England U16 Boys at St. Albans

England's U16  Euan Gilmour against Belgium at St Albans HC 5 July 2014 Photo by Ady Kerry

England's U16 Boys travelled over to St Albans Hockey Club to be met by Belgium for a series of training matches.

Match 1

England 1 (0)
Ollie Rogerson 65 (FG)

Belgium 2 (2)
17, 35 (FG PC)

While England dominated the game for long periods of time, an inability to convert chances to goals meant the Belgian side were able to maintain their first half lead. Considerable pressure created by England finally ended in a goal for Ollie Rogerson five minutes before the end, but it was unfortunately just a consolation goal for the England boys as the match ended 2-1 to Belgium.

Match 2

England 3 (1)
Euan Gilmour 3 (FG)
Lucas Ward 37 (FG)
Tom Crowson 64 (FG)

Belgium 4 (0)
48, 56, 61, 70 (PC FG FG FG)

After their second game of the series even the Belgian coaches seemed surprised at the result as England continued to pull ahead until the last minute when a fourth and final goal put the Belgians on top. England dominated the first half with a goal from Euan Gilmour within the first five minutes, but that was just one goal from several good chances.

In the second half four attacks resulted in four goals for Belgium, while England only scored two more from numerous opportunities. The last minute epitomised the team's performance, with an excellent England press creating a three-on-two at the top of the Belgian circle, which was unfortunately not finished off. The Belgian counter-attack, coupled with an unusual defensive error, gave them the winner, but a few small changes could have led to very different scoreline as Belgium wound up 4-3 winners.

Match 3

England 5 (1)
Josh Pavis 31 47 48 (PC PS PC)
Euan Gilmour 43 (FG)
Sam Apoola 49 (FG)

Belgium 1 (0)
59 (PC)

An excellent performance by an England squad depleted by injury to record an emphatic 5-1 win. Although the score was only 1-0 at half time the team was playing well and they sealed the game with a period of four quick goals in the second half. Belgium continued to fight hard and eventually won a consolation penalty corner, but overall England were well deserved winners having rediscovered their scoring touch from both penalty corners and open play to reflect their control of long periods of the game.