After captaining the Welsh hockey team at an international tournament held in Cyprus in March, James Carson was selected to represent the Welsh hockey squad of 18 at the Commonwealth Games earlier this month.
With only 10 teams taking part in this international event, Wales were up against some tough competition. They were split into two groups of five and Wales were definitely up against the toughest teams!
Their first match was against Pakistan, ranked 13th worldwide, where they drew 1:1. Next was a tough match v Malaysia (ranked 11th) where they lost 3:0. The Welsh team played brilliantly v India (ranked 5th worldwide) in their 3rd, only conceding the final goal in the last two minutes, therefore losing 4:3.
Next up was a gripping match v England (ranked 6th) who they played for the first time in 12 years. Wales were 2:0 up in the first half, then England scored their second goal in the last 12 minutes of the match, and their winning goal with just 1.5 minutes to go! Wales ended up losing 3:2 and England went on to win the bronze medal.
Having finished 5th in their group, Wales took on South Africa (ranked 15th) to compete for 9th or 10th position overall. Wales won 3:2 with James scoring two of the goals, the 2nd crucial winning goal was scored with only 60 seconds left on the clock!
Alison Jolly, Director of Sport, says “Many congratulations to James for being selected to take part in such a prestigious sporting event. He is an inspiration to our budding young hockey players. As he continues to represent both Reading and Wales, competing in many matches in addition to training several times a week, we will look forward to watching James go from strength to strength.”