England finish seventh at Euro Indoor Champs

Nic White in action for England at the EuroHockey Indoor Championships 2014 450

England came within a couple of goals of securing a place at the Indoor World Cup, but after the narrowest of defeats to Belarus this morning in their final game they had to settle for seventh place and relegation into the EuroHockey Indoor Division II for 2016.

England Head Coach Jason Lee’s inexperienced side went to the European Indoors for a development opportunity, and despite finishing seventh Lee has been really pleased with his team’s progress. Speaking after the final match he said: “It was obviously disappointing not to get the result today, and I am convinced if we came back next weekend we would be competitive at the top end of the competition, such is the progress we have made over the three days. Nevertheless this has been a useful experience for the players and hopefully they will transfer some of the lessons to benefit their outdoor game.”

England were left to battle it out in Pool C for fifth-eighth place at the 2014 EuroHockey Indoor Championships after finishing fourth in Pool A behind the Netherlands, defending champions Germany and hosts Czech Republic. The young side needed a top six finish at the tournament to maintain their top flight status and qualify for the Indoor World Cup.

England faced France and Belarus while other opponents in the pool, Czech Republic, carried across the three points they took against England in their Pool A game.

After a victory against France yesterday Lee’s side gave themselves a fighting chance of finishing sixth, but after a 3-4 defeat to Belarus their fate was sealed.

Match reports and scorers from all England's games are below.

Click here to see the pools and for more information.


Friday 24 January - Pool A - Match 1

NETHERLANDS 7 (2)
Karin den Ouden 5 (PC)
Kiki Collot D'escury 20 (FG)
Vera Vorstenbosch 23 (FG)
Laurien Leurink 25, 34 (FG, FG)
Pien van Nes 31 (FG)
Lieke Hulsen 37 (FG)

ENGLAND 0 (0)

England’s first game of the EuroHockey Indoor Championships was against the Netherlands, and the Dutch side were able to take advantage of England’s relative inexperience to run out 7-0 winners.

Despite the first goal from the Netherlands being scored five minutes in from a penalty corner, the first half saw England keep in touch with a classy Dutch side. It was only in the last minute that the Netherlands increased their lead to 2-0 courtesy of a field goal from Kiki Collot d’Escury.

In the second half the Dutch side found their stride and showed their indoor experience, with five more goals coming between the 23rd and 37th minute. As the final hooter sounded there were six names on the scoresheet for the Netherlands as they completed a convincing victory over England in their opening fixture.


Pool A - Match 2

CZECH REPUBLIC 4 (3)
Kamila Dukatova 8 (FG)
Barbora Haklova 14 (FG)
Adela Bizova 18 (FG)
Tereza Mejzlikova 32 (FG)

ENGLAND 1 (0)
Sarah Haycroft 32 (PC)

The second game of England's EuroHockey Indoor Championship campaign was against the hosts Czech Republic.

The match started badly for England, with the side 3-0 at halftime after a number of costly errors. However the second half showed a much more impressive performance from England. Surbiton's Sarah Haycroft scored England's first goal of the tournament in the 32nd minute and it was only thanks to some desperate defending from the hosts and the assistance of the post and crossbar which kept England from scoring anymore. The game finished 4-1.

At the end of the first day England Head Coach Jason Lee said: 'I'm pleased with the progress that has been made across the two games, particularly in the second half against the Czech Republic. This England side is largely inexperienced at indoor hockey, with the majority of the team securing their first international caps against the Scotland last weekend. Moreover many of these players didn't feature in the domestic Indoor Leagues, reinforcing the steep learning curve they are on.'

Tomorrow sees England take on Germany in the final group game, which will be a tough test for the team, as the Germans demolished the Czech side 10-0.


Saturday 25 January - Pool A - Match 3

GERMANY 5 (2)
Lydia Haase 4, 23, 39 (FG, FG, FG)
Kristina Hillmann 5 (PC)
Lena Jacobi 29 (PS)

ENGLAND 3 (1)
Sophie Bray 20 (FG)
Giselle Ansley 26 (FG)
Lily Owsley 32 (FG)

After the defending European Indoor Champions Germany beat hosts Czech Republic 10-0 yesterday England might have been right to approach the game with some trepidation, however Lee's inexperienced side did themselves proud only narrowly going down to a 5-3 defeat.

Germany scored twice in the opening five minutes which left England chasing the game from very early on. Sophie Bray stole one back for England in the final minute of the first half to make it 2-1 at the break.

The second half saw five more goals scored, three for Germany and two for England. Giselle Ansley and Lily Owsley added to England's tally in the 26th and 32nd minute respectively. With German defenders making five last ditch saves on the line, England were disappointed not to come away with something from the game. Germany's Lydia Haase was the star of the show securing her hat-trick in the final minute and giving her side a 5-3 victory.


Saturday 25 January - Pool C - Match 4

ENGLAND 3 (2)
Sophie Bray 10, 20, 40 (FG, FG, FG)

FRANCE 0 (0)

Battling it out in Pool C to decide the fifth to eighth placings England have set off with a strong 3-0 win over France. Lee's side had East Grinstead's (indoor) Sophie Bray to thank for the scoreline after she contributed all three goals. Bray added two goals to her tally in the first half on the 10th and 20th minute and completed her hat-trick right at the death to give England their first three points of the championships.

Speaking after the second day of play England Head Coach Jason Lee said, "It's been a good day all round for us, with the win providing suitable reward for the girl's efforts. The team have improved a lot in a short period of time and are now looking much more like a competitive indoor outfit.'

England will face Belarus tomorrow as they attempt to finish in the top six to maintain their top flight indoor status and to qualify for the Indoor World Cup.

Click here to see the pools and for more information.


Sunday 26 January - Pool C - Match 5

ENGLAND 3 (2)
Giselle Ansley 9,13 (PC, PC)
Suzy Petty 35 (PC)

BELARUS 4 (3)
Krestsina Papkova 5 (FG)
Natallia Mazyrka 14 (PC)
Volha Shyntar 18 (PS)
Yuliya Mikheichyk 38 (FG)

England started the game against Belarus well and despite going 1-0 down Giselle Ansley put her side 2-1 up after 13 minutes from two penalty corner drag-flicks. Unfortunately the lead only lasted a minute as Belarus hit two more home before the break, one of which was a penalty stroke, to go in leading 3-2.

There was nothing to separate the two sides in the second half as they each added one more to their tally, Suzy Petty was on target for England to score her first senior international goal. England gave everything, but in the end went down 3-4 and their fate in the lower division was sealed.

Speaking after the final match Head Coach Jason Lee said: “It was obviously disappointing not to get the result today, and I am convinced if we came back next weekend we would be competitive at the top end of the competition, such is the progress we have made. Nevertheless this has been a useful experience for the players and hopefully they will transfer some of the lessons to benefit their outdoor game.”

For more information about the EuroHockey Indoor Championships please visit www.eurohockey.org

EuroHockey Indoor Championship final standings

1.     Either Netherlands or Germany
2.     Either Netherlands or Germany
3.     Either Poland or Austria
4.     Either Poland or Austria
5.     Czech Republic
6.     Belarus
7.     England - Relegated to EuroHockey Indoor Championship II 2016
8.     France - Relegated to EuroHockey Indoor Championship II, Women, 2016