GWENT hockey trio Abi Welsford, Sophie Clayton and Danielle Jordan played in front of a royal audience for the second time at Glasgow 2014 but also suffered their third defeat, writes Andrew Penman.

The Welsh women’s hockey stars were beaten 2-0 by hosts Scotland as the sun and blazing heat returned.

The defeat, after a 2-0 loss to England and a 9-0 hammering by gold medal favourites Australia means Team Wales will not be on the podium.

But the team, ranked ninth of ten teams in the competition, can still finish in the top seven if they beat Malaysia on Wednesday.

Captain Welsford, of Newport, said: “It was a tough game, particularly in the first half when they came at us quite hard.

“We weren’t as organised as we wanted to be then but thankfully we put in a much better performance in the second half.

“We’ve got quite a young squad and each one of them is stepping up to the plate and they’re learning so much in every game,” she added.

“We are making strides forward. Every game we are playing we are benefiting from.”

Clayton, also from Newport, said: “We are disappointed. We thought we had a chance today if they were tired after playing Australia but they weren’t as tired as we thought they’d be.

“But we’ve still got a chance of making the seventh and eighth-place game, which will be better than our rank. There is still a lot to play for.

“It was a good atmosphere to play in and we got to play in front of royalty again, which was exciting,” she added, after the Queen watched part of their opening match against England.

“My parents and my sister made it as well for this game so it was nice to play in front of them. It was just a pity we couldn’t get the result we wanted.”

Croesyceiliog School pupil Jordan suffered in the heat but thanked the Welsh fans for their support.

“It was tough today and very tiring,” said the 18-year-old.

“We gave it everything in the second half and didn’t concede, which was good.

“I had friends and family here as well and the support has been amazing, it really helps us and we really need them to cheer us to a win on Wednesday.”