Great start for England U18 girls

ENGLAND Under-18 Girls made a great start to their EuroHockey Youth Championship fixtures in Ireland with an emphatic 10-1 demolition of Russia in Dublin on Monday afternoon.

Head Coach Andy Bradshaw heaped praise on his squad following the victory, but was quick to point out that their next game – against Germany on Wednesday – will be a different proposition.

“We’ve made a very pleasing start to the tournament,” he said. “We scored some good goals and capitalised on some of the things we have been working hard on in training. But we need to tighten up in certain areas for what will be a much harder match against Germany.

“A winning start gives the girls a big boost. Through our warm-up games we haven’t always produced the goods, so scoring ten is a great boost.”

Ipswich’s Kitty McWhirter scored England’s first goal after just six minutes, deflecting into the net in front of the goalkeeper, and she doubled the lead tem minutes later after a good run down the left resulted in her smashing the ball home.

Charlotte Burrows deflected in England’s third goal at a 20th minute penalty corner at the right post, the ball having come across quickly from the left.

Russia pulled back a goal on 22 minutes when the a shot from captain Maria Yashchenko deflected in off an England defender at a penalty corner, but it did little to derail England’s free-scoring ways.

St Albans’ Meg Crowson netted with a deflection on 26 minutes, and bagged her second after breaking through from midfield and firing home from the top of the circle a minute later to give England a 5-1 half time lead.

Worcester ace Pascale Massey scored England’s sixth goal on 48 minutes. A good build up down the left was switched to Massey on the right post from where she deflected past the goalkeeper.

McWhirter deflected in for England’s seventh goal which completed her hat-trick on 53 minutes, and Ellie Tait put her name on the scoresheet with some good individual skill in the D on 65 minutes.

Surbiton player Tait added another a minute later after driving into the circle and taking it round the goalkeeper, and Crowson completed her hat-trick on 67 minutes when she slammed the ball into the net following a good ball from Maddie Newton down the left.