England girls face Scottish Challenge

England U16 Girls-Megan Dowthwaite-450

England Under-16 Girls will face Scotland in the 3rd/4th place play-off after losing 1-5 to Germany in the Easter Four Nations Tournament at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire on Easter Sunday.

The tournament has been a first taste of international competition for the girls and has presented them with a challenge which they are rising to admirably.

“The girls stuck to the game plan but just lost out to the physicality of the German side,” said Head Coach Marc Bourhill.

England played well in patches and showed real progress in their learning, implementing much of what they practiced in training.

But Germany are a very difficult team to deal with and they took the lead through Alisa Vivot on nine minutes after she slotted home from a penalty corner.

But England showed their resilience and came back at their opponents on 21 minutes after the ball found its way into the D from a penalty corner and Meg Dowthwaite (pictured) deflected it into the goal.

Nine minutes later, the Germans took the lead through Lara Birkner and Juliane Grashoff made it 1-3 before the break.

Although Germany went on to score two more goals in the second half, the England girls will have learned a lot and will look to take the positives from this performance, as well as the invaluable experience they have gained into their showdown against the Scots.

* England under 18 girls faced a stiff test against Germany Germany in the Easter Four Nations Tournament at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire on Easter Sunday and knew they had to win if they were to progress to the final against the Netherlands.

But despite a spirited fight back in the second half, they were unable to get the result they needed and will now face Scotland in the third/fourth play-off tomorrow.

It was a shaky start to the game for England as Germany exerted pressure on their defence for long periods.

England held out for 21 minutes but were then undone by a well-worked attack. Just three minutes later they found themselves two goals down as their opponents continued to put them on the back foot.

After the break, England looked a different side and threatened Germany with some excellent pressure.

Their backline eventually gave way and with 44 minutes on the clock, the ball was slipped to Rebecca Walker from a penalty corner and she produced a neat finish with a reverse stick strike into the top corner.

With just one goal now separating the sides, England went hunting for an equaliser. But a momentary lapse in concentration at the back allowed the Germans to stretch their lead to 1-3 and it looked to be a long way back.

But the English did have further chances to get back into the game with Megan Crowson finding herself one-on-one on a couple of occasions. However, she found the keeper in superb form and couldn’t find a way past.

With seven minutes left on the clock, Germany finally killed the game off with their fourth from a penalty corner.

Head coach Andy Bradshaw said: “We had to take more risks in the second half to try and get back into the game and at 1-2 we had chances.

“The most frustrating thing is that a couple of the goals that we conceded were avoidable. It was poor defending as a team.

“We defended so well yesterday and today we didn’t, that’s what we need to sharpen up on, we need to do it two games on the trot.

“But we will pick ourselves up and hopefully take a win against Scotland tomorrow.”