SCOTLAND pulled out all the stops to see off tournament favourites France, a side that sit seven places above them in the world rankings, in the opening pool match at the European Nations Championships II in Glasgow.

However, coach Derek Forsyth is too experienced an international campaigner to believe that promotion is now just around the corner, writes Craig Madden.

Forsyth said: “The team played very well against France and it is always pleasing to start the tournament with a win.

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“However, we recognise that there are areas we can improve on heading into our next match against Portugal.

“Over the next day we will debrief our performance against the French and then begin our preparations for the Portugal game.”

Today’s fixture should be another three points and almost certain qualification for Friday’s promotion semi-finals.

Portugal are 20 places below the Scots in the rankings and suffered a crushing 7-2 defeat to the Ukraine in their opening encounter.

However, it is not so certain that the demolition was due to the vigorous powerplay of the Ukrainians or to a rather limp performance from the Portuguese team.

The Scots last played Portugal in the first round of the World League last year, and on that day it was another thumping for the Iberians, as they were thumped 9-0.

Kenny Bain and Alan Forsyth both scored twice in that emphatic display by the Scots.

A similar outcome would be the ideal tonic for Forsyth’s charges.

The final pool match is against Ukraine tomorrow.