New Zealand 5 Wales 1
With a 20-place gap in the world rankings, the Commonwealth Games women’s hockey tournament opener went pretty much as expected. But the 27th-ranked Welsh did well to hold the Kiwis in the first half and even bagged an equaliser just before the break.
The Blacksticks, battle hardened by their 2010 Champions Trophy and World Cup campaigns, went on to dominate the second half, however, adding four goals against a Welsh side who struggled to maintain any sort of consistent possession.
The bright spots for Wales were some excellent saves by Maggs Rees and Abigail Welsford’s finish from a high bouncing ball late in the first half.
The Welsh women now have less than 24 hours to recover – they play fifth-ranked England at 8.30am tomorrow (4am UK time).