Battling England U18 Girls go down to Germany

England U18 Girls team photo

England Under-18 Girls lost out 4-2 to table-topping Germany in the EuroHockey Youth Championships in Dublin on Wednesday, despite a strong performance from the team.

Drawing 1-1 at half time, England leaked three goals after the break and must now beat Belgium tomorrow if they are to progress to the semi-finals on Saturday.

“It was an open game and Germany made their possession in the final third count better than we did,” said Head Coach Andy Bradshaw. “But what was pleasing was that we were able to score two goals and put them under real pressure in the final 15 minutes.

“If we can get a result against Belgium tomorrow we can still make the semi-finals. We played Belgium three times recently and drew twice and lost once so it’ll be tough, we’re confident.”

Germany took the lead in the 20th minute with captain Paula Velmans finding the net from a penalty corner, but England hit back eight minutes later when Clio O’Malley deflected in at the left at a penalty corner.

England continued to soak up German pressure well through the first half and the score remained unchanged to the break, but three minutes into the second half Germany retook the lead through Lea Albrecht, again from a penalty corner.

Germany extended their lead on 40 minutes with Elisa Grave scoring from open play, and then repeating the feat on 54 minutes to put her side 4-1 ahead.

But the final 15 minutes belonged to England, who pressured their rivals superbly and managed to reduce the deficit with Kitty McWhirter rifling a shot high into the roof of the het on 62 minutes after good build up play down the right had left her unmarked on the left of the goal.

But with two goals still to pull back, time ran out for England with Germany’s defence clinging on desperately.