THIS was not how Linda Clement wanted it all to end.

After 241 hockey caps accrued over 15 years since making her debut in 1999, the Scotland captain felt that the conclusion of her side's involvement in these home Commonwealth Games was as good a time as any to announce her retirement. It was a poignant moment but amid the tears there were regrets, too.

A sixth-place finish for Scotland is in line with their world ranking relative to the other teams in the competition but there was a feeling that it could have been so much better. After being denied a place in the semi-finals following a loss to England in a winner-takes-all final group match, they then went down 2-1 to India yesterday morning in their fifth-sixth play-off tie.

It is an improvement on their seventh-place finish in Delhi four years ago but the overriding message was of what might have been.

"We had big aspirations for this tournament," said Clement. "We came close against England the other day even though ultimately we were very disappointed by that. We wanted to bounce back against India and finish on a high. Although we pushed for it, we couldn't finish with a win.

"It's a disappointing way to end. We as a group believed we could finish much higher than sixth. The big disappointment was not reaching the top four."

Gordon Shepherd, the coach, shared the sentiment. "We came here targeting fourth place so this is a disappointing result for us," he said. "What cost us was the fact that we couldn't put the ball in the back of the goal more often. But there are no words I can say about the players, they gave me everything today and in every match they have played in."

A fairly listless first half belatedly broke into life early in the second. India scored first, Anupa Barla turning adroitly in the circle before lashing a shot low into the net. Scotland responded within two minutes. A short corner made its way to Nikki Kidd who scored low to the goalkeeper's left. That seemed to provide the perfect platform for Scotland to go on and win the match but instead it was India who edged back in front, Poonam Rani shooting high into the net.

Scotland tried desperately for an equaliser in the remainder of the match only to fall short. That made for a flat farewell for Clement as she heads off to contemplate a future that will not involve international hockey. "It's the end of the line for me," she added. "It's been a great career but all good things have to come to an end. It would have been better to have gone out having pushed for a medal but it wasn't to be. There have been so many highlights in my career, and playing in a home Games is up there as one of them. I'm very proud to represent Scotland, and Glasgow as whole has done a fantastic job."

Even those, like Emily Maguire, who competed at the Olympics as part of the bronze-winning Team GB, felt Scotland had more than matched the show put on two years ago.

"This is up there with London 2012 for me, it's been a Games I will never forget," said the defender. "My family were all here to cheer me on, and this is something special for any Scottish player. I have been very lucky over the last two years to have played in two major championships in Britain, but this my home town and I will always remember this week."