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BATTLING WALES HOLD SEMI-PRO HOSTS

Scott Ruscoe of TNS challenges Scotland's Darren Still
[Duncan Brown].
WALES started their Four Nations campaign with a battling draw against their Scottish semi-professional hosts at Keith's Kynock Park last night.
And after missing some gilt-edged chances, they were indebted to substitute goalkeeper Tony Roberts, who dealt cooly with a succession of high balls into the Welsh box.
The central defensive partnership of Steve Evans (TNS) and Chris Todd (Exeter City) dominated a first-half in which the Welsh showed little going forward and Carmarthen's Tony Pennock was forced to make a good stop at the feet of Michael Stephen.
But the visitors could have snatched the lead in the 16th minute when Graham Evans of Caersws almost scored from Gary Lloyd's angled ball from the left.
Lloyd then sent a right-wing corner into the Scottish net on 27 minutes, but referee Miller had already blown for a foul on home keeper Andy Shearer.
Barrie Stephen's brilliant jinking run was brought to a halt by Steve Evans but Ian Murray's quickly taken free-kick sailed harmlessly wide of the upright.
Pennock went off in the 37th minute when he appeared to twist his knee in the run-up to take a goal kick and Tony Roberts of Dagenham & Redbridge took over between the sticks.
The Scots goal had an amazing escape in the 51st minute when three Welsh players all missed a hanging left-wing cross with the goal at their mercy.
And Wales really should have scored when Graham Evans, looking yards offside, burst through the heart of the defence but sent his parting effort wide of the target.
Scotland pressed late in the game and only a last-gasp tackle by Damon Searle stopped Stuart McKay from giving Scotland the lead.
The Welsh responded with a flashing 30-yard drive from Gary Lloyd but Shearer swung himself to his right to palm the ball to safety.
In the night's other game, Ireland shocked England with a 3-2 win.
Wales next meet England on Thursday night.
Wales: Pennock (Carmarthen) [Roberts (Dagenham & Redbridge) 39], Green (Hereford), Todd (Exeter), S Evans (TNS), Searle (Forest Green), Ruscoe (TNS), N Davies (Newport), B Davies (Chester), Lloyd (Newport), Owen (Porthmadog) [Giles 61], G Evans (Caersws) [Summers (Cwmbran) 89]. Subs not used: Edwards, Coupe, Jones, Harris.
Attendance: 700.
19 May 2021
 
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