SCOTLAND'S women lifted the gloom from a depressing weekend for British teams in the World Cup in Utrecht yesterday with a courageous 3-2 win against South Africa who were considered by many to be outside favourites for a semi- final place.
Slough's Sue MacDonald was the toast of the large and noisy contingent of Scottish supporters with two goals in a non-stop display of hard running alongside Rhona Simpson.
Indeed, it was MacDonald who set up the first goal when she drove 40 yards into the Springbok's defence to provide the cross for Sue Gilmour to open the scoring after seven minutes. MacDonald got the first of her two goals in the 18th. minute for a surprising 2-0 interval scoreline. Although Pietie Coetzee pulled a goal back four minutes into the second half, MacDonald again extended Scotland's lead before Coetzee got her second at a penalty stroke. England's men on Saturday contributed to a highly entertaining game before "house full" notices against Pakistan, losing out in a feast of goals 7-5 to the defending champions. Jon Wyatt, at a penalty corner and a penalty stroke, scored twice for England, with the other goals coming from Russell Garcia, Mark Pearn and a rare open play goal from Calum Giles. The men, like the women, who lost 4-2 to Argentina, have now effectively waved good-bye to any chance of semi-finals places. After Purdy Miller had given England a fifth-minute lead, they lost their way and conceded two penalty corner goals to Maria Rognoni just before the interval. Although Jy team," Dalton said. "It couldn't have turned out better for us." It was the shore crew that was wiping its brow after a nail biting final 18 hours of the final two days, but navigator Mike Quilter was more relaxed. "We didn't do anything other than we normally do, only this time, the cookie crumbled, the dice rolled, and the chips fell and everything went out way," he said as he bows out of big time ocean racing at the end of five Whitbreads. Merit Cup's victory, to add to their first into Dalton's home port of Auckland, was the centrepiece of a finish with plenty to chew on. A huge spectator fleet turned out to see the nine yachts fight fading breezes and adverse tides up the Solent after they had been sent on an additional 25-mile loop around Christchurch Bay because they arrived too early at the last turning mark of Poole Fairway Buoy. No fortunes changed because of that, but Dalton, by putting four boats between himself and Gunnar Krantz, who started the last leg second and with a 36-point, four place margin, snatched the more important place in the record books. At the end the sunshine yellow of Merit Cup was equally matched by the dark blue hue of Swedish Match as they saw a 45-point reversal and slipped to third. …