Jackson leads England to Euro semi finals

Ashley Jackson and Richard Smith celebrate Jackson's goal against France at the 2011 EuroHockey Nations Championships

“In charge of our own destiny” is how England Hockey Head Coach Jason Lee put it after watching his side comprehensively beat France to secure a semi final spot at the EuroHockey Nations Championships.

Defending champions England marched into the semi finals with a stylish and entertaining 8-1 victory over France in Monchengladbach.

A hat-trick from Ashley Jackson (below) was the catalyst as England shared the goals around; Surbiton pair James Tindall and Richard Alexander grabbed doubles while Beeston’s Adam Dixon (bottom image) also got in on the act with his second goal for his country.

After coming out of the blocks to net twice in the opening quarter of an hour, England went in at the break three goals to the good as Jackson finished two of five first half penalty corners, sandwiching Alexander’s first goal, a slapped effort into the far corner.

Ashley Jackson celebrates a goal for England men against France with Richard Smith at the 2011 EuroHockey Nations Championships

France’s Fabien Magner pulled one back from their only penalty corner seven minutes into the second half, but England replied ecstatically, firing in five more in the space of 14 minutes to close out 8-1 winners.  The result puts England through to the semi finals where they will likely face Germany, who play Russia later in the day.

Adam Dixon celebrates scoring a goal for England men against France at the 2011 EuroHockey Nations Championships

Lee said afterwards, “We scored from our first penalty corner and it was more or less ‘job done’ by half time.  I was always convinced we would be more successful with penalty corners at both ends of the pitch by the time we came to the tournament and it’s proving to be the case.  It’s pleasing that we’re scoring lots of open play goals too.

“We’re in charge of our own destiny now.  There’s not a team here that we don’t feel we can beat if we play to our best.”

Read the full match report in the International results section.

EuroHockey Nations Championships Standings

Pool A Pl W D L GF GA GD Pts
Germany 2 2 0 0 6 2 +4 6
Belgium 2 1 0 1 8 4 +4 3
Spain 2 1 0 1 6 3 +4 3
Russia 2 0 0 2 1 12 -11 0
Pool B Pl W D L GF GA GD Pts
England 3 2 0 1 15 7 +8 6
Netherlands 2 2 0 0 12 4 +8 6
Ireland 2 1 0 1 4 4 0 3
France 3 0 0 3 2 18 -16 0

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