys forward Aaron Jarvis replacing concussed tighthead prop Samson Lee.

And the visitors made a bright start, moving deep into Scottish territory through some precise phase-play. Halfpenny opened their account with a short-range penalty after six minutes. Wales, though, pressed the self-destruct button just three minutes later when Scotland lock Richie Gray stole turnover possession 10 metres inside his own half, and Hogg outsprinted a shell-shocked Welsh blindside defence to claim an opportunist try that Laidlaw converted.

Scotland should have punished Wales again shortly afterwards when Russell broke with menace, but centre Alex Dunbar’s pass failed to find his midfield partner Mark Bennett and a glorious chance went astray. A Laidlaw penalty then put Scotland 10-3 ahead, but that strike was quickly cancelled out by Halfpenny’s second successful kick as Wales cut their arrears at the end of a breathless opening quarter.

Wales continued to look dangerous with ball in hand, and it looked as though Halfpenny would complete his penalty hat-trick from inside Scotland’s 22, but skipper Warburton opted for a kick to the corner and an attacking lineout instead, only for his team to then be penalised. There was no obvious pattern to the match, but Wales gained a numerical advantage nine minutes before half-time when Russell received a yellow card after a mid-air challenge on his opposite number Dan Biggar.

And Scotland were punished almost immediately as Wales launched a flowing attack highlighted by Davies’ surging run, before Webb collected Williams’ inside pass and posted his second try in successive Six Nations games this season. Halfpenny landed the touchline conversion attempt, taking Wales into a 16-10 lead, but the numbers were then evened out when Davies saw yellow for a poor tackle on Scotland number eight Johnnie Beattie.

And that was a cue for Scotland to put Wales on the back foot as half-time approached, with the visitors requiring some frantic last-ditch defending to preserve their advantage and troop off six points clear at the break. Scotland immediately cut the gap after Russell returned through another Laidlaw penalty when Wales centre Jamie Roberts was punished for not releasing, but a more ominous-looking sign for Wales was a scrum that creaked with worrying regularity.

Halfpenny’s fourth successful penalty then made it 19-13 to Wales, before a Laidlaw strike cut the gap, but Wales should have moved clear when they broke Scotland’s defence midway through the second period. Williams dived gleefully to score in the corner, yet referee Glenn Jackson consulted the television match official and then rightly ruled out the try following obstruction by two Wales forwards during the immediate build-up.

But Wales were not to be denied, and they effectively made the game safe 16 minutes from time when Davies crashed through a couple of weak tackles, touching down between the posts for a try that Halfpenny converted. Hamilton touched down with the game’s final attacking phase, with Russell converting, but Wales prevailed and collected two vital points.

Read more at ESPN